Just a day after interviewing him, the Minnesota Vikings have hired former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator and interim head coach Pat Shurmur.
Give no subsequent announcement that neither Norv Tuner nor his son Scott Turner is leaving, it can be assumed that the staff remains intact; though Shurmur’s role has yet to be defined.
Shurmur made a name for himself as quarterbacks coach for the Eagles from 2002 to 2008.
During this time, Donovan McNabb rose to be the best quarterback in Eagles’ history, leading the team to five playoff appearances, four division titles, and a Super Bowl berth.
Although Shurmur’s role is unclear, careful analysis is needed to piece together how the offensive staff that is Norv Turner, Scott Turner, Tony Sparano, and Shurmur will work together.
Norv is still the offensive coordinator. Scott served as quarterbacks coach last year. Sparano was hired on January 13 to be the offensive line coach. Having never coached running backs, where does Shurmur fit?
Given his proven success at the quarterback position, it can be assumed that Norv Turner is looking to modernize the passing game.
In March of last year, Scott Turner went to study with Bob Stitt, the revolutionary head coach at the University of Montana, to learn more about wide receiver screens and the spread offense.
Shurmur is, at the least, adding to the arsenal of knowledge held by the Turners. If Shurmur is not named to coach a specific position, it is likely he could take on ‘spread game analyst’ position, similar to the job Brad Childress held with the Kansas City Chiefs for the 2013-2015 seasons, reporting directly to Norv.
If Shurmur takes on an analyst or coordinator position, then, perhaps, the Vikings are not done hiring.
Finally, stepping away from analyzing Shurmur’s specific role, it is a compliment to Mike Zimmer that so many former head coaches are willing to work on his staff.
There’s something to be said when a coach is willing to give up authority to work with other coaches in crafting new offensive schemes.