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Update: Zimmer 'surprised' by Turner's resignation

Update 3:13 p.m. EDEN PRAIRIE - Norv Turner resigned early Wednesday as coordinator of the Vikings' struggling offense and was replaced on an interim basis by tight ends coach Pat Shurmur. Head coach Mike Zimmer said Turner arrived at the team's ...

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New Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner talks to members of the media at a news conference at the team's Winter Park fieldhouse in Eden Prairie on Thursday, February 6, 2014. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

Update 3:13 p.m.

EDEN PRAIRIE - Norv Turner resigned early Wednesday as coordinator of the Vikings’ struggling offense and was replaced on an interim basis by tight ends coach Pat Shurmur.

Head coach Mike Zimmer said Turner arrived at the team’s Eden Prairie headquarters at 6:30 a.m. to inform him of his decision.

“I was very, very surprised,” Zimmer told reporters.

The Vikings (5-2) are ranked 31st out of 32 NFL teams in total yards (293.3) and rushing yards (70.3) per game and have lost two straight games, 21-10 at Philadelphia on Oct. 23 and 20-10 at Chicago on Monday night. The offensive line has had huge problems.

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Turner was in his third season as offensive coordinator.

“He decided it was the best interests of him to (resign),” Zimmer said. “I accept the reasons and they are personal.”

Zimmer said the two had a long talk Wednesday morning, and that Turner had “100 percent free will.” The head coach added that he won’t fill the open spot for a tight ends coach, and that the rest of the coaching staff remains, including quarterbacks coach Scott Turner, Norv’s son.

“I have tremendous respect for Mike Zimmer, our coaching staff and our players and at this time I think it’s in the best interest of the team to step down,” Turner said in a statement. “I thank the Wilf family (owners) for my time here in Minnesota and want to see our players and coaches achieve success.”

Zimmer was emotional when talking about Turner’s decision.

“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 really since I’ve been here.”

Shurmur, in his first season with the Vikings, was Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator the previous three seasons. He also held that position with St. Louis from 2009-10.

“He’s going to call the plays,” Zimmer said. “We’re going to continue to move forward and try to get better.”

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Shurmur now has been the offensive coordinator for Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford for three different seasons with three different teams. He coached Bradford with the Rams in 2010 and with the Eagles last season.

“Surprised,” Bradford said of Turner’s resignation. “I obviously didn’t see this coming. I was in here (Tuesday) talking to him. I didn’t really think anything was different.”

Turner, 64, was in his 32nd consecutive season as an NFL head coach or assistant. He joined Zimmer when he was hired as coach in January 2014. The Vikings were 27th in the NFL in total offense in 2014 and 29th in 2015.

Minnesota had numerous injuries on offense during Turner’s tenure, especially this year. Lost for the season have been quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (knee), left tackle Matt Kalil (hip) and right tackle Andre Smith (elbow). Running back Adrian Peterson is out at least until December with a knee injury suffered in Week 2.


Update 10:15 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS -- After leading a Minnesota Vikings offense that has been largely ineffective for the season’s first half, offensive coordinator Norv Turner has resigned from his position.

The team announced the move Wednesday morning, two days after the team’s offense stalled out en route to a 20-10 loss to Chicago on Monday Night Football. Minnesota ranks 31st out of 32 teams in yards per game, including a league-worst 2.7 yards per rush.

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Pat Shumur, the team’s tight ends coach, will take over as interim offensive coordinator. Turner joined the team in 2014. It is Shumur’s first season with the Vikings, and has previously been an offensive coordinator with Philadelphia and St. Louis.

The Vikings has seen numerous injuries to offensive starters this season, losing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Adrian Peterson and tackles Matt Kalil and Andre Smith.

Head coach Mike Zimmer is expected to address the media at 11 a.m.

9:45 a.m. Norv Turner resigns

Norv Turner resigned Wednesday as coordinator of the Vikings’ struggling offense and was replaced on an interim basis by tight ends coach Pat Shurmur.

The Vikings (5-2) are ranked 31st out of 32 NFL teams in total yards (293.3) and rushing yards (70.3) per game and have lost two straight games, 21-10 at Philadelphia on Oct. 23 and 20-10 at Chicago on Monday night. The offensive line has had huge problems.

Turner was in his third season as offensive coordinator under coach Mike Zimmer. Shurmur, in his first season with the Vikings, was Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator the previous three seasons. He also had that position with St. Louis from 2009-10.

Shurmur has now been the offensive coordinator for Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford for three different seasons with three different teams. He had Bradford with the Rams in 2010 and with the Eagles last season.

Turner, 64, was in his 32nd consecutive season as an NFL head coach or assistant. His son, Scott Turner, will remain as Minnesota’s quarterback coach.

Vikings continue to search for answers after second sub-par effott

The bounce-back that many, including the oddsmakers in Las Vegas, expected in prime time in Chicago never happened. In fact, the Minnesota Vikings sunk even lower and slinked home with an ugly two-game losing streak heading into Sunday's home game against Detroit.

And, if that weren't bad enough, the team also announced Monday morning that coach Mike Zimmer had to cancel his day-after press conference after undergoing a "minor procedure." No further details were given, but Zimmer was back at work grinding over Lions film in his office by the afternoon.

Zimmer missed time with the team briefly in 2014, when he had two procedures done to break up kidney stones. He'll meet with the media on Wednesday morning.

He might prefer to talk about his health as opposed to what is happening to the 5-2 team that just two weeks ago was the last undefeated team in the league.

After giving up six sacks, 13 additional hits and losing two of Sam Bradford's four fumbles in a 21-10 loss at Philadelphia last week, the Vikings' decimated offensive tackle spots continued to be a major weakness in a 20-10 upset loss at Chicago on Monday night. The Bears sacked Bradford five times and hit him another nine while holding Minnesota to 258 yards of offense and one first-half stretch of four consecutive three-and-outs.

"They got after us pretty good (Monday) up front and controlled the game," Zimmer said of a 1-6 Bears team missing five starters. "We'll get back to work."

For the first time this season, Zimmer will need to tighten some things on defense. The Vikings remain the league's top-ranked scoring defense (14.9 points per game) and No. 2 in yards allowed per play (4.7), but there were multiple breakdowns at Chicago.

Minnesota, which hadn't given up more than 56 yards to a single rusher for an entire game all year, gave up a 69-yard run to rookie Jordan Howard on the third play of the game Monday. Howard finished with 153 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

The Vikings also allowed the Bears to convert 7 of 14 third-down situations, including a 3-for-3 stretch during a 75-yard touchdown drive to open the second half. That put Minnesota down by 17 points and essentially swatted them back home to face a 4-4 Lions team before hitting the road again to face Washington.

"Last week, I said this wasn't us," linebacker Chad Greenway said. "But if you do it enough, it becomes you. That's two weeks in a row. We have to change that."

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