Eden Prairie, Minn, – Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer choked back tears on Wednesday morning as he told the media that the team did not push offensive coordinator Norv Turner out the door.
The Vikings announced Turner’s resignation less than 48 hours after the team’s second straight loss in which their offense struggled to regain its form.
“He’s been my right hand man really since I’ve been here,” Zimmer said. “He decided it was in the best interest of him to do this and I accept the reasons and they are personal and I won’t get into the reasons why he did.”
Zimmer said he was “very, very surprised” that Turner elected to walk away from the position he’s held with the Vikings since 2014. MMQB’s Albert Breer talked to Turner and reported that it sounded like there was a “difference of opinion” between the two. But Zimmer refuted any report that the Vikings had planned to part ways with their OC.
“There was no thought of that,” Zimmer said.
Breer reported that Turner had not planned to retire after this year.
Rumors are rumors, but Norv Turner did tell me he had not decided that this was his final year with Vikes. Planned to assess after season.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 2, 2016
Against the Eagles and Bears, there was a clear change in philosophy from other weeks as quarterback Sam Bradford was one of the quickest in the NFL to throw the ball after taking the snap up through Week 5. But in the last two weeks, he was much slower and the team appeared to change to more slow-developing routes and seven-step drops.
Zimmer denied any reports that there was head butting over which direction the offense should go.
“Since Norv has been here I have given him almost 100% free will in everything they’ve done offensively, there has never been a time that I’ve demanded anything from them,” Zimmer said.
Pat Shurmur now takes over as offensive coordinator. He has worked with Bradford in both St. Louis and Philadelphia.
“I think that whole group has had a lot of good conversation and a lot of good work together so we’ll continue to move forward and try to get better,” Zimmer said. “Things happen, we all have to work together and move forward.”
Statement from Norv Turner on his resignation: pic.twitter.com/ZTmu1xbozD
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 2, 2016