The Vikings officially confirmed today that Pat Shurmur, who took over as the offensive play-caller on an interim basis midway through the 2016 season, will be the team’s full-time offensive coordinator in 2017.
Shurmur took over as offensive coordinator after Norv Turner abruptly resigned in November, seven games into the season. While the offense still struggled under Shurmur, there was some improvement as his quick-strike passing game helped quarterback Sam Bradford experience a career year while setting the NFL’s single-season completion percentage record.
The Star Tribune first reported two weeks ago that Shurmur would return.
The Vikings on Friday also revealed the reshuffled offensive coaching staff that will support Shurmur and aim to give the Vikings a potent offense for the first time in Mike Zimmer’s tenure. They ranked in the bottom six in the league in total yards in each of his three years as head coach.
Kevin Stefanski will coach the quarterbacks after Scott Turner, who had played a significant role in the development of Teddy Bridgewater, was let go after three years in Minnesota. Stefanski was the assistant quarterbacks coach for the Vikings from 2009 to 2013 before serving as tight ends coach in 2014 and 2015. Last season, Stefanski coached their running backs.
With Stefanski again shifting roles, the Vikings hired Kennedy Polamalu, the former UCLA offensive coordinator, as the new running backs coach. Polamalu, who played fullback at USC, was the offensive coordinator at UCLA for only the 2016 season and was not retained.
He coached in the NFL from 2004 to 2009, overseeing the running backs in Cleveland in 2004 then coaching the same position in Jacksonville.
Another new addition to the offensive staff is Clancy Barone, who worked for the Broncos from 2009 to 2016, alternating stints as either the tight ends coach or offensive line coach. Barone was in charge of the line when the Broncos won last year’s Super Bowl. He’ll coach tight ends here.
Tony Sparano, as expected, will remain the offensive line coach after injuries up front, specifically at tackle, helped torpedo the team’s once-promising season. The Vikings were unable to consistently give Bradford a clean pocket, and they ranked last in the league in rushing yards and yards per carry.
Meanwhile, Zimmer’s entire defensive staff will remain intact for 2017.