Zimmer picks Turner, Edwards as coordinators
Before the Minnesota Vikings officially announced Mike Zimmer as the team’s head coach Wednesday night, Zimmer had already begun the job and started reaching out to potential coordinators.
Zimmer’s search didn’t take long. The next morning, Zimmer had settled on Norv Turner to be his offensive coordinator and George Edwards to be his defensive coordinator, according to FOX Sports’ Alex Marvez on Thursday morning.
Turner, the former San Diego Chargers head coach, spent last season as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator. Edwards has been the Miami Dolphins linebackers coach the past two seasons after two years as the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator.
Turner, 61, has been a head coach three times in his career and will be coordinating under Zimmer, who is in his first head coaching job.
In his six seasons as San Diego’s head coach, Turner compiled a 56-40 record and made three playoff appearances. The Chargers had the league’s top-ranked offense in 2010 and finished top-5 in points scored five times. He also was the head coach for the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, compiling a 114-122-1 record as a coach.
But Turner’s offenses have been the key. In 23 years of coaching, his stops have included offensive coordinator positions with the Dallas Cowboys, Chargers, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns. Known for a deep passing attack, he’s had a top-15 offensive five times in his eight seasons as a coordinator.
Last season with Turner as coordinator, Cleveland ranked 18th in yards gained, averaging 338.9 yards per game. The Browns were 27th in scoring at 19.3 points per game. They were 11th in passing and 27th in rushing, all while dealing with some of the same inconsistencies at quarterback as the Vikings.
Like Minnesota, Cleveland used three quarterbacks in Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell. Turner has been known for helping Troy Aikman develop in Dallas and Phillip Rivers in San Diego. Hoyer appeared to seize the job, including a 321-yard, three-touchdown performance in a win against the Vikings in the Metrodome, but suffered a season-ending injury after three games.
Trading former first-round pick Trent Richardson, the Browns didn’t have any running back finish with more than 377 rushing yards. However, Turner has had strong rushing games in many of his NFL stops. Receiver Josh Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards, averaging 18.9 yards per catch, despite two games because of a suspension.
Edwards, 47, was part of the coaching staff as Miami finished 21st in total defense this past season, though the Dolphins were eighth in fewest points allowed. Edwards was the Washington Redskins defensive coordinator in 2003 as the team finished 25th in yards allowed and 24th in points allowed. His second stint as a coordinator in Buffalo didn’t go smoothly either. The Bills were 24th and 26th in yards allowed during Edwards’ time as coordinator, and 28th and 30th in points allowed.
He was credited early in his tenure for helping Dallas linebacker Dexter Coakley and Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington under his tutelage. Miami linebackers Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe each finished with more than 100 tackles this past season.
Edwards and Zimmer worked together in Dallas. From 1998-2001, Edwards was Dallas linebackers coach. Zimmer was defensive backs coach with the Cowboys from 1994-99 and then took over as defensive coordinator from 2000-06.
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