Mike Zimmer 'very, very surprised' by Norv Turner's resignation

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday November 02, 2016

Photo credit: TwinCities.com

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was just as shocked as everyone else Wednesday when offensive coordinator Norv Turner decided to resign.

Zimmer said Turner stepped down for personal reasons, and Zimmer doesn't believe it was health-related. Zimmer also said he wasn’t planning to make any changes, and this was all Turner’s decision.

He decided it was in the best interest of him to do this, and I accept the reasons,” Zimmer said. “They are personal. I probably won’t get into the reasons why he did.”

Turner released a statement thanking the Vikings and only saying it was in his best interest. Tight ends coach Pat Shurmur will take over as interim offensive coordinator. The Vikings are 5-2 overall and No. 16 in the league in scoring, but have lost two straight, scoring 10 points in each one. Asked about Ed Werder's report that Turner felt there were differing opinions over how to fix the offense, Zimmer said Turner had near 100 percent total control over the offense.

Zimmer described Turner as his right-hand man since he became the head coach in 2014. The Vikings played on Monday night, Zimmer had eye surgery on Tuesday afternoon but was around the building all day, and Turner came into his office Wednesday morning with the news. Zimmer said he was “very, very surprised.”

“We sat and had a long conversation,” Zimmer said. “I wasn’t going to make a change. I had no indications this was going on.”

Asked if the past two weeks played a role, Zimmer said he didn’t know and that they’d have to ask Turner. Zimmer gave that same answer to several other questions.

The Vikings host Detroit this Sunday. A team that has lost its starting quarterback and running back, along with other injuries, is now down the man leading the offense.

“We talked for a long time about a lot of things,” Zimmer said. “I told him my feelings for him and how much I respect him and the things he done and how he’s tying to get it going. He was pretty set in his ideas and reasons. I hope we’ll always continue to be friends.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.