Vikings surprised by Turner’s exit
Calling it “the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” Norv Turner said he resigned as Vikings offensive coordinator Wednesday because he and the team were no longer on the same page about the unit’s direction.
“It’s the hardest decision based on a number of circumstances that I’m not going to go into,” Turner said during an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “A tough day. Tough day. But I’ve got the utmost respect for Mike Zimmer. I think he’s as good a coach as I’ve been around. But it just got to the point where I didn’t think it was going to work with me. So I removed myself.”
Zimmer said he was “very, very surprised” with Turner’s decision.
Turner resigned with the Vikings sitting atop the NFC North with a 5-2 record. But injuries and a two-game losing streak have the offense near the bottom of the league at No. 31 in total offense, No. 31 in rushing, No. 28 in passing and No. 23 in scoring.
“I truly think this move may end up being a positive thing for the Vikings,” Turner said.
Turner, 64, said he’ll return to San Diego and wait for the season to end before weighing his options.
The Vikings named Pat Shurmur the interim offensive coordinator.
Last season, Shurmur had current Vikings starter Sam Bradford as his quarterback with the Eagles. His input helped Vikings general manager Rick Spielman make the emergency trade for Bradford on Sept. 3 after starter Teddy Bridgewater was hurt. Shurmur was also Bradford’s offensive coordinator in 2010, the quarterback’s rookie year with St. Louis. Newton pleased: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s concerns about “illegal hits” have been heard by the NFL — and action has been taken.
A person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press that Cardinals defensive tackle Calais Campbell has been fined $18,000 for his hit on Newton in Sunday’s game. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the league does not publicly announce fines.
Newton had a phone conversation with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday about his perspective on the hits he takes from defensive players while in the pocket.
“I got mypoint across. He got his point across. That’s it,” Newton said earlier Wednesday at his weekly news conference. Foles to step in: Quarterback Nick Foles will start for the Chiefs against the Jaguars on Sunday. Foles replaces Alex Smith, who twice hit his head on the turf during last weekend’s game against the Colts. The Chiefs said Smith didn’t suffer a concussion and was cleared to play Monday.