Norv could run the Vikes' offense

MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings have targeted Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator under new coach Mike Zimmer. 

At first glance, you'd think hiring the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator is completely foolish. That's what Turner was, until the team cleaned house after the season.

But how awful were the Browns offensively last year?

Norv Turner on Vikings radar for offensive coordinatorThey had one of the best receivers in the league in 22-year-old Josh Gordon, who had 87 receptions, 1,646 yards (18.9 yards per catch) and 9 touchdowns in 14 games. One of the best tight ends in Jordan Cameron (80-917-7).

Throwing to him were some very pedestrian quarterbacks.

Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden ran the offense for most of the season after Brian Hoyer looked to be the team's savior, then blew out his knee.

Cleveland also traded running back Trent Richardson for a first-round draft pick and still managed 1,383 yards (4.0 avg.) out or a carousel of backs including 32-year-old Willis McGahee (377 yards, 2.7 avg.) and Chris Ogbonnaya (240-4.9).

Yes, those were their running backs.

Turner made the most of what he had to work with. He was highly successful running the San Diego Chargers as a head coach - remember Ladainian Tomlinson - but often faltered in the playoffs.

What would he do with Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph?

On top of that, Turner was a head coach for 14 seasons - 2007-12 with the Chargers - and can show Zimmer, a first-time head coach, the ropes.

Turner said Thursday that he and Zimmer have been talking about the job. Nothing was finalized but "hopefully it works out." 

Zimmer was hired Wednesday. He spent the last 14 seasons as a defensive coordinator for three different NFL teams, the last six with Cincinnati.

Bill Musgrave has been Minnesota's offensive coordinator the last three years under coach Leslie Frazier.

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