Monday, January 16, 2017

Norv Turner

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Back around the time that the season began, we were happily helping Star Tribune mainstay Mark Craig promote his book 100 Things Vikings Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die (which is fantastic, by the way) and our “Three Questions” series seemed like the perfect opportunity to invite him back and see if anything from 2016 would’ve changed his Top 100 list had he waited just one more season.

We’ll see how he responds below, but first I invite you to catch up on our growing list of guest appearances from those kind enough to take part in the “Three Questions” series:

Lindsey Young On Her Favorite Articles, 2010 Versus 2016, & U.S. Bank Stadium
Christopher Gates On London, Those Calling For Zimmer’s Job, & Minnesota’s Most Exciting Player
Matt Falk On The 2017 NFL Draft, Adam Thielen, & Fixing The O-Line
Joe Johnson On Nick Swardson, The Defense, & Roster Upgrades
Nik Edlund On Kalil’s Injury Impact, A Possible Vikings Draft Target, & The Play Of The Year
Matthew Coller On Norv Turner, Cordarrelle Patterson, And Vikings Craziness

Okay, here’s where we find out what Mark Craig has to say…

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Vikings Make Pat Shurmur Permanent Offensive Coordinator
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings removed Pat Shurmur’s interim tag, making him the team’s permanent offensive coordinator, as first reported by ESPN’s Ben Goessling.  Shurmur assumed interim duties following Norv Turner’s sudden resignation on November 2 and held the position for Minnesota’s final nine games.

During his annual season-ending press conference, head coach Mike Zimmer would not reveal Shurmur’s future with the team, but did praise his work under such unfortunate circumstances.

“I do think that Pat did a very, very good job, especially under the circumstances that he was put in. I think, offensively, we improved a lot in the passing game. You can look at the statistics from when he started going and things that we’ve done after that. I think he had a great relationship with Sam [Bradford]. I think the offensive players respect him and we’ll just figure all those things out.”

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.  

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We Weren't Supposed to Feel this Way
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Who else is having the Christmas Blues? You know, that feeling the day after December 25th, after we’ve unwrapped the presents, bid adieu to our families, and finished off the last of the homemade cookies — we’ve all experienced it throughout the years.

Even at 24, the end of the holiday season makes me a little sentimental. As soon as Thanksgiving’s over, we’re confronted with the Christmas rush. You spend an entire month planning, buying, cooking, and baking, all for the climax that is Christmas Day. And once it’s over, it’s simply…over. You’re left with the clean up, the transition back into the office, the harsh reality that is the return to the everyday routine.

In some ways, the Minnesota Vikings prepared us for this very feeling through the 2016 season. For me, at least, there are too many parallels to ignore: the exciting 5-0 start, the sudden crash to third in the NFC North, and the ultimate crescendo — elimination from the playoffs at the hand of the Green Bay Packers.

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Minnesota Vikings - PFF

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are indeed in the hunt for some good will after falling to 5-3 after a promising five-game win streak to begin the 2016 campaign. To make some sense of the mess, I brought in Dr. Eric Eager, Pro Football Focus contributor, to talk a little Purple and explain to me the method behind the PFF madness. Should people treat their grades as gospel? (No.) And what is the best way for the average jackass fan (like Andy) to incorporate PFF’s content to enrich their viewing experience and make them a better fan.

We also dove into general Vikings topics: Why does it appear that Anthony Barr is struggling? What makes Terence Newman so valuable this season? Was Norv really the only problem on the offense? #TeamTeddy or #TeamBradford going forward? And some Blair Walsh derpiness. Plus Eric shares memories of squaring off against THE Winona State University’s Chris Samp (aka Jeff Janis before Jeff Janis.)

All that and more “Do You Like Apples?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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