Type to search

Things Are Becoming Unhinged in Vikingsland

A shocking story came out of Minnesota on Wednesday, just four days before the Vikings play an important NFC North game against the Detroit Lions. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner abruptly resigned. While it’s too soon for all the dirt to emerge – sudden midseason departures are never clean and pretty – it’s not too soon to speculate on how Turner’s departure might affect the team, which has looked bad in losing two straight games after winning its first five. Bad news for the Vikings is good news for the Green Bay Packers.

Exit Norv Turner

The Vikings just lost a highly-respected coach, and one with 32 years of coaching experience in the NFL – that’s even longer (by one year) than Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers has been in the league. He’s been a head coach for 15 of those years, and he has Super Bowl rings as a coordinator from 1992 and 1993 with the Cowboys.

Turner has been the offensive coordinator for the Vikings, Cowboys, Chargers, Dolphins, 49ers, and Browns. In just the last 10 years, Turner-led offenses have produced the league’s leading rusher five times. Under Turner’s systems, running backs have rush for 1,000-plus yards 15 times and he’s also boasted 1,000-plus yard receivers 15 times. In 10 of those years, Turner’s offenses have had a 1,000-plus-yard rusher and receiver in the same season.

In 2015, he helped the Vikings defeat the Packers at Lambeau, and supplant them as the NFC North division champs. In addition to developing second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, he helped receiver Stefon Diggs become the first Vikings rookie to ever lead the team in catches.

This year, Turner overcame the early losses of running back Adrian Peterson and Bridgewater. He also aided new quarterback Sam Bradford, who came over from the Eagles on the eve of the season, in immediately winning games – including besting the Packers on September 18 after only a handful of days with the team.

You get the idea – one of the NFL’s top offensive minds just bailed out on the Packers’ most hated rival.

The announcement is also awkward in that Turner’s son Scott serves on the Vikings’ coaching staff working with the quarterbacks.

Further thrusting the Vikings into turmoil, Turner, in addition to being the offensive coordinator, called the plays for the Vikings offense.

Enter Pat Shurmur

Tight ends coach Pat Shurmur takes Turner’s place, at least on an interim basis. Shurmur’s offensive philosophy is said to be in stark contrast to Turner’s, although he’s said he isn’t going to change much. Shurmur typically favors quick passes and simplified decision-making for his quarterbacks, as opposed to Turner’s vertical offense. And Shurmur will be taking over as the team’s offensive playcaller.

Pat Shurmur has only been with the Vikings since January – but he too has a strong background as an NFL coach. He got his start in 1999 as a tight end and offensive line coach with the Eagles, then went to the Rams, Browns (head coach in 2011-12), back to the Eagles, and finally to the Vikings.

A head coach in Cleveland, Shurmur was the offensive coordinator with the Eagles from 2013-15. Bradford joined that team in his final year there. Shurmur was also offensive coordinator for the Rams back in 2010, when they selected Bradford as the top overall draft choice.

Some Packers fans might be aware that Shurmur is the nephew of longtime NFL coach and former Green Bay defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur. Fritz coached on five NFL teams over 23 years. His crowning moment came when, late in his career, he was a coach with the 1996 Super-Bowl-winning Packers squad.

Mike Zimmer’s Outsized Personality

I haven’t wasted my time following the career of the current head coach of the Vikings. I did notice, however, that after his team’s first loss of the year to the Eagles on October 23, during the press conference the day following the game he was still upset and irritated. He expressed his profound displeasure throughout, and repeatedly called his team’s performance “dumb” and “uncharacteristic.” He added, almost prophetically, “This is a gut check day… We’re going to change some things up this week.”

The gut check apparently was a disappointment, as the team played even worse last Monday night in its loss to the lowly Bears. At the tense post-game presser, Zimmer gave a three-minute demonstration of curtness and negativity. Turner’s resignation took place after the team’s next practice.

Zimmer has always displayed anger management issues, but he seems to be getting worse. A bit of Googling reveals that even when he was a defensive coordinator for the Bengals in 2013, someone gave this description: “Here’s something we can confirm about Mike Zimmer. He’s a $%$%^$^&$#$#$#@#@$ and ALL CAPS kind of guy. Mike Zimmer is LOUD and SWEARY and CURSEY!” The web site included a link to the video clip, but the NFL has since had it removed.

If the Vikings lose a third straight game to the Lions on Sunday, there’s no telling how Zimmer will react.

Why Did Norv Turner Resign So Suddenly?

When Zimmer announced Turner’s resignation on Wednesday, he said he was “very surprised,” and he described Turner as his good friend and “right-hand man.” He indicated the reasons Turner gave him were personal and that he won’t go into it any further. I don’t see where anyone in the media has yet to provide a good explanation for Turner’s decision.

Until a better reason for the shocking departure comes along, I think it’s a good guess that Turner simply had his fill of Zimmer’s anger and drama.

We’ll find out over the next few weeks how big of a setback Turner’s loss is to the Vikings, and to the team’s quite-sudden rise toward the top of the NFC.

Thinking beyond the Vikings’ immediate crisis, I have to wonder whether Mike Zimmer, has the right personality for motivating his players and for producing quality teams that will annually challenge the Packers for the next decade or so. I now have to doubt that scenario, in part because Zimmer is already (and surprisingly) 60 years old, and at the rate he’s going he won’t make it to 70. Though he’s shown some ability as a head coach, I think the guy’s going to burn out in a hurry.

What do you think, Killer?

Tags:
Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.

    1

33 Comments

  1. Howard November 4, 2016

    One thing for sure the Vikings will probably run several offensive plays in the coming weeks that do not fit their current tendencies. The lions should be prepared for some unscouted looks. The problem for the Vikings is there is nothing that can correct the offensive line problem. I would guess the conflict with Turner and Zimmer was Zimmer wanted more runs and shorter pass routes. Turner is more of a 10 yard and deeper pass offense with as many receiver out as possible. That offensive line cannot hold up to a defense knowing it is an obvious long pass down and no added pass pro. from TEs or RBs.

    1. icebowl November 4, 2016

      Always been amazed by the uncanny resemblance of Dandy Don with one of my childhood heroes…

      https://goo.gl/images/dZvLNq

  2. Killer November 4, 2016

    Well, Rob, I think you are waaaaaaaaay off base.

    As a Vikings fan obviously I spend a lot more time on them and know them much better than do you so some of your ignorance is to be expected and, of course, some of the wishful and hateful thinking of the Packer fans is bound to rub off on you.

    Without further ado, let us correct the assorted wrongs in your article or further illuminate the matter.

    NORV TURNER
    … was fired. He did not quit. After Zimmer’s eye surgery he spent all night at headquarters and reviewed film. He then met Norv at 6:30 in the morning and terminated him. As you are familiar high ranking individuals are often terminated but assigned as having “resigned”. There is plenty of proof of the termination but the only one you need as proof is Zimmer’s reaction when he was D coordinator one year with the Falcons and the Head Coach resigned before the end of the season. He called him a motherf*cker — to the news. Live. A coward for abandoning the team. Now, flash forward to Wednesday. He said great things about Norv and even choked up and nearly started crying. No resentment. Because Norv did not actually resign. He was terminated and Zimmer felt bad he had to do it.

    “Bad news for the Vikings is good news for the Green Bay Packers”=
    … ERGO, good news for the Vikings is bad news for the Packer. This move is GOOD news. Norv had the offense at #31 overall. Now, obviously, we lost Teddy, we have a new QB, we lost AP, and we lost our LT and out RT (who replaced our other RT we lost). However, Norv has not done well in his two previous seasons with the Vikes either. And, even with the losses, better than #31 is quite possible. Who else has an experienced QB, no top RB, and a poor O-line? That’s right, Detroit. They rank #21 on offense so that was our ceiling perhaps this year. Norv was not cutting it. This move is NOT bad news. It is GOOD news. As I’ve said elsewhere this move’s result would be either we stay at #31, drop to #32 — of no consequence, or we improve. Improvement is by far the most likely outcome. Improvement is GOOD. So this is GOOD news. Not bad news. Ergo, bad news for the Packer.

    Mike Zimmer’s “outsized” personality
    Zimmer is bigger than life in many ways but he is no spotlight hog. His players absolutely adore him. MM’s players dislike him. The ones that like him the most dislike him. Others don’t like him enough to dislike him. MM’s ego is such that the slightest criticism from a pro bowl player on a relatively cheap contract gets them waived in a hostile fashion just before the start of the season (see Sitton, Josh).

    As per Zimmer’s reaction after the loss all I can say is: Well, of course. He should be irritated and upset. Good! And he was right, it is uncharacteristic of the team. That is how an HC should feel. You call it anger management issues, I call it an appropriate reaction. I guess he cares more about winning and losing than what you are used to from Packer coaches and players…..

    Yes, Zimmer swears. The players love him for it. If you condemn him for swearing you are condemning the vast majority of the Packer fans who frequent this site.

    In that section you also have an incorrect fact that Norv resigned after the team’s next practice. As already stated, he was terminated and also it was done before the practice, not after. I expect stilted deformed opinions from Packer writers but at least get the basic facts correct before you go off on tangents.

    Your theory as to why Norv resigned is worthless since there was no resignation at all. Your opinion that Zimmer is unable to motivate players is ridiculous. You cannot site a single current or former player as feeling that way while I could quote a dozen that would say the exact opposite. If he is unable to motivate players yet has the #2 defense and is 5-2 despite losing his QB and franchise player and both tackles, if true, then by logical extension it would mean that MM has an extremely negative anti-motivational effect on his players. Actually that second one might be true.

    You then put your own observation and logic at odds — you say it is surprising Zimmer is 60 apparently because he has aged so well and then engage in schadenfreude that he may not make it to 70. That is illogical and then reprehensible.

    1. PF4L November 4, 2016

      OK…I made it as far as, where killer states that Zimmer met Norv at 6:30 am and fired him. That’s pretty informative detailed knowledge. That killer seems to possess.

      So….I’m sure killer would have no problem revealing that source of detailed knowledge. Because i’m pretty sure killer wouldn’t make that up, would you killer?

      1. PF4L November 4, 2016

        And..while killers thinking of a response. Lets assume playfully for a minute that killer can show his source to be credible and that Zimmer did in fact fire Turner. Wouldn’t that prove Mike Zimmer to be nothing more than a scumbag liar? After stating he was very very surprised Turner quit.

        1. Killer November 4, 2016

          Piffle, you are right again that I would never make anything up. Hopefully the site won’t block this post due to the inclusion of this web address:

          http://www.startribune.com/circumstances-show-vikings-pushed-out-norv-turner-in-favor-of-pat-shurmur/399757541/

          For those too busy or too lazy it includes a descriptive timeline of events and some of the reasons to conclude Norv was terminated.

          So, yeah, Piffle it may surprise you that facts can be learned via something called a “newspaper”.

          Then you go on to confuse honor with “scumbag liar”. A man without honor or looking for a scapegoat would have simply stated he terminated Norv. Zimmer respects Norv and wishes him the best but had to make the move in the best interests of the team. He did not want to but it was the right thing to do. So then it is a matter of how to cause the least embarrassment and career harm to Norv. How? Say he resigned and he was very very surprised. These can both be technically quite true. Many workplaces offer the opportunity to resign or you will be terminated. Also, Zimmer can be honestly surprised it has come to this. After all he obviously never thought he would need to terminate Norv in the middle of the season when he hired him.

          This is just so classic piffling Piffle to label honorable mercy as being a “scumbag liar”.

          PS 11 of 12 teams that make the playoffs have something go wrong. Happened to both our teams last year… after the Vikes beat the Packers at Green Bay and won the division. If I knew the Vikes would win the next ten Super Bowls I would not watch them — uncertainty is the delicious sauce of life. I freely admit I do not know if the Vikes will win the Super Bowl this year. Can you admit the same about the Packers?

          We could place bets. I’d bet we’ll win the division and will make it further in the playoffs than will the Packers. The problem is that if I lost I’d pay up whereas you, lacking any honor, would not.

          1. PF4L November 4, 2016

            lol…Such a moron. Those aren’t “Facts” you moron, it’s someone’s opinion of what might have happened. The assumption of circumstance is not fact.

            Nowhere in that article does it factually say he was fired, it was brought up as an opinion of circumstance regarding the hiring of Shurmur.

            But what do you do? You treat is as fact, like you have someone special knowledge to try to look superior. when in fact, you’ve done what you’ve always done in fabulous fashion. You made yourself look like a moron, yet again.

    2. icebowl November 4, 2016
      1. PF4L November 4, 2016

        I don’t know him. But Norv turner always came off as a class act to me. which may explain why he left the vikings.

        1. icebowl November 4, 2016

          Agreed….
          As stated before, he’d be great OC for Packers…

  3. PF4L November 4, 2016

    PF4L
    10/13/2016 at 1:02 pm

    Of course his pain isn’t over. He’ll still have to deal with the suffering of his undefeated football team, becoming a big failure before, or when the playoffs begin, because something will go wrong. because….something always goes wrong.

  4. NachoDan November 4, 2016

    I’m sure this is all dildo related.

  5. MMK November 4, 2016

    This is a GOOD THING, he says. Haha. Vikings fans live in such a world of delusion. Getting rid of the guy with the super bowl rings in the middle of the season is a sign of wonderful things to come. Just ask the novel writing Vikings fan. I don’t think it’s Norv Turner’s fault you have a bunch of junior high kids playing on the O-line. And since when was “we don’t have our starting QB or RB” your excuse? AP sucked when he was in and you all acted like Bradford was the second coming when you were winning. Pfffft.

  6. MMK November 4, 2016

    “I freely admit I do not know if the Vikings will win the super bowl this year” wow what a bold fuckin take hahaha

  7. Robster November 4, 2016

    On Friday, SB Nation’s Ryan Van Bibber reported:
    “Turner said it was the ‘hardest decision’ he’s ever made. He was also resolved that it had to be done in order to make the Vikings offense work like it needs to work for them to get through the rest of the season and live up to the kind of expectations they set with the Sam Bradford trade and a 5-0 start.”

    1. icebowl November 4, 2016

      Thanks for fact checking Rob, i too spotted this and was going to post.

      http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2016/11/3/13508118/vikings-norv-turner-resigned-reasons-why-offense?yptr=yahoo

      Shoulda read this before wading through all of Killers shit..

      1. PF4L November 4, 2016

        Never wade through killers novels. Read the 1st and last sentences, and you can pretty much guess all the bullshit he writes in the middle.

    2. Killer November 4, 2016

      Only Norv and Zimmer were at that meeting. They both tell the story it was a resignation. And, technically, I am sure that is true — his hard decision was whether to resign as requested and face the label of quitter or be terminated and go through that embarrassment.

      If you blindly believe what you are told in public settings you will swallow a lot of false facts. You need to use logic. He resigned but was forced to resign (ergo termination).
      *Norv has no history of quitting midway. Or… at all. Ever.
      *Norv’s performance called for a termination. A termination was logical and appropriate. He had the #31 offense, 2 previous years of poor rankings, kept running long patterns and deep drop backs even with replacement OTs, would not hurry up the offense even when far behind the Bears with time running down, etc.
      *Zimmer is a “fixer”. He does not stay the course when things are broken. He fixes them.
      *Zimmer just had surgery. The day after do you really think Norv would go quit? You must think very little of Norv if you think that.
      *By various accounts of players Norv was acting completely normal the day before.
      *Zimmer came in and spent the night reviewing game film. All night. Then, just by chance, the OC quits first thing in the morning. Quits Zimmer who has one eye newly surgically repaired? Give me a break.
      *All agree Norv has no health issue. He has little or no prospect of getting a job before next season. If he quit he left millions on the table. So you must also think he is a fool.
      *Zimmer is loved by players and coaches and has never had a coach quit on him. He speaks blunt truths but not in a hostile manner that would cause unexpected resignations. There is no supporting history.
      *Zimmer hates quitters and has a history of speaking out against them. Loudly and profanely and publicly. Yet after the resignation he says lots of nice things about Norv and goes out of his way to point out Norv was not retiring or leaving football. This reaction alone tells you it was a termination (forced resignation).
      *Quitting mid season would possibly put his own son (the QB coach) in a bad situation. So you must think Turner is also a terrible father.

      It is amazing to me that you offer a quote that does not rule out a forced resignation at all as proof it was a voluntary resignation. Incredible. Rob, you also had your opportunity to correct your misstatement on the timing of the Norv “resignation” but you neglected to do so. People make mistakes. Journalists are people. I don’t expect mistake free, but you should man up and correct your error once you are made aware.

      Very simply, a claim of resignation is meaningless. Very simply, logic virtually dictates this was a termination / forced resignation. Rejecting logic is Packer typical but it would then mean Norv is a quitter, has no honor, and is a traitor to his own son. Yet you think the Vikings are worse off without him?

      As usual, we see selective use of “facts”. You embrace that since there was a “hardest decision” that it was a self-motivated out of the blue resignation. Yet you conclude this is bad news for the Vikings even though Norv states he did it for the good of the Vikings offense. Which is #31 in the league right now. You choose to believe Norv that it was a voluntary resignation (even though he does not say that!!!!!) and then choose to not believe it was for the good of the Vikings which he literally states.

      Hey, if the Vikings end up at #32 in the league offensively then it will turn out you are right. Anything else and you are wrong about this being bad news for the Vikings.

      Shurmer was brought in to be the coordinator in 2017. Poor performance and inflexibility by Turner moved up the timetable. Shurmer’s offensive style is better suited to our poor o-line and our quick-thinking smart QB.

      PS Sorry for the length of this post and others like it. I know many of the fans on this site were raised in the Wisconsin school system and will be unable to read such a long message let alone comprehend it. However, I hear there are Packer fans in other states who may be able to.

      1. icebowl November 4, 2016

        K. Didn’t make it through your version of War and Peace…
        The parts i read made me think your only friend calls you The Little Purple Donald….
        I assume somewhere buried in your rant was how the press is against the Queens and PF4L treats you unfairly….

        1. Killer November 5, 2016

          The only way I could be more opposite (or more in opposition) to the Donald would be if I were Hilary.

          Press is fine for the Vikings. Piffle treats everyone like he is a nasty lonely midget jealous of all the have in comparison to him. Since he treats everyone that way — and probably can’t even help himself — I don’t view it as unfair. In fact, I find him amusing. I think he would make a good court jester.

          1. PF4L November 5, 2016

            When your not too busy fabricating fiction into truths of fact. Please take the time and post in coherent english.

            Thank you for understanding.

      2. PF4L November 4, 2016

        Killer, we get your point, without it being a novel.

        Next time simply write…”As you all know i’m a viking fan, and a moron”.

        That is the exact same message of your post above, but in a more efficient and far less painful manner.

        You’re welcome.

      3. icebowl November 4, 2016

        “…. fans on this site were raised in the Wisconsin school system and will be unable to read such a long message let alone comprehend it. ”

        You know K. I grew up respecting the Vikings as hard fighting, tough adversaries of the Packers. They had Class players like Fran Tarkenton, Jim Marshall, Alan Paige and Mick Tinglehoff (love thed name) and they played OUTDOORS until 1981…

        A number of my best friends were die-hard Vikings fans.

        It’s obnoxious morons like you that make it easy to dislike this team…

        1. Killer November 5, 2016

          The crack on the Wisconsin school system is a bit of a low blow I do admit. There have been a few attacking the length of the messages and how they struggle with them so it seemed appropriate. But they could be Packer fans from Georgia or whatever. They don’t really source themselves.

          I know I am always outnumbered on this site (of course) and that is OK as I love being the underdog. But here we have Rob Born assuming a supposed resignation is an actual resignation when all indicators point to just the opposite, then extrapolating that this is all “unhinged” when he shows ignorance of basic facts, then twists things around that this is bad news for the Vikings to lose their #31 ranked offensive coordinator, engages in schadenfreude that this is thus good news for the Packers, and then speculates on personality flaws and even lifespan. It is ridiculous and needed an opposing voice. In fact, Rob even asked for my input.

          Although my comment on the Wisconsin school system is a low blow look across the posts. You don’t see me calling anyone a moron, or that I engaged in sexual acts with their relatives, or being crudely abusive as you see in the posts attacking me. You know, if a guy was attacked in the street by a gang of five or six I think I’d forgive him and understand if he delivered a low blow or two while trying to defend.

          That being said I’ll try to target the individual bullies in the future or include disclaimers like *not all Packer fans are that way.

          1. PF4L November 5, 2016

            Killer goes on to say..”blah blah blah i’m a victim here”…”blah blah blah…….”

            You chastise Rob for making assumptions. When you yourself, take your assumptions, or worse yet, other peoples assumptions. Then try to pass it off as true fact. That is why, you are called a moron. because you’ve earned it.

            Though i will stick up for you regarding comments of sexual act’s with your mother. What you and your family do in the privacy of your own trailer home is nobody’s business. End of story

  8. Empacador November 4, 2016

    Jesus H. Christ, it is bad enough that Killer hangs out here as it is. Now writers are inviting that asshole to reply to articles with the same patented smarmy, condescending tone possessed by all Viking fans? Da fuq is wrong with you??

    1. Empacador November 4, 2016

      This just in, Datone Jones was fined $36 grand for hits on Matt Ryan. Maybe you could have Killer guest comment on that so he could squeeze in a couple more “Derp derp, Clay Matthews, derp derp derp PEDS” accusations based on, you know, zero actual facts.

      1. Killer November 5, 2016

        I’m glad you brought this up, Empacador. Although I have not reviewed the Datone Jones hits and do not know anything about whether eh uses PEDs you do give me an opportunity to make a couple points.

        This site is highly selective in its reporting. No article on the Datone Jones fine. No article on the Clay Matthews fine a couple weeks ago. You guys only get filtered Packer news here.

        Speaking (writing) of Clay Matthews I was actually looking for an article on his fine a couple weeks ago in order to point out what a poor sport he is. For instance, last year when the Packers lost to the Vikings, our RG Mike Harris (one of the 5 starting offensive linemen the Vikes lost this season) made a brilliant block on Matthews. He literally drove Matthews ten yards downfield, no holding, nothing illegal, just an undrafted lineman destroying Matthews on that one play. At the end of the block Harris lost his balance and fell to the ground and then sat up, still on the ground, facing away form Matthews.

        Did Matthews walk away to fight again the next play?
        Did Matthews offer him a hand up?

        No, he literally punched Harris in the back of the helmet.

        So, the mystery is this:
        Is Matthews just a naturally poor sport or was he “unhinged” due to PED usage?

        Rob Born is an expert on “unhinged” so I am sure he will do a thorough and accurate investigation.

        1. Killer November 5, 2016

          In case you doubted the Harris destruction of Matthews, here you go:

          https://vine.co/v/ibEXZpnJFYA

          This clip does not show how Matthews punched him in the back of the head as he sat on the ground though.

          Guys who stop using PEDs, because they have built up muscle mass beyond what their body is designed for, often have hamstring issues………

    2. Howard November 4, 2016

      True, however I have been seeing a lot less purple jersheys at the local sports bar in the last one and a half games. Purple disappears quick when a play, series, or game goes bad. Purple must only be for fair weather. Green and gold survives any type of weather.

  9. PF4L November 5, 2016

    A viking fan, that isn’t drinking the grape kool-aid.

    Bill Cenne • 5 days ago
    Vikes lost two in a row to crappy teams and are dead last in the league in offense. They belong in the bottom quarter of the power rankings. Things seem to be reverting to the norm.

    Here i thought every viking fan was a moron.

    My bad.

  10. icebowl November 5, 2016

    To my point – Killer is not the poster child for Vikings fans…
    What fan from any other team trolls this site, attacking Wisconsonites and then whining about being treated unkindly..

    Let me recommend a solution Killer, don’t waste out time trolling this site.

    1. PF4L November 5, 2016

      It’s his decision to come in here, talk stupid, then get treated like the little bitch he is. But you’re right, he’s the arsonist, crying fire.