Norv Turner joked that his friends in San Diego stopped talking to him once the 2015 NFL schedule was released. The former Chargers head coach had been paired against his old team in Week 3 of his second year as Vikings offensive coordinator.
The cold shoulder could end after Sunday, though, when the Vikings play host to San Diego at TCF Bank Stadium for the teams’ first meeting since 2011, when Turner was prowling the Chargers sideline.
He faced a lot of questions about his time with the Chargers on Thursday at Winter Park.
“I’ve coached 10 different places, a couple different places twice, so you kind of get used to it,” he said. “We’re removed two seasons. There aren’t a lot of guys left, but there are some guys that I’m awfully close with that mean a lot to me. … We did a lot of good things with those guys.”
After six seasons leading the Chargers and a brief stop as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator, Turner joined Mike Zimmer in Minnesota last season. He has 15 years of head coaching experience and made the playoffs four times, three while in San Diego.
The Chargers and Turner defeated the Vikings 24-17 in 2011, but the meeting he remembers most was in 2007 when Adrian Peterson set the NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards in the Vikings’ 35-17 victory.
“In the first half I thought we actually contained Adrian pretty well,” Turner said. “He had been playing at a really high level and then the first third down in the second half he breaks off that 74-yard run, that’s how I remember it, and it all broke loose then.”
Fusco practices again
Starting left guard Brandon Fusco returned to practice with limited participation Thursday after sitting out Wednesday because of a concussion.
His involvement means he cleared the league’s concussion protocol and should be probable for Sunday’s game. Fusco stretched with the team and participated in offensive line drills, but Zimmer said he still isn’t sure whether he’ll play. Turner is preparing for the worst.
“When a guy sits out of practice you have to have a plan, and we have a plan if Brandon plays and we have a plan if he can’t play,” Turner said. “So we’ll be prepared either way.”
Shamar Stephen (knee) and Fusco were the only players on the injury report with Stephen listed as a full participant.
Peterson said he’s starting to feel like his old, record-setting self again. Last Sunday’s 29 carries for 134 yards against Detroit support his stance.
“It’s funny how things kind of shaped up Week 1 and then I transitioned into Week 2. I’ll see how I feel this week. Bodywise, I really was able to get my body broke in,” Peterson said. “Twenty-nine carries, 30-some touches. So my body really took a pounding. So kind of build up that callus over the entire body. I’m sure guys will be bouncing off me a little more this Sunday.”
Peterson said he still thinks about the 296-yard game, in which he was removed after setting the record, with more carries still possible.
“I look back and think, ‘Man, I could have been the first guy to go over 300.’ Four yards,” Peterson said. “But, you know, at the end of the day it wasn’t meant to happen or it would have happened. But I’ll say this: If I get close to 296 or 300 again, I will be asking for it next time.”
‘We’re done with that’
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer sounded tired of talking about Blair Walsh’s kicking issues and had a solution for it.
“Yeah, he pushed it, pushed it again,” Priefer said in response to what he saw on Walsh’s missed extra point Sunday. “That’s our mentality this week. We’re not going to push any more kicks. We’re done with that. That’s been our attitude this week.”
Walsh was 2-for-2 on field goals and 2-for-3 on extra-point attempts in Week 2.