One day later, no one is talking about why Norv quit

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The decision of Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner to resign his job with the Vikings was as shocking as it is mysterious. More than a day later, it’s still not clear why Norv walked away.

No one is talking. No one. Those who are in a position to know aren’t saying a word.

It’s no surprise. Norv has no reason to stir the pot; his son, Scott, still serves as the quarterback’s coach. The Vikings have their hands full, as they scramble to adjust to the departure of Norv and the elevation of Pat Shurmur — a process akin to changing the tire of a moving car.

Appearing on KFAN after Wednesday’s basic, nuts-and-bolts press conference, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said a few things that suggest that something was amiss.

Explaining his muted reaction to an ugly Monday night loss in Chicago, Zimmer told Dan Barreiro this, via Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “It’s a long season and you’re going to have ups and downs. Even when I won a Super Bowl in Dallas there were so many ups and downs. . . . I didn’t feel like me going in and tearing everyone’s heads off was the right thing to do. Plus there may have been some other factors.”

Press on those “other factors,” Zimmer said, “I’ll keep those to myself.” He also added that he “shouldn’t have said it.”

And so the whyhedunit continues, with all sides committed to secrecy and no one able to get to the truth. In many ways, it doesn’t matter; the Vikings have to move forward without Norv regardless of why he left.

In other ways, it matters plenty. Understanding why Norv walked away will help predict whether similar problems will arise as a 5-2 team that suddenly feels like it’s worse than 2-5 can turn things around with upcoming games against the Lions, Washington, the Cardinals, the Lions again, and the Cowboys.

59 responses to “One day later, no one is talking about why Norv quit

  1. Its pretty simple to assume Norv and Shurmur had differences of opinion on how to run the offense and Shurmur’s ideas were gaining traction while Norv put together 2 gameplans that netted 10 points each. I dont think Norv was forced out or anything, but he must have seen that people were losing faith in him and Pat wants to run the show, so might as just shorten the divorce and get out.

  2. Just a SLIGHT difference coaching Aikman, Smith and Irvin as opposed to Bradford, Asiata and Treadwell.

  3. Man, he had a job where he got to see his son at work everyday, and I assume live near, and still quit. Must have been bad.

  4. Maybe rather than giving up his play calling duties to Shurmur and remain as offensive coordinator he resigned.

    I’ll miss the old nfl stories from the lap of uncle norv on kfan.

  5. Zim told Norv that his game plans and play calling were going to get Bradford killed so he needed to go back to what they were doing when Shurmur was contributing more to the offense. It’s obvious that Shurmur had a much bigger role in games 2-5 while Bradford was getting acclimated to a new system. I’m sure Norv realized it didn’t make sense for him to change his system to Shurmur’s system, so he just got out of the way like the gentleman he is.

  6. Someone had to be the fall guy for the loss to the Bears, and Turner was it.

    The Billdos got a 2 game bump after they fired their OC, and the Vikings are hoping for the same sort of magic.

  7. The new Super Bowl or bust Vikings. Don’t they know they would just lose to the Patriots anyway?

  8. Obviously more is known than is being said but the only one we can be sure fully knows to a certainty why he left is Turner. It’s hard to believe a lifer like him that survived working for Snyder, Al Davis, Spanos and Jerry Jones and under John Robertson and Jimmie Johnson could have had any insurmountable issues on a staff run by a bolted down guy like Zimmer.

  9. I’ve been a Vike fan for over 40 years, and have been thoroughly un-impressed with everything Norv stands for as an OC, so for me it’s good riddance. It’s been my opinion that a high school coach could’ve put up at least 3 td’s in the playoff loss to Seattle. Norv insisted on running AP on 1st & 2nd downs, regardless of success, then “allowing” Teddy to try to bail out the offense on 3rd & longs. That theme has continued for the start of it’s 3rd year, and the pizz poor scheme again cost this team at least the Eagles win. Knowing you don’t have the o line to continuely demand the qb to take 5-7 step drops, is amateurish. Welcome to an OC in Shurmer; who has a successful scheme from this century behind his name. If we utilize the plethora of weapons we’ve had all along, as well as putting our 1st round wr on the field, a mismatch for most db’s, there’s no logical reason this offense shouldn’t average well over 20 points per game regardless of opponent.

  10. If Mike Zimmer, who I and many do believe to be a pretty good coach, can chew out his players the way he did after the London game, one could only imagine the manner Turner was addressed afterwards. Best guess is Zimmer’s defensive and overall coaching style didn’t synchronize well with Norv’s offensive approach in addition to Norv getting older just by watching that lack of depth Minnesota’s current offensive line contains. Vikings fans, don’t think this will solve most of your problems because it wasn’t as if Turner was trying his full, deep-ball offensive approach against the Bears. Bradford had 2 to 3 lineman within feet of him merely seconds after each ball was snapped.

  11. I do not want to see my running back running directly into the back of our offensive line on every first down. Nor do I want to see our QB decapitated 7 times a game.


    Dave Caldwell

  12. I would not be shocked if we find some footprints that lead us straight to the Spielman/Wilf offices located at 401 Chicago Avenue with regards to this whole situation. That’s a pretty, shiny new stadium…

  13. I have no facts but I’ll take a guess. First of all, Norv Turner is a really good man. I know that Shurmer worked with Bradford and was instrumental in bringing him to Minnesota. When things didn’t go well I’m guessing Shurmer went to Zimmer with suggestions, and Zimmer relayed these suggestions to Norv. Norv probably just said let me get out of the way. It’s not his first rodeo, but he also understands the business. Dick Vermeil kind of got pushed aside for Mike Martz. George Seifert kind of got pushed aside for Steve Mariucci.

  14. .
    Who wants to be offensive coordinator of a team whose offensive line is decimated by injuries. There’s no future there.

  15. The timing of it is really weird, this could have been done during the bye week, the ONLY way his timing could have been worse would be if he did it on a Monday with the Thursday game coming up.

    Instead he leaves his team hanging on a short week, and maybe he didn’t have as much input on the offense as he wanted, but this is one of those too many cooks scenario.

    I do find it Ironic how everyone is bashing Norv, the first year he did VERY good with a Rookie QB, and everyone was like well Wait til AP gets back from the exemption list. Well then AP came back and it felt like he had to do do what the “sueprstar” wanted because he would cry if he didn’t get his way, and now he is without both Theo and AP.

    There are a LOT of problems on the offensive side of the ball, Norv Turner or not, Bradford is STILL the QB, the Oline still can’t block, and I would argue that Treadwell is the most disappointing 1st round pick, you may argue Goff but only one QB can play at a time, and Treadwell is halfway through his 1st season, and he hasn’t even been allowed to suit up for half the games, and has 0 catches.

    I think if anyone should have left it should have been the Oline coach.

  16. Norv and Teddy were a really good match… Norv and Bradford, not so much. Norv is collateral damage from losing Teddy but he’ll land someplace else next season.

  17. Norv constantly called 7 step drop plays knowing full well the OL could not block worth chit. He also constantly would run it on every 1st down knowing full well the opposing defense was expecting a run. The dude was way too predictable and a horrible playcaller.

  18. Nobody knows, but one thing’s for certain; it didn’t happen for GOOD reasons. There’s discord somewhere in the ranks.

  19. It’s Norv Turner. You have to pry jobs away from this guy. He loves football. I’m not going to delve to deeply because I don’t have any real info, but I heard from my Vikings friend, whose a die hard, that shurmer has been trying to take over the offense and has made headway with management, and the last straw was that Norvs kid sided with Pat. Seems reasonable given that Norv isn’t even sticking around – he’s heading back to CA. I know Norv wanted Sean Hill to be the guy b/c he knew Norvs offense, but Pat got his way and they traded for Bradford, who is familiar with Pats offense. So my guess, and it’s all just guessing, is that Norv was getting the Bradford butt hurt whininess, combined with the obvious push by Pat behind his back, and then his kid piled on and it was the last straw.

  20. I think the likely explanation is pretty simple. Norv’s system is predicated on a solid offensive line or at the very least a QB with some scrambling ability to makeup for deficiencies in the line along with a power running game all to set up the deep ball.
    After losing both starting tackles, his mobile QB and power running back I’d imagine he’d accepted that all of the pieces he needed were gone and that the guy experienced working with nonmobile quick release Bradford would likely have a better shot making something happen. Not that hard to believe it was his decision if he was already planning to leave at the end of the season, as has been reported, anyway…

  21. It is one of two things. Either Norv got sick of watching Zimmer and Spielman spend all the primo picks and Scouting time on the Defense (he didn’t want TB5).
    Turners Offense was under performing for 2 seasons and last off season Spielman put Shermer in place and told Norv he had until Game 8 to fix it or be fired!

    I am tending to vote for #2, Lets give the Vikes a hand in doing this in a respectful way by letting him walk.
    Sorry but Sunday it is going to be AWFUL, Revenge time for the Honolulu Blue Puddy tats for the last few years poundings by the Vikes Defense on Stafford.
    The score could be 30 to 3 with the Vikings having the ball for all of about 17 Minutes of the game, and Bradford carted out.

  22. Anyone who thinks that Shurmur was the play caller for the weeks 2-5 (all wins) and then at the bye week, changed to Turner calling the plays for the last 2 games is a fool. You are only trying to use Norv as the scapegoat for the losses. The person you should be pointing the finger at is Speilman. Look at what he has out there for the O-Line. He has missed on several picks the last few years. Moving up in the draft for Patterson, drafting Clemmings, Beavers and MoBo were all misses. Quit complaining about Turner and look towards the GM.

  23. Pat Shurmur was one of the worst head coaches… ever. trying to fix your offense by hiring him is like trying to fix america by electing trump, you have to be out of your mind to think its a good idea

  24. Obviously Zimmer is a jerk to work for.

    Norm has tons of money and sees the vikes are doomed under sammy sleeves aka checkdown charlie aka bradford.

    so he decided to take the rest of the year off.

  25. Before everybody pins all the blame on Norv, look at the players Spielman drafted for him; two first round WR’s who don’t even play, unfortunate injuries at tackle and RB, and FA signings that missed wide of the mark.

    Anybody who thinks a new OC is the answer clearly this this team thru purple colored glasses.

  26. I thought it was weird that they called a press conference to announce his resignation. Typically the Vikings don’t say anything when they quit in the middle of the season.

  27. It was Big Dreams for a flawed team.

    When you don’t have the horses – but only wish you did – to go with your odd looking, but fancy new stadium, and things don’t go well … feathers are ruffled.

  28. Norv leaving is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and thinking all is peachy.

    There’s way bigger problems dead ahead.

  29. If you seriously didn’t see this coming then you haven’t watched a Vikings game lately. Calling his firing err I mean quitting before the season was as easy as predicting a run on first and second down in Turners offense.

  30. In Wednesday’s press conference Zimmer was asked if Norv was calling all the plays – Zimmer said he had called 100% of the plays. So unless Zimmer was point blank lying, posters above trying to attribute the earlier wins/success to Shurmur are mistaken.

    I also found it interesting that in the middle of the same press conference Zimmer said “I hope that we remain friends”…. if the decision really came 100% from Norv, I just don’t see that thought needing to be articulated.

  31. Packer fans are starting to get pretty mouthy again.
    I’d suggest you worry about what is happening at home
    Pointing fingers at the Postman talking someones Wife while the UPS Man is sneaking out your own back door.

  32. lambeaudungbarn says:
    Nov 4, 2016 9:21 AM
    Packer fans are starting to get pretty mouthy again.
    I’d suggest you worry about what is happening at home
    Pointing fingers at the Postman talking someones Wife while the UPS Man is sneaking out your own back door.

    Like the vikings fans have done when they sucked for the past 10 years, everytime something news worthy happened to the Packers? You reap what you sow and karma sucks.

  33. Maybe he got tired of Zimmer screaming so often and so hard it caused his eyes to cross, which we now know required medical attention.

  34. Gotta love the packer backers talking like they know anything about the team that’s in front of them in the standings. You can talk about lack of healthy players, you could talk about a new QB, but facts are Norv called plays that worked to comfort zone as a play caller, not to the strengths of the offense. Its been widely reported shurmer had most of the play calling/game planning weeks 2-5 to get Bradford up to speed, a staple of shurmers play calling is short passing in his west coast offense. Turners offense had a ton of 5 and 7 set drops with PA passes which only started to appear after the bye the last two weeks. So if you think turner was calling the plays and game planning the entire season you have 0 idea what your speaking about. Is shurmer the savior? no, not enough talent on offense with oline deficiencies, but if the offense can get back to being efficient, they will win the division. Remember the last 17 games, Vikings 12 and 5, pack 8-9.

  35. We will find that Norv has undisclosed health issues, but the change is needed as play calling, as well as scheme, the last two games has made no sense whatsoever.

  36. There’s a goofy rumor floating around town that Norv and Zim got in a fight a week ago and that’s the reason for Zim’s detached retina and ultimately Norv’s resignation. I sincerely doubt that’s true, but a fight between a couple of 60 year old dudes wouldn’t exactly be Octagon-worthy.

  37. stellarperformance says:
    Nov 3, 2016 7:36 PM

    Nobody knows, but one thing’s for certain; it didn’t happen for GOOD reasons. There’s discord somewhere in the ranks.

    If there was discord, it’s gone now.

  38. filthymcnasty3 says:
    Nov 4, 2016 11:12 AM

    Those records don’t include the playoffs.

    How convenient.

    How was that parade for beating Washington in the playoffs? That banner hanging in Lambeau is beautiful.

    Let’s look at another way. Since the Packers’ bye last year, they are 9-10, including playoffs. Congratulations. The Vikings are 14-6.

    That’s why nobody cares about your attempts at insults.

  39. I did just read a report that Zimmer had a different opinion on the Offense than Norv. The first 5 game had a lot of quick slants and short passes.
    My bet is Norv loves the deep bomb and that will reduce the QB pressures and he kept having Bradford going back 7 step drops the past 2 games and that did nothing but get Sam sacked 11 times!
    Look for more of Sam in the Shotgun, or quick 3 step drops more up tempo Offense with quick slants, hook routs, and possibly some screens and pitch outs.
    More like last year with TB5. Norv just cant stand that, problem is there are only several QBs in the League that can run it.

  40. ambeaudungbarn says:
    Nov 4, 2016 9:21 AM
    Packer fans are starting to get pretty mouthy again.
    I’d suggest you worry about what is happening at home
    Pointing fingers at the Postman talking someones Wife while the UPS Man is sneaking out your own back door.

    The skin is getting pretty thin in Minnesota! lol

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