1. I have rarely seen such poor play calling from an NFL team.
I’m usually the last to criticize NFL coaching. There’s so much going on that the average observer is unaware of (especially from watching a TV broadcast), it’s hard to say what they should be doing. We all have our ideas for what would make the offense work better, but without a full knowledge of why they’re calling it the way they are—and what the coaches are seeing that’s preventing them from doing the seemingly obvious—it’s hard to really say we know better than the guys running things.
And indeed, it seems I’m one of the last holdouts in Norv Turner criticism, but I’ve finally gotten there. The “Fire Norv” calls first came well before the 2016 season, but the Vikings fan base has grown increasingly agitated with Turner’s unimaginative play calling. It’s almost as if we were sold a bill of goods; here was this man who was spoken of as an offensive savant, someone who—while not ideally cast as a head coach—was perfectly suited to design the scheme and call the plays. There were promises of exotic sets and deep passes. Instead, what we’ve largely gotten—save for a few bright spots here and there—has been a rigid scheme that does not adapt to its personnel and an almost religious commitment to running on first down. The national media seem to still be buying the old narrative; even ESPN designed a graphic Monday night touting the “unpredictability” of a Norv Turner offense, and Jon Gruden rhapsodized the man’s offensive mind, while Vikings fans were left shaking their heads.