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Norv Turner’s Track Record Should Bring Optimism to Vikings Fans

For the past two seasons, Minnesota Vikings fans have had to endure Bill Musgrave coordinating the offense. There are numerous Musgrave horror stories, from his classic play call, the “Up-the-middle scrum”, to tiny playcard.

Just after Mike Zimmer was hired at head coach, we all breathed a deep sigh of relief as Musgrave was fired. His replacement, Norv Turner, was hired shortly after Musgrave was let go. We’ll examine Norv’s track record, chance of success and what the offense will look like in 2014.

Turner’s entering his 30th year in the NFL, so it’s safe  to say he has a bit of experience. He earned his first job as an offensive coordinator in the NFL in 1991 with Dallas. In his first three years with Dallas, the Cowboys won two Super Bowls. Since then, he’s had seven more stops as offensive coordinator. In all but two of his eight gigs, Turner has improved the league ranking of his offense, as well as yards per passing attempt. In 2006, Turner was hired as head coach of San Diego, a position he held until 2012. He’s credited with developing Philip Rivers into one of the top quarterbacks in the league.

Speaking of developing QB’s, Norv seems to have a knack for that. In Dallas, he helped Troy Aikman get over the hump from good to elite. With Kansas City in 2006, he helped Alex Smith dramatically increase his stats. Last year, he turned Brian Hoyer into a legitimate starting quarterback. Hopefully, Norv will be able to work his magic on Teddy Bridgewater and/or Matt Cassel.

So what does a Norv Turner offense feature? One facet is a speedy, shifty and versatile guy in the backfield. In San Diego, that man was Darren Sproles. In Minnesota, it could be Jerick McKinnon. Per reports out of Vikings training camp, the fourth-round pick is looking lightning-fast in practice. Turner likes to send this sort of player out on short routes, as well as giving the ball to them on sweeps and other plays designed to put them in the open field.

Another facet of a Norv Turner offense is his tight ends. With the Vikings recently locking down Kyle Rudolph for another five years, he has plenty to work with. Just last year, Norv contributed to breakout years for Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jordan Cameron. He loves stretching the field with his tight ends, and Rudolph can go up and get those long balls. It should be interesting to see Turner groom young guys such as AC Leonard and Chase Ford into contributing members of the offense.

As aforementioned, Norv Turner seems to favor the deep ball. Expect the Vikings’ yards per attempt number to rise in 2014, an exciting prospect for us fans. Greg Jennings and Cordarelle Patterson both possess the speed to blow by cornerbacks, prime targets in a Turner offense.

Finally, the 2014 Viking offense should be much more exciting to watch than the simplistic attack of Bill Musgrave. If the Vikings can go to the playoffs this year, Norv Turner will be the driving force behind that run.

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One Response to “Norv Turner’s Track Record Should Bring Optimism to Vikings Fans”

  1. Justen Riebe says:

    Nice article.

    I’m excited to see what Norv! can do with all these weapons.

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