UPDATED: Norv Turner resigns, Shurmur promoted to offensive coordinator
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner resigned two days after a stunning loss to the Chicago Bears. Tight ends coach Pat Shurmur will assume the duties as interim offensive coordinator effective immediately, the team announced Wedne...
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner resigned two days after a stunning loss to the Chicago Bears.
Tight ends coach Pat Shurmur will assume the duties as interim offensive coordinator effective immediately, the team announced Wednesday.
Turner, who was in his third season running Minnesota's offense, surprised head coach Mike Zimmer with his resignation.
"I have tremendous respect for Mike Zimmer, our coaching staff, and our players and at this time I think it is in the best interest of the team to step down," Turner said in a statement. "I thank the Wilf family for my time here in Minnesota and want to see our players and coaches achieve success."
Turner later told ESPN's Ed Werder, "I think it's just we have different views on where the offense was going."
The Vikings showed almost no signs of life in Monday night's 20-10 loss at Soldier Field against the Bears, who sacked Sam Bradford five times while handing NFC North-leading Minnesota its second straight loss after starting the season 5-0.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday morning, Zimmer said Turner's job status was not in jeopardy and that he was "very, very surprised" when Turner came into his office at 6:30 Wednesday morning to notified him that he was resigning.
"There was no thought of making any kind of change," said Zimmer, who also announced he underwent a minor surgical procedure Tuesday to repair a torn retina. "I wasn't going to make a change. I had no indication that this was going on.
"He decided it was in his best interest to do this and I accept the reasons, and they are personal, and I won't get into the reasons of why he did. We talked about a lot of things and I told him about how much respect I have for him. ... I think Norv is a great coach, a great teacher, a great person. ... I would say since Norv has been here I've given him almost 100 percent total free will."
Zimmer paused and broke down at the end of his press conference, calling Turner a "very good friend of mine."
The Vikings are 31st in total offense and 31st in yards per game at 293.3 this season. The Vikings' 11 offensive touchdowns are second-fewest in the NFL.
Turner, 64, is in his 27th season as an NFL coach. He joined the Vikings in 2014 after serving as offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns for one season. He spent six seasons as head coach of the San Diego Chargers (2007-2012).
Turner's son, Scott Turner, will remain as the quarterbacks coach, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
Shurmur has been Bradford's offensive coordinator twice before -- in St. Louis in 2010 and in Philadelphia in 2015.
Bradford was surprised by Turner's decision.
"I obviously didn't see this coming," Bradford said Wednesday. "I was in here yesterday talking to him and didn't think anything was different. My wife actually called me, she got an alert on her phone. I was pulling into work and found out."
The Vikings host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
The Vikings are the fourth NFL team to change offensive coordinators since the start of the season, joining Buffalo, Baltimore and Jacksonville.