Norv Turner wasn’t going to be pushed, if he hadn’t jumped.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, meeting with reporters on Wednesday, said he was “very, very surprised” by the decision of Turner to resign. Zimmer said that the decision was made solely by Turner.
“Norv is a very, very good friend of mine,” Zimmer said. “He’s helped me tremendously in the three years that I’ve been here. He’s had an unbelievable career. He’s been my right hand man since I’ve been here.”
There were no disputes or disagreements, Zimmer said, regarding the offense.
Zimmer said that he believes Turner is “OK” from a health perspective, but Zimmer wasn’t unequivocal on that point.
“I don’t know, you’d have to ask him,” Zimmer said. “He didn’t tell me he was ill.”
Zimmer also said it wasn’t a retirement but a resignation, which implies Turner will surface somewhere else.
Moving forward, Zimmer indicated that Pat Shurmur likely will have the same autonomy that Turner had when running the offense, calling it “almost 100-percent total free will in everything they’ve done offensively.”
This year, especially lately, the offense hasn’t done much. It will now be up to Shurmur to do more.
For Zimmer, it’s clearly an emotional juncture of the season. His voice broke near the end of the press conference when discussing his relationship with Turner.