“Black Monday” in the National Football League is upon us, and with the firings of coaches and front office personnel comes word of teams requesting interviews with coaches to potentially serve as their replacements. As expected, one particular member of the Minnesota Vikings’ coaching staff is getting plenty of attention already.
According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Detroit Lions have asked for permission to interview Vikings’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur following their firing of head coach Jim Caldwell. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is also reporting that the Arizona Cardinals have requested permission to interview Shurmur with head coach Bruce Arians announcing his retirement.
Shurmur led the Vikings’ offense to a pretty significant turnaround in his first season as the Vikings’ full-time Offensive Coordinator. The Vikings went from being one of the bottom offenses in the NFL (23rd in points and 28th in yards in 2016) to being 10th in the NFL in scoring and 11th in yardage this season. The Vikings’ offense accomplished this with their third choice of quarterbacks in Case Keenum and despite losing star rookie running back Dalvin Cook.
With the Vikings having secured a first-round bye in the playoffs, Shurmur can do interviews this week if he so chooses. Per league rules, the team can’t deny interview requests for a job that would be a promotion for the coach in question, so it’s up to Shurmur to decide whether he wants to take those interviews or not.
As of now, two teams have asked for permission to interview Shurmur. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number increases in very short order. If anything comes of these interviews, we’ll have the news right here for you.