Recently the Vikings have made a couple of changes to their coaching staff. The beginning of it all started when Jeff Davidson, the offensive line coach and last remaining remnant of Frazier’s staff was not resigned. To replace him, Zimmer went out and hired Tony Sparano, who was most recently tight ends coach with the 49ers, but has served in many different roles in colleges and the NFL over the years, including a few years as a Head Coach following some successful stints as an offensive line coach:
|1984||23||College||New Haven||Offensive Line|
|1985||24||College||New Haven||Offensive Line|
|1986||25||College||New Haven||Offensive Line|
|1987||26||College||New Haven||Offensive Line|
|1988||27||College||Boston University||Offensive Line|
|1989||28||College||Boston University||Offensive Line|
|1990||29||College||Boston University||Offensive Coordinator|
|1991||30||College||Boston University||Offensive Coordinator|
|1992||31||College||Boston University||Offensive Coordinator|
|1993||32||College||Boston University||Offensive Coordinator|
|1994||33||College||New Haven||Head Coach|
|1995||34||College||New Haven||Head Coach|
|1996||35||College||New Haven||Head Coach|
|1997||36||College||New Haven||Head Coach|
|1998||37||College||New Haven||Head Coach|
|1999||38||NFL||Cleveland Browns||Offensive Quality Control|
|2000||39||NFL||Cleveland Browns||Offensive Line|
|2001||40||NFL||Washington Redskins||Tight Ends|
|2002||41||NFL||Jacksonville Jaguars||Tight Ends|
|2003||42||NFL||Dallas Cowboys||Tight Ends|
|2004||43||NFL||Dallas Cowboys||Tight Ends|
|2005||44||NFL||Dallas Cowboys||Offensive Line/Running Game Coordinator|
|2006||45||NFL||Dallas Cowboys||Offensive Line/Running Game Coordinator|
|2007||46||NFL||Dallas Cowboys||Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Line|
|2008||47||NFL||Miami Dolphins||Head Coach|
|2009||48||NFL||Miami Dolphins||Head Coach|
|2010||49||NFL||Miami Dolphins||Head Coach|
|2011||50||NFL||Miami Dolphins||Head Coach|
|2012||51||NFL||New York Jets||Offensive Coordinator|
|2013||52||NFL||Oakland Raiders||Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Line|
|2014||53||NFL||Oakland Raiders||Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Line/Interim Head Coach|
|2015||54||NFL||San Francisco 49ers||Tight Ends|
Then news arose recently about Pat Shurmur signing as an undisclosed coach with the Vikings. The name was vaguely familiar to me, but I didn’t know much about him, so I looked up his coaching history. He turns out to be another former head coach (making 3 of those on Zimmer’s staff now, in case you’re counting) who has had a handful of successful stints as a QB coach and offensive coordinator where he was able to help significantly improve the offense’s output, and improve the performance of young QBs such as Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Nick Foles. This led me to the following hypothetical conversation that I’m sure we all expect has occurred:
Q:Norv’s not on his way out, is he? He hasn’t had much success in his first two years here, but I don’t get the impression that Zimmer is ready to give up on him yet.
A:No, Norv’s keeping his job as our offensive coordinator for at least another year.
Q:That’s good, I suppose. So Shurmur’s going to be our new QB coach then?
A:Well, no. Norv’s kid, Scott Turner apparently doesn’t want to give up that job.
Q:Well, our RB coach just signed with the Browns, so that spot’s still open. Is that where he’s going?
A:No, we thought our TE coach would make more sense as the new RB coach.
Q:Then who’s going to be the TE coach?
A:THAT’S where we’re placing Shurmur!!
Q:BUT HE HASN’T DONE ANYTHING LIKE THAT SINCE 2001!
And I think that conversation goes on to reassure the questionable minds that this is really more of a token position for Zimmer’s 3rd former head coach on the offense to help improve their performance. I get the impression he’s going to have a lot to say in the QB meetings, and offensive game plans to help improve one of the least productive passing games in the NFL. Sure, his job will “start” with the TEs, but Teddy’s going to be getting a lot of help from the guy too. And, if Scott Turner’s not a complete buffoon, he will pay attention and start learning what he’s been doing wrong the past couple of years at the same time.
|1990||25||College||Michigan State||Tight Ends|
|1991||26||College||Michigan State||Tight Ends|
|1992||27||College||Michigan State||Tight Ends|
|1993||28||College||Michigan State||Tight Ends|
|1994||29||College||Michigan State||Tight Ends|
|1995||30||College||Michigan State||Tight Ends|
|1996||31||College||Michigan State||Tight Ends|
|1997||32||College||Michigan State||Tight Ends|
|1999||34||NFL||Philadelphia Eagles||TE/OL Coach|
|2000||35||NFL||Philadelphia Eagles||TE/OL Coach|
|2001||36||NFL||Philadelphia Eagles||TE/OL Coach|
|2009||44||NFL||St. Louis Rams||Offensive Coordinator|
|2010||45||NFL||St. Louis Rams||Offensive Coordinator|
|2011||46||NFL||Cleveland Browns||Head Coach|
|2012||47||NFL||Cleveland Browns||Head Coach|
|2013||48||NFL||Philadelphia Eagles||Offensive Coordinator|
|2014||49||NFL||Philadelphia Eagles||Offensive Coordinator|
|2015||50||NFL||Philadelphia Eagles||OC/Interim Head Coach|