Traditionally, offensive and defensive coordinators don't address the media much. They are behind the scenes guys, grinders that are either in the film room or on the practice field. They don't address the media often, and when they do, they are not nuanced in the ways of Rickspeak, like GM Rick Spielman is. But Norv Turner is different--he's a heralded offensive coordinator, former head coach, and a guy that has some experience in the ways of Rickspeak.
What is Rickspeak, you ask? Oh, you must be new here. Let me 'splain:
Rickspeak is a language unto itself*, that requires a high level of training to understand**, and I am here to decipher for you***.
*It's not really a language. It's just me being a jackass.
**There is no training required, just a fairly high level of snark and sarcasm
***I just make everything up.
As always, what Norv actually said is in blockquotes, and my interpretation**** of what they actually meant follows.
****I can't emphasize enough how much I make this stuff up.
Q: How would you describe this style of offense?
What Norv Said: Well the biggest thing in this league, and you see so many different varieties of defense, we want to have a complete offense and we want to be able to attack the defense's weaknesses. If that means being a power-run team one week, being a spread team another week, being a team that's capable of throwing the ball if they are overplaying the run or running the ball if they give you opportunities to run it and when they give you opportunities to run it. The biggest thing to me, and if you ask our players I think this is the thing I talk most about is we have to be a team that plays our best in the 4th quarter in the most critical times. If you can run the ball when people are trying to stop the run that's the ultimate. We're just trying to become the most complete offense we can be. If you're going to be a complete offense you have to play great in the situations- 3rd downs, red zone, two-minute are the ones that are the most critical to me.
What Norv Meant: You know, I like what we have. All you need to know is this: I'm not going to do a QB waggle with Ponder trying to hit Kyle Rudolph on a 5 yard pattern, we're going to do this thing called the forward pass fairly regularly, but I'm going to run Adrian Peterson. Oh, one more thing: Bridgewater to Patterson....TOUCHDOWN VIKINGS. Suck it, NFL.
Q: How much do you tweak the system that you've had before based on the film and based on what you saw before you got on the field with the players?
What Norv Said: There is a big part of this offense that's been the same and is sound and is always going to be the same. There are guys that played in this offense 30, 20, 10 years ago that would recognize it. What we've done and I'll use a term and I think it's what we've tried to do with our offensive staff is we've tried to do some things that we looked at people that are having success offensively and modernize this offense a little bit, update it a little bit and all the coaches we said early that we're going to get ourselves out of our comfort zone and look at some things that will give us a chance to have more success and obviously a big part of that is finding ways for Adrian [Peterson] to not have to run in such crowded areas all the time. He's going to have to do that, that's part of his job, he's the best in the league at it but if we can get him more space we can take advantage of his great abilities.
What Norv Meant: Bill Musgrave installed an offense that guys who played 30 years ago would look at and go 'sweet baby Jesus is this offense simple.' We're going to add things like motion, wide receivers, and downfield passes that go more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage. It's going to be something that will be new and terrifying for fans, but it'll be okay. I promise. Oh, and Adrian Peterson will still be awesome. That won't change.
Q: Have you met any resistance with any of the changes you're implementing?
What Norv Said: I think once you get over that shock factor of it is completely different, it's a totally different system from what they've done and not so much some of the plays but the terminology and the way we call things. The guys have jumped all over it and I think the thing is why they do it is they've talked to people who have been in this system, they look at the guys who have been in this system and the success different players have had and they realize that it gives them opportunity to have great production.
What Norv Meant: To be honest, I have. I think we're over it now, but let me tell you this story. During the first minicamp, I called a pass play on first down, everyone stood around, and Matt (Cassel) called a timeout. I asked him what in the name of Odin he thought he was doing, and he asked me what in the name of Odin I thought I was doing.
"We don't call pass plays on first down here, coach. This is Minnesota."
"Well, we do now", I said. "Run the goddamn play."
Greg Jennings was so happy I found him sobbing uncontrollably in the locker room after practice, rubbing Old Spice all over himself. It'll take a little getting used to, but we'll get there.
Q: How has Teddy Bridgewater progressed over these past few weeks and what would you like to see out of him going forward?
What Norv Said: It's always fun with a younger player that it's all new to them, they've got the big eyes. Teddy is so great to be around that it's easy. As Coach Zimmer has said, he knows how to work. He's very instinctive. He's a very natural player. One of the things that has been the most impressive to me is I knew he'd be very accurate, I knew he'd make great decisions, quick decisions, but he's been outstanding throwing the ball deep, which some people thought that was going to be an issue. I think in the six or eight weeks we've had him on the field, I think he's been put in a position where he's had to make most of the throws he would have to make and I think he can make all the throws he needs to make.
What Norv Meant: Teddy Bridgewater is going to be an outstanding quarterback in the NFL, and he's going to make the rest of the league pay for years. How we got him at 32 still baffles me. Well, not really. When we planted that 'skinny knees' rumor, I didn't think it would work. Rick Spielman wanted to come up with something more serious, like ebola virus or earlobe cancer, but we settled on skinny knees. It seemed so stupid at the time that I bet both Mike and Rick $100 that it wouldn't work. Now I'm out $200, but we got Teddy Bridgewater. So who's the idiot? OH THAT'S RIGHT THE REST OF THE NFL IS.
Also, smell the gloves, bitches. Because they're going to be torching your defenses for years.
Smell the gloves.