Stefanski’s ties to Pat Shurmur
While most NFL teams are wondering if their hot head coaching candidate has ties to Sean McVay, Mike Zimmer was probably looking for someone whose offense resembled Pat Shurmur’s.
Shurmur’s offensive scheme helped minimize deficiencies and emphasized the strength of his players as the Vikings ranked 11th in total yardage and seventh in rushing in 2017.
Perhaps more notably was Minnesota’s tendency to run in order to keep the ball out of the opposing defense’s hands and limit the chances for Case Keenum’s flaws to show up. The Vikings ran the ball 501 times (31.3 per game) in 2017 and under DeFilippo, that number dropped to 275 (21.2 per game) in the team’s first 13 contests this season.
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Stefanski would revert back to his predecessor by having the Vikings run the ball 83 times (including 40 against Miami in Week 15) in the final three games and he ran many concepts that were similar to what Shurmur called in 2017.
Just as important, Stefanski realized that it was the players that made the scheme and not the other way around during his first press conference back in December.
"“The play calling thing, I am going again to rely on, we have a great staff and we have good players and to steal a line from Pat Shurmur, ‘It’s about the players, not the plays.’ It’s something that we are going to work on on Sunday and let it go.”"
A return back to even a similar offense to the one Shurmur ran would be welcomed with open arms by Minnesota next season.