Calling it “the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” Norv Turner said he resigned as Vikings offensive coordinator this morning because he and the team were no longer on the same page about the direction of the offense.
“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 Star Tribune. “A tough day. Tough day. But I 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.”
Turner resigns with the Vikings sitting atop the NFC North with a 5-2 record. But injuries and an ugly two-game losing streak has the offense resting 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.
Asked why he thinks that, the veteran of 42 seasons of coaching, including the last 32 in the NFL, said, “I just think they got a chance to get on the same page now. I don't know how to describe that, but I think it could be the case.”
Asked how the offense will look different under interim offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Turner said, “I have no idea how they'll be different. That's why I'm not there right now.”
Turner said the roots of this decision go beyond this morning, when he walked into Zimmer’s office and resigned.
“Sometimes, it's a gut feeling and sometimes it's just over a period of time that you make a decision,” he said. “It's always hard. I love coaching. That's a great group of players and people in that organization.”
Turner, 64, said he’ll return to San Diego and wait for the season to end before weighing his options.
“I've said many times, everything being equal and you feel like it's the right situation, then you consider the job,” Turner said. “I know the speculation is I was going to retire in January. But that's all it is, speculation. It’s too early to say what will happen.”