Vikings target Turner as offensive coordinator
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have targeted Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator under new coach Mike Zimmer.
Turner told The Associated Press in a brief phone interview Thursday that he and Zimmer have been talking about the job. Turner said nothing was finalized yet.
"Hopefully it works out," Turner said.
Zimmer was hired Wednesday, and he’s acting quickly on assembling his staff. All of the Vikings assistants under coach Leslie Frazier, who was fired Dec. 30, have one year left on their contracts, but new coaches almost always bring in their own. General manager Rick Spielman’s stated goal was to picking Frazier’s replacement prior to the Senior Bowl, and practices for the annual college all-star game in Mobile, Ala., start early next week. For coaching staffs and personnel evaluators around the league, the event is a valuable part of the pre-draft evaluation process.
Turner would be a smart place for Zimmer to start with his staff.
Zimmer will be a first-time head coach after spending the last 14 seasons as a defensive coordinator for three different NFL teams, the last six with Cincinnati, but Turner has 15 years as an NFL head coach on his resume. Six of those were spent in San Diego from 2007-12. Turner spent last season as the offensive coordinator for Cleveland, but coach Rob Chudzinski was fired there, leaving that staff in limbo.
Bill Musgrave has been Minnesota’s offensive coordinator the last three years under Frazier, but whether that was Musgrave’s fault or not, quarterback Christian Ponder failed to develop into a trustworthy starter. The Vikings are still searching for a long-term solution at this critical position, but with running back Adrian Peterson, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and others there’s plenty of skill-position talent to be harnessed here.
The Vikings have the eighth pick in the draft this year.
Zimmer’s expertise is defense, obviously, but he’ll still need a defensive coordinator. Fox Sports reported Thursday that Miami linebackers coach George Edwards was in line to take the defensive coordinator job with the Vikings. Alan Williams has served that role for the last two seaseons.