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Bleacher Report – Vikings

One final shot? Zimmer’s praise of Shurmur appears to include a dig at Turner

By Judd Zulgad

Norv who?

Nearly three months after Norv Turner abruptly quit as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, coach Mike Zimmer seemed to take a not so subtle dig at his former assistant while praising Turner’s replacement, Pat Shurmur.

“I think Pat did a great job coming in under difficult circumstances,” Zimmer said during an interview with the Vikings website at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. “Pat and I have a good relationship. We’re able to communicate very easily. Pat is very open to suggestions to ideas, you know, he’s not one of those guys who kind of knows everything. It’s been good and obviously the relationship with Sam (Bradford) and Pat has been good as well.”

Shurmur, hired by the Vikings after last winter, began the season as tight ends coach but was named interim offensive coordinator when Turner decided to depart. Last week, the Vikings announced that Shurmur was having the interim tag dropped from his title.

This came as no surprise given that there was little doubt Shurmur had been hired to be more than a position coach and brought previous experience as a head coach and coordinator in the NFL.

Shurmur’s role in the offense became even more important when Bradford was obtained from the Philadelphia Eagles just before the regular season after Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending knee injury. Shurmur, who runs a West Coast system, had been Bradford’s coordinator for the quarterback’s rookie season in St. Louis and then one season in Philadelphia.

Shurmur’s promotion is just one of many moves made to the Vikings’ offensive staff. The team also fired Norv’s son, Scott Turner, who served as quarterbacks coach, and moved longtime assistant Kevin Stefanski into that role.

Clancy Barone, the offensive line coach with the Denver Broncos the past two seasons, was hired as tight ends coach, and Kennedy Polamalu, who served as offensive coordinator at UCLA in 2016, was hired as the Vikings’ running backs coach.

The Vikings finished last season ranked 28th in total offense, 18th in passing offense and 32nd in rushing offense.

Zimmer said he’s enjoying the changes that have been made. Stefanski and wide receivers coach George Stewart are the only offensive assistants left from Zimmer’s first season with the Vikings in 2014.

“We’ve been doing a lot of things with the offense, sitting and going through the cutups in the mornings and I sit and go through the cutups with the defense in the afternoons,” Zimmer said. “And so we’re just starting at the beginning process, but you know it’s kind of refreshing to be with almost a new system now.”

The post One final shot? Zimmer’s praise of Shurmur appears to include a dig at Turner appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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