After three years of infuriating Viking fans with his over-conservative playcalling, Bill Musgrave is officially out as offensive coordinator in Minnesota. He will be replaced by some guy named Norv Turner, who I hear has a pretty decent track record as an OC (head coach…that’s another matter).
Zimmer has indicated that he will be heavily involved himself in designing the defensive scheme and may call plays, so Edwards’ responsibilities may be somewhat more limited than a normal defensive coordinator’s.
It doesn’t always work out when head coaches try to run the defense or offense themselves, so we’ll see if Zimmer ends up sticking with that plan.
Norv comes over from Cleveland where he spent a year as offensive coordinator. Under Turner, Josh Gordon became one of the top receivers in the league, and Jordan Cameron developed into one of the better tight ends. With guys like Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weedon and Jason Campbell playing quarterback.
Norv will have raw materials to work with in Minnesota as well. The Vikings sport one of the game’s most exciting young receivers in Cordarrelle Patterson and one of the better young tight ends in Kyle Rudolph.
Adrian Peterson has been the identity of the Vikings’ offense for the past several years, with the notable exception of 2009 when Brett Favre made the Vikes into a legit passing team. Norv’s job will be to find the balance Bill Musgrave was never able to discover.
To do this, Turner will need a quarterback. The Vikings are expected to go QB shopping this offseason, either via the draft or free agency. I would hope/expect that Turner will be heavily involved in the process of identifying the next quarterback for this team. Rick Spielman may have final say on personnel, but I have to assume Turner would not have signed on without first getting assurances that he will have a big say in picking the offensive players.
It’s going to be a big job, taking the Vikings’ offense to the next level. Rebuilding the defense might be an even harder job, but that’s not Norv Turner’s concern. That’s Mike Zimmer’s.
Now Zimmer’s staff is coming together, and he is ready to roll.