The success of the Minnesota Vikings’ 2017 season will likely depend on whether offseason changes to the offense result in a step forward. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s future may also depend on improved production.
This week, ESPN looked at which current coordinators might make up the “next wave” of head coaching candidates. Shurmur was included on the list. ESPN wrote:
Shurmur spent two seasons as the Cleveland Browns’ head coach in 2011 and 2012 and won a combined nine of 33 games. He also acted as interim head coach for Week 17 of the 2015 season after Chip Kelly was let go. The Eagles won that game over the Giants.
While the Vikings ranked just 28th in total offense last year, Shurmur’s marks as the OC in Philadelphia were impressive, finishing second, fifth and 12th in three seasons – though much of the credit for the Eagles’ early success went to Kelly’s innovative offense.
Shurmur took over for Norv Turner midway through the 2016 season. The Vikings ranked 17th in Yards per Play after Shurmur was named the interim OC and Sam Bradford posted a 74.1% completion percentage with 12 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 99.4 rating.
The Vikings are expecting better numbers this season after signing two free agent tackles and a running back and trading up to select Florida State star Dalvin Cook.
If everything goes according to plan, Shurmur might be on his way to a second head coaching chance.