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Vikings Surprisingly Name Pat Shurmur TE Coach

An NFL coaching staff is a lot like a dinner table. Mike Zimmer’s at the head seat for the Minnesota Vikings, surrounded by a number of coaches who used to sit in his very position.

There’s offensive coordinator Norv Turner, former head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Next to him is offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who once buried a football as interim head coach of the Oakland Raiders. And now, former Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur’s pulled a chair up to the table. As announced on the team’s official website Monday, Shurmur was named the Vikings’ tight ends coach.

With Shurmur joining the staff to coach Kyle Rudolph and Co., former tight ends coach Kevin Stefanski will replace Kirby Wilson as the team’s running backs coach. The Vikings originally interviewed Shurmur on Friday and spent the weekend keeping their decision under wraps. ESPN’s Ben Goessling reported Saturday that the team had hired Shurmur, but hadn’t released details of his position on Zimmer’s staff.

Speculation stirred as fans waited for the official announcement. After a season that saw Norv Turner’s offense finish as a bottom-five passing unit, many wondered whether Shurmur was hired as a surprise replacement at offensive coordinator. With three former head coaches on the staff — Turner, Sparano, and Shurmur — the Vikings could have split offensive power equally. Turner could’ve retained play-calling power, while Sparano and Shurmur may have been in charge of the running and passing schemes, respectively.

That wasn’t the case, and it looks as though Turner will get another shot in Minnesota. His contract expires in 2016, making Shurmur a possible replacement after next season.  At the moment, there isn’t any rush, as Shurmur is an experienced tight ends coach. According to Lindsey Young, he held the same position in Philadelphia from 1999 to 2001 and coached the tight ends, special teams and offensive line for Michigan State from 1990 to 1997.

With Shurmur calling the offensive plays in Philadelphia during the 2014 season, the Eagles’ offense set team records in touchdowns (54), completions (390), gross passing yards (4,581), 300-yard passing games (eight) and first downs (356).

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. Please let Pat help call the plays and/or work with Teddy. The Turners were less than impressive in their second year with the team.

    1. Big Turner fan, BUT, I will 100% agree with Andrew. Not sure what happened with the 2015 season…….some of the plays called, and, when they were called, left me scratching my head, at times cursing the TV, and swinging at ghosts. I really hope for better production in 2016, and would hate to have to count on Pat. Not that he isn’t qualified, but, “making Shurmur a possible replacement after next season” isn’t the reassurance I was looking for. I feel like I missed the boat this year, we should still be out there……if this happens again next year, we won’t miss the boat, the ship will have sailed. Frustrating…..and yet hopeful at the same time. All part of the fandom I guess.