Vikings OC Norv Turner “Resigns”

Vikings OC Norv Turner “Resigns”

Following two consecutive abysmal performances on the road in Philadelphia and Chicago, the Minnesota Vikings were in desperate need of a change — and they got one, in dramatic fashion.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, offensive coordinator Norv Turner has resigned his post.

Turner, who joined the Vikings alongside Mike Zimmer back in 2014, had come under fire in recent weeks following a pair of truly incompetent performances as a play-caller. Minnesota produced a combined total of 20 points against the Eagles and Bears behind an inconsistent aerial attack, a borderline non-existent ground game and an offensive line that seemingly couldn’t block a pop-up window.

Minnesota’s makeshift front-five and a hobbled Jerick McKinnon certainly contributed to the team’s offensive ineptitude, but more frustrating than either concern was Turner’s complete lack of logical judgment as a play-caller.

Between rotating offensive tackles in and out against a top-tier Philadelphia pass-rush, relentlessly sending Matt Asiata through the ‘B’ Gaps out of the shotgun in Chicago and calling deep drops for Sam Bradford behind an extremely volatile offensive line, Turner simply appeared to be completely unaware of both his team’s personnel deficiencies as well as the defensive strategies employed by his counterparts, Jim Schwartz (Philadelphia) and Vic Fangio (Chicago).

The woes for Turner stretch far beyond this pair of abhorrent performances, however. Since arriving in Minnesota, the 40-year coaching veteran has led the Vikings to total offense rankings of 27, 29 and 31 (current), as well as points per game marks of 20, 16 and 23 (current), respectively.

For all his wisdom and experience, Turner proved incapable of creating offensive balance and stability. He failed to find a way to combine the talents of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Adrian Peterson, shining a spotlight on the Hall of Fame running back’s issues in pass protection and as a receiver in the process.

And, after doing an excellent job preparing Bradford to start, Turner failed to establish consistency once again. If not for the role he played in bringing Bradford along and the two or three solid play-calling performances against the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants and Houston Texans, Turner’s tenure in Minnesota would likely be without a bright spot.

Given the circumstances by which his time in Minnesota came to an end, it would not be shocking to learn that Turner was given a “veteran courtesy” and allowed to exit on his own terms. Whether there is truth to this sentiment or not, the man behind the early 1990s Dallas Cowboys and running back LaDainian Tomlinson’s 31-touchdown season is moving on — and so are the Vikings.

Expect the offseason hiring of Pat Shurmur to pay even greater dividends moving forward, as the former Cleveland Browns head coach and Eagles offensive coordinator is almost undoubtedly the next man up. His extended history working with Bradford, the role he played in bring No. 8 to Minnesota and his focus on pass-to-rush balance are a perfect match for a Vikings offense in desperate need of consistency.

Shurmur, in all likelihood, will ironically make his play-calling debut against the Detroit Lions, a team that saw significant offensive improvement in 2015 upon firing then-offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and promoting current play-caller Jim Bob Cooter.

It is unlikely that Turner’s time in Minnesota will be remembered fondly, but in the end, however, the once brilliant innovator gave the Vikings the one thing they needed more than anything else amidst their struggles — a new offensive direction.

UPDATE

New Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur had yet to be officially announced at the time this article was originally posted, though his eventual promotion was widely understood prior to disclosure. Here is the official team announcement:

 


Join BJ Reidell and the rest of the Vikings Barroom in celebrating this development on Twitter @ReidellNFL and @VikingsBarroom.

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