LIVE › 9-11:59 p.m. Sports Center Tonight
NEXT › 11 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter
Midnight ESPN SportsCenter
Updated: January 16th, 2014 10:17am
If you like deep passes, you’re going to get plenty with Norv Turner

If you like deep passes, you’re going to get plenty with Norv Turner

by Phil Mackey
Email | Twitter
SportsWire Daily

Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports


New Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has reportedly hired Norv Turner to be his offensive coordinator, and from that news we can glean one important thing:

Cordarrelle Patterson, and perhaps Jerome Simpson, are going to see a lot of deep passes.

Turner traditionally sticks to "Air Coryell" philosophies on offense, regardless of who his quarterbacks are, and that means a lot of vertical passes. Despite having a trio of mediocre quarterbacks in Cleveland last year (Jason Campbell, Brian Hoyer and Brandon Weeden), Turner's offense finished fourth in the NFL in deep passing attempts (20-plus yards) with 77 according to The Vikings, under Bill Musgrave and Leslie Frazier, actually finished with 73, which is a bit surprising.

Turner's Philip Rivers-led offenses in San Diego usually threw at least 70 deep passes most seasons as well.

It should also be noted that Matt Cassel finished fifth among all quarterbacks last season in deep-ball accuracy (47%), behind only Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers and Case Keenum (it should be noted this percentage includes passes that were dropped by receivers). Christian Ponder hit on 42% of his deep throws. 

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd