There are two things that Norv Turner can do really well at the NFL level: Lose playoff games and develop decent tight ends into great one. Sure, Turner might not have the best luck when it comes to postseason play, but this coach really knows how to get the most out of his prominent tight ends. On Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings announced that Turner would serve as the team’s offensive coordinator as this move comes less than 24 hours after Mike Zimmer was named the ninth head coach of franchise history.
Furthermore, the one man that should be smiling ear-to-ear about this hire is Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph. After bursting onto the scene as a rookie in 2012, Rudolph took a step back this past year as he missed half of the season with an array of injuries. Hence, the tight end’s numbers suffered severely as Rudolph finished the year with three touchdowns and just 313 yards receiving.
With that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Rudolph snags double-digit touchdowns and goes for over 600 yards receiving in year one of Turner’s offense. Heck, that’s almost exactly what the NFL saw Jordan Cameron do under Turner in 2013! The difference is that Cameron was a total unknown for the Cleveland Browns going into the year, while Rudolph is a former first-round pick, who already has a Pro Bowl MVP under his belt.
In fact, Cameron isn’t even the best example to show for Turner’s insane ability to groom tight ends. During Turner’s six-year stint with the San Diego Chargers, no tight end outside of Tony Gonzalez was more potent than surefire Hall of Famer Antonio Gates. Hence, it’s proven fact that Turner’s offense is molded toward a play-making tight and Rudolph is just that. Moving forward, the NFC North need not sleep on the Vikings.