Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur spent three days last week interviewing for four head coaching jobs, talking to the Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears and New York Giants about potential openings.
Three of those teams still need head coaches, and two reportedly have Shurmur high on a list of candidates. But as the 52-year-old prepares for the Vikings’ NFC divisional playoff game Sunday, he’s trying to focus on the here and now.
“I think we as coaches, our whole lives, have learned how to stay in the moment,” he said. “You do one thing and then you move on to the next. I really enjoyed the time I spent with those teams, but you quickly get back to preparing for the Saints.”
ABC 15 in Phoenix reported on Wednesday night that Shurmur was the leading candidate for the Cardinals job, and NFL Network reported Thursday that the Giants still had Shurmur high on their list. Interested teams can hold second interviews with Shurmur once the Vikings are eliminated from the NFC playoffs or in the week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, whichever comes first.
“They were very easy conversations in terms of what your philosophy might be,” he said. “I approached all of them with the same mind-set, and then quickly put it on the back burner.”
Turners return to NFL with Panthers
Former Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner, whose Nov. 2 resignation served as one of the more startling moments of the Vikings’ 2016 season, is back in the NFL.
The Carolina Panthers hired Turner to be their offensive coordinator Thursday, bringing the 65-year-old back to the league after a 14-month absence. Turner’s son, Scott, who served as the Vikings’ quarterbacks coach from 2014-16, will hold the same job for the Panthers.
The younger Turner had been working as an offensive analyst at the University of Michigan; he was with the Panthers as an offensive quality control assistant when the team drafted quarterback Cam Newton with the first overall pick in 2011.
Norv Turner’s resignation came two days after the Vikings’ Halloween night loss to the Chicago Bears last season, and one day after coach Mike Zimmer had the first of eight operations on his right eye. Under Turner, the Vikings’ offenses ranked 20th and 16th in the league in points in 2014 and 2015. Shurmur became the team’s interim coordinator after Turner resigned last season and the team finished 23rd in scoring offense before jumping to 10th this season.
Remmers’ versatility helps Vikings’ O-line
As the Vikings continued preparations for the Saints on Sunday, indications remained that Mike Remmers (who played right guard in Week 17 against Chicago) could again play inside against New Orleans while Rashod Hill starts at right tackle.
With guard Nick Easton out for the season because of a broken ankle, the Vikings opted to start Remmers inside against the Bears, moving Joe Berger to center with Pat Elflein out. This week, with Elflein ready to return from a shoulder injury, the Vikings could opt to use Remmers at left guard instead of Jeremiah Sirles and keep Hill at right tackle.
“He’s got enough size where he can anchor down, but he’s also a guy that can move around,” Shurmur said of Remmers. “He uses his hands well, he works well together with the guard if he’s playing tackle, and certainly the tackle if he’s playing guard. He’s very smart, I consider him a fast blinker, so when things move around in there, he’s able to sort through it. We knew he had played other positions, but he’s proven to us that he’s a pretty multiple guy.”