Vik­ings sur­prised by Turner’s exit

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS & NFL -

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.

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