Cordarrelle Patterson
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Welcome to our first installment of “Three Questions.” This is a fairly simple series we plan to run throughout January where we are going to be soliciting answers to our questions from a wide-ranging group of Vikings personalities with hopes of passing along some fun speculation, opinions, and stories to you all.

First up is Matthew Coller of 1500 ESPN fame.

1. Can you connect some dots for us and theorize what the actual reason was for Norv Turner’s abrupt departure this season?
 

Sure. It seems to stem back to last offseason in which Mike Zimmer sought advice of other coaches about his offense, then hired Pat Shurmur as his tight ends coach. Shurmur has a long and impressive history working with the West Coast offense, dating back to his days under Andy Reid. When Sam Bradford was acquired by the Vikings, they were forced to stick with a lot of those concepts considering Shurmur and Bradford had just worked together in Philly and before in St. Louis. After the bye week, the Vikings went back to Norv’s old school seven-step drops and intermediate routes. The results were disastrous because of the Vikings’ sad offensive line. My best guess would be that Zimmer chose Shurmur’s ideals over Turner’s, which caused Norv to walk away.  

2. Now, let’s move on from speculation to, well… more speculation. What do you think Cordarrelle Patterson’s future has in store?

His resurgence in 2016 opened the door for a return to Minnesota. It always looks better for a team if they can keep their first-round picks around long term and Patterson showed he has value as a kick returner and part of the offense. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s back and [Insert Offensive Coordinator Here] finds some more creative ways to use him in 2017. If they plan on having him come out of the backfield, line up in the slot for screens, run reverses and go deep occasionally, Patterson could be a dangerous player. If they would prefer receivers who stick to the script and run solid routes, they’ll move on. The vision of the team for the offense will make a difference, as will his price. You’ve always gotten the idea that Patterson thinks quite a bit of himself – which is fine – but his expectations might be higher than what the Vikings will offer.

3. Your first full season covering the Vikings was an interesting one, seldom shorting anyone in the media when it came to writing headlines. Of all those interesting moments, what will be the most memorable for you?

Good question – a really hard one to answer because it seemed like every week there was something crazy happening. Sam Bradford’s debut and the opening of US Bank Stadium against the Packers is probably the most memorable because of the sheer amount of energy and drama that night. Stefon Diggs had 182 yards, Aaron Rodgers had the ball with a chance to go on a game-winning drive and the crowd was the loudest I’ve ever heard it at a sporting event when he threw a pick to Trae Waynes. That was really something. Though I’m not sure I’ll ever see something again like the protest. I went to grab a water, turn to go back and all the sudden there’s people hanging from a giant beam. That was surreal. 

For more great insight from Matthew Coller be sure to check out his work at 1500 ESPN and follow him on Twitter!