MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings had one of the least productive offences in the league this season, and coach Mike Zimmer clearly wasn’t comfortable with the status quo.
According to a person with direct knowledge of the hire who confirmed the agreement to The Associated Press, former Philadelphia offensive co-ordinator Pat Shurmur has joined Zimmer’s staff as an assistant. The person spoke to the AP early Sunday on condition of anonymity because the Vikings have not yet announced Shurmur’s addition.
Shurmur was with the Eagles for the last three years, his second stint with that organization. He was interim coach for the last game after Chip Kelly was fired and interviewed earlier this month for their head coach vacancy, but that was filled by Kansas City offensive co-ordinator Doug Pederson. He has coached in the NFL for 16 seasons, two as head coach with Cleveland in 2011-12.
Shurmur’s exact role with the Vikings has not been finalized. The departure of running backs coach Kirby Wilson for a job with the Browns that included the title of running game co-ordinator created an opening on the staff, but Shurmur has not worked specifically with that position before. The 50-year-old was quarterbacks coach for the Eagles from 2002-08 and tight ends coach for three seasons before that. Shurmur started his career in college at Michigan State, with eight years as tight ends coach for the Spartans.
Zimmer has said he expected offensive co-ordinator Norv Turner to return in 2016. Zimmer decided not to renew the contract of offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, replacing him with Tony Sparano. With Turner, Shurmur and Sparano, the Vikings now have three former NFL head coaches on their offensive staff.
The Vikings were 29th in yards per game and 16th in points per game in the league in 2015.