NFL Rumors: Minnesota Vikings interested in Pat Shurmur?

By Gil Alcaraz IV
Pat Shurmur
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Once their regular season has come to a close, the Cleveland Browns will undoubtedly fire head coach Pat Shurmur following their disastrous 2012 campaign. Nothing went right for his team this season, and with a new executive team taking the reins, it’s become crystal clear that a rebuild is in the works.

Once he gets the ax, Shurmur will begin the search for his next NFL home as he starts the healing process from his train wreck of a stint as the Browns’ head honcho. Surprisingly, one blip that already appears to be on the radar is the offensive coordinator job of the Minnesota Vikings. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Shurmur could be headed for the land of 1,000 lakes at season’s end.

“…Shurmur could end up as Vikings OC,” La Canfora said via his personal Twitter account.

At this point, this should be nothing more than educated speculation from La Canfora. The Vikings are still in the playoff hunt, and won’t be too concerned with staffing changes until they’re eliminated from contention.

More than anything, this means that current Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is not safe. Minnesota has struggled mightily throughout the year with the passing game, relying heavily on Adrian Peterson to carry the offensive load and make up for the air attack’s lack of production. Second-year quarterback Christian Ponder has suffered from a disappointing season after getting off to a strong start, and a change of scheme could get him heading back down the “franchise passer” road.

If Shurmur were to join the Vikings, he would likely install a West Coast offense. That would allow Ponder to better utilize his athleticism and out-of-pocket abilities while bringing a more balanced attack. It would also work better in the Vikings favor from a wide receiver standpoint, as the West Coast relies so heavily on short, simple routes to pick up yards.

Right now, the Vikings have bigger fish to fry. With the playoffs on the line, the only focus should be on beating the Green Bay Packers and surviving the postseason push. Still, one does have to wonder what will happen when their final grain of sand falls.

Could Shurmur be the answer to Ponder’s woes? Only time will tell.

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