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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings’ Pat Shurmur to coach tight ends, with Kevin Stafanski shifting to lead running backs

By Andrew Krammer

The Vikings fit three former head coaches into the staff on offense.

Pat Shurmur will take a step down, at least in title, and become the Vikings’ tight ends coach, with that role opened by Kevin Stefanski’s shift to running backs coach. The initial opening on the staff was created by former running backs coach Kirby Wilson leaving for a promotion in Cleveland. The Vikings hired Shurmur over the weekend, announcing his role on Monday.

Shurmur is the second addition to the Vikings’ offensive staff, and the second with previous head coaching and coordinator experience. They also hired veteran Tony Sparano to lead the offensive line after deciding to let go Jeff Davidson. A year after the offense ranked 29th in yards and 16th in scoring, coach Mike Zimmer has sought to add other experienced offensive minds to his staff. It’s noteworthy the Vikings convinced Shurmur, who had spent his last seven years as a coordinator or head coach, to accept a lesser title.

Spending more time with the offense was one of Zimmer’s tweaks in Year 2 as head coach. But after the Vikings’ wild-card loss to Seattle, he questioned whether he was involved enough. This offseason, Zimmer hasn’t shied away from making changes on offense — beginning with the release of veteran offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, one of the few holdovers from Leslie Frazier’s staff. The Vikings reportedly locked in on Sparano, who worked with Zimmer in Dallas, before interviewing one of offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s former coaches in Pat Flaherty for the job. Now the addition of Shurmur brings an interesting dynamic with three former head coaches, including coordinator Norv Turner, forming game plans on offense.

Shurmur, 50, will be a position coach for the first time since 2008, when he spent his first decade as a NFL coach with the Philadelphia Eagles leading tight ends, the offensive line and quarterbacks. Shurmur has coached tight ends in both college (Michigan State, ’90-’97) and the NFL (Eagles, ’99-’01).

Stefanski will change up his role again entering his 11th season with the Vikings. In the last four years, Stefanski has been an assistant quarterbacks coach, tight ends coach and now running backs coach.

The post Vikings’ Pat Shurmur to coach tight ends, with Kevin Stafanski shifting to lead running backs appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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