Sunday, when concern about his starting quarterback was at its pinnacle, Scott Turner stood, hand on one hip, surveying his motley crew of quarterbacks.
Teddy Bridgewater was technically practicing but had not yet been cleared to throw. Instead, he posed as a defensive back, running around and playfully trying to bat down the passes of undrafted rookie Joel Stave and newcomer Brad Sorenson — so new he didn't even have a name stitched on his jersey.
Top backup Shaun Hill, whose "veteran day" had turned into a veteran weekend, stood and watched the warmup drill next to second-year QB Taylor Heinicke, who was still in a walking boot after a July night started with a late movie and ended when he kicked in a locked glass door and severed a tendon.
Hey, at least this was the middle of August, not the middle of a playoff push.
"You like to deal with those situations in practice rather than the games," Turner said with a slight chuckle on Wednesday, when BridgewaterGate had seemingly come to an end. "That's part of my job to have those guys ready."
Turner's father, Norv, the Vikings offensive coordinator, has received most of the praise for getting Bridgewater ready to play nearly right away as a rookie in 2014. But Scott, the team's 34-year-old quarterbacks coach, also helped Bridgewater make the mostly smooth transition from college standout to playoff starter.
Now Scott Turner is imploring his pupil to be more aggressive this season, hoping the third-year QB and the title-starved Vikings can reach new heights.
"He does a good job seeing the game through the quarterback's eyes. That's the starting point," Norv Turner said. "He's learned this offense from guys other than from me, and from me. And he's got a good grasp of it. … Scott's able to tell me what the quarterback was thinking and where he was looking."
That's because Scott Turner is a former quarterback. It's also because for most of his life, his father has been a head coach or offensive coordinator in the NFL.
A football life
Scott Turner was in the Dallas locker room at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., after Norv Turner's offense powered the Cowboys to the first of their three Super Bowls victories in four years. He remembers seeing Michael Irvin singing and dancing in the showers amid the celebration. He still has the sweat-stained championship hat that the Hall of Fame wide receiver gave him that night.
A few years later, he also saw the flip side of life in a coaching family when things weren't going well for his father, the Redskins coach, in Washington.
Still, he loved growing up in football and dreamed of being an NFL quarterback.
"I kind of always figured that football was going to be in my life one way or another," he said. "So I played as long as I could, then I got into coaching."
Turner was a three-year letterman at UNLV but appeared in only four games. Asked what style of quarterback he was, he quipped, "Not a very good one."
He added, "I tried to win with my mind and get the ball to the right guys."
Sounds a lot like the quarterback Turner is coaching currently, doesn't it?
Despite having another year of eligibility left, Turner, who had graduated on time at UNLV, decided to end his playing career and turn his focus to coaching.
After one year as a graduate assistant at Oregon State, he moved back east to take a more hands-on coaching position at a high school in Northern Virginia, where he had spent many of his teenage years. In addition to coordinating the offense there, he worked as a teaching aide in a special education program.
In 2008, Turner was hired as a graduate assistant at Pitt. He helped with the offensive line, then quarterbacks before getting his first full-time gig coaching wide receivers, including NFL first-round draft pick Jonathan Baldwin. Turner made the jump to the NFL in 2011, working as an offensive quality control coach for the Carolina Panthers and their offensive coordinator, Rob Chudzinski.
When Chudzinski was hired as head coach by the Cleveland Browns in 2013, he brought Turner along to coach wide receivers. The two then badgered Norv Turner, who had been let go by the San Diego Chargers, to join them in Cleveland. It was the first time that Scott Turner was on the same staff as his dad.
"Purposely, I didn't work for my dad. I kind of wanted to get out on my own and make my own connections and establish myself," he said. "But I knew it was always something that I wanted to do, before he decided to retire."
The Turners both were out of work when the dysfunctional Browns surprisingly fired Chudzinski after only one season. New Vikings coach Mike Zimmer brought them on board a couple of months later, and the three of them embarked on a thorough quarterback search that led to them drafting Bridgewater.
In his first two NFL seasons, Bridgewater completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 6,150 yards and 28 touchdowns. Under Scott Turner's tutelage, Bridgewater has mostly avoided back-breaking mistakes while compiling a 17-12 record as a starter, including playoffs, and steering the Vikings to last season's NFC North title.
Bridgewater rattled off the similarities between his father-and-son coaching duo, including how each has passion for and curiosity about football and its history. Or how both often are spotted on the sideline with one hand on their hip.
"And he just has a feel for this offense," said Bridgewater, who threw Wednesday for a second consecutive day. "He can teach it the same way his dad can."
The biggest difference between the two might be the decibel levels when they teach it. While his father is more likely to hurl four-letter critiques toward the huddle, Scott Turner is pretty laid-back when getting his message across.
As players walked off the practice field after Sunday's shortened session — the one during which Bridgewater could only hand off and Stave was overmatched while trying to complete passes against first-stringers — Turner threw his arm over the shoulder of the rookie and quietly told him to believe in himself and let it rip.
Turner "would love" to eventually climb the coaching ranks to be a coordinator or head coach. But for now he is focused on coaching up his current crew of QBs, whose ages range for 23 to 36. Most important, of course, is Bridgewater.
If Bridgewater takes a big leap forward this season and pulls the Vikings along with him, Turner knows that he could become a hot commodity, too.
"If you win a championship and you do well at your job, you get opportunities," said Turner, who watched his dad do it in 1992. "People say the reward for doing a good job is the chance to do a good job. And it shows up in this league a lot."