Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters that Norv Turner’s resignation came as a huge surprise, and that the team had no intention of firing him.
When the Minnesota Vikings announced that offensive coordinator Norv Turner had resigned this morning in the wake of two dismal offensive performances, many thought it was a resignation in name only. The speculation was that the Vikings fired Turner, designating the move as a resignation to allow him to save face.
Now, that appears to not be the case, at least according to Mike Zimmer.
“I was very, very surprised,” Zimmer told reporters in a press conference on the official Minnesota Vikings website. “He decided it was in the best interest of him to do this, and I accept the reasons. They are personal and I won’t get into the reasons why he did.”
When pressed further about the move, Zimmer removed any doubt by saying, “I didn’t make this change.”
According to Zimmer, while the Vikings were obviously disappointed by the offensive production, ranking 31st in yards per game and offensive points per game, the team had no intention of making a move at offensive coordinator.
“Norv is a very, very good friend of mine. He’s helped me tremendously in the three years that I’ve been here… He’s been, really, my right-hand man since I’ve been here,” Zimmer said, choking up at the podium as he discussed his friend and trusted confidante.
Zimmer’s emotional press conference seems to remove any doubt about the situation, making it absolutely clear that the move was Turner’s decision. From a football standpoint, a firing would have made little sense, as the Vikings have a short week of practice to prepare for the Lions after playing on Monday night.
Still, something seems off about the situation. More than likely, Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings aren’t sharing the whole story, but it certainly appears that this was truly Turner’s idea.
Turner’s resignation is just another in a series of unexpected obstacles that the Vikings have had to face this season, but Zimmer remains optimistic that the team can power through. Pat Shurmur will take over the offensive coordinator and play-calling duties for the team for the remainder of the season.
“Things happen,” Zimmer said. “We all have to work together and continue to move forward.”