Norval Eugene Turner. . .or, as I like to refer to him, NORV~!. . .has been on an NFL coaching staff in some capacity every year since 1985 when he was hired as the wide receivers coach for the (then) Los Angeles Rams. He's entering his 31st NFL season, and his second as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. After all these years, the game doesn't appear to have passed him by as it sometimes does for coaches that have been in the league for that long.
In this list-a-mania portion of the NFL offseason, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has ranked his Top 20 coordinators in the league today. Turner comes in at #3 overall, and #2 among offensive coordinators. The two that rate higher than him are New England Patriots' OC Josh McDaniels and Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
The veteran offensive guru is known as one of the top quarterback developers in the business, but coaches within the NFL community also rave about his clever utilization of top running backs and his uncanny ability to get big-time production from the tight end position. Turner fully maximizes the talent at his disposal to create an offense that is balanced, diverse and explosive in every aspect.
"Clever utilization of top running backs." Hmmmmm. . .do the Vikings have anyone like that?
"One of the top quarterback developers." Hmmmmm. . .do the Vikings have a young quarterback that they're developing?
When Mike Zimmer was choosing his staff after the Vikings hired him, he had a lot of people he could have picked from to run his offense while he took care of the defensive side of things. And while Turner has certainly has his issues when he's been given the reigns of an entire team, he's largely without peer as an offensive coordinator, as Brooks' list implies. I'm not sure if Turner is ever going to get another shot as a head coach in this league, but having him as the coordinator for what is, largely, a very young and talented offense is as good a situation as this team could hope for right now.