Vikings shed OC Pat Shurmur’s interim tag, hire 2 assistants

Published 12:20 pm Saturday, January 21, 2017

Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s interim tag has been shed by coach Mike Zimmer, a step toward stability for the team’s offense following a tumultuous season.

The widely expected move was finalized Friday by the Vikings, who also fired quarterbacks coach Scott Turner and hired running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu and tight ends coach Clancy Barone. Kevin Stefanski switched from running backs coach to quarterbacks coach to complete the shuffle.

Shurmur, who was hired as an overqualified tight ends coach last year, was the natural promotion when Norv Turner stunned the team Nov. 2 with his resignation as offensive coordinator.

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With his father no longer around, Scott Turner’s departure wasn’t a surprise, either. He played a significant part in targeting Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 draft and helping him develop, until he wrecked his left knee in a freak noncontact instant during a preseason practice.

Bridgewater’s injury triggered the trade for Sam Bradford, who produced a career season despite a problematic offensive line.

Shurmur was Bradford’s offensive coordinator his rookie season in St. Louis in 2010 as well as with Philadelphia in 2015, helping pave the way for Shurmur’s promotion.

The running back position must be cleared up in light of the uncertain future for running back Adrian Peterson, and the offensive line needs a handful of new starters, too.

The Vikings at least can start fresh with Shurmur, though, and the promise shown by Bradford in his difficult transition on the fly to a new team.

They’ll get to start with a clean bill of a health, too, after losing Bridgewater, Peterson and three different starting tackles to injuries in 2016.

Polamalu was UCLA’s offensive coordinator last season. He has spent six of his 25 years as a coach in the NFL, with Cleveland and Jacksonville.

Barone spent the past eight seasons with Denver, rotating position supervision between tight ends and offensive line. This will be his fourth NFL team in a 31-year coaching career.

Stefanski has started his 12th year with the Vikings, spanning three different coaching staffs.