The Vikings are now three days into their 2014 Organized Team Activity (OTA) schedule, and so far one thing is clear: Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner has plenty of playmakers at his disposal.
This all bodes well for the 2014 Vikings, particularly with Turner calling the offensive shots. Since 2007, Turner’s teams have ranked in the NFL’s top 5 in offensive points three times and the 2010 Chargers notched the No. 1 offense in the League with a 395.6 yard per game output. Also, Turner’s system has produced the NFL’s leading rusher on five different occasions – good news for Peterson.
Here are a few other impressive notes about Turner’s ability to utilize playmakers:
-- Since 1991 when Turner was the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator (23 seasons), he has had backs rush for 1,000 yards 15 times and boasted a 1,000 yard receiver 15 times.
-- In 10 of those seasons, Turner’s offenses have produced a 1,000 rusher AND receiver in the same season.
-- Twice, Turner has had a pair of 1,000 yard receivers on a team.
With all of that in mind, here are the key offensive weapons Turner will have in his arsenal with the Vikings.
WR Greg Jennings
The veteran of what is an otherwise-young receiver group, Jennings demonstrated several times last season that he still has what it takes to burn NFL defenses. At times he’s looked like the best offensive player on the field during Vikings OTAs, and it’s fair to wonder if Turner will lean on Jennings as his main target in the passing game during the regular season.
How exactly Turner will use McKinnon is a mystery for now, but it seems likely there will be some way the Vikings can utilize this multi-dimensional offensive threat.
WR Cordarrelle Patterson
Cleveland star receiver Josh Gordon entered his second NFL season with Turner last year, and the results were incredible – h led the NFL with 1,646 yards and nine TDs on 87 catches in only 14 games, doubling his yardage output from the season before. That’s good news for Patterson, who is expected to take on an enhanced offensive role after making a huge splash on special teams as a rookie last year.
RB Adrian Peterson
It was against Turner’s San Diego team that Peterson ran for a NFL-record 296 yards as a rookie in 2007, and now Turner gets to have the 2012 MVP on his team. Injuries slowed Peterson toward the end of the 2013 season, but he still finished with 1,266 yards, which was fifth-best in the NFL. He is healthy and fresh right now, and he looks good in Turner’s offense through three days of OTAs.
After a Pro Bowl season in 2012, Rudolph was poised for a breakout season in 2013. Injuries cut his season to just eight games, though. Back and better than ever now, Rudolph figures to be a dynamic field-stretching target in the passing game under Turner’s offense, which was extremely friendly to Chargers tight end Antonio Gates for nearly a decade.
Turner is an outstanding and experienced coach. But Simpson has something not even Turner can coach into a player – speed. You can be sure Turner will find a way to use Simpson’s speed to burn opposing defenses.
WR Jarius Wright
He’s not the biggest or the fastest. But Wright is quick as a whip and he has tremendous hands. Plus he has a knack for getting past the defense – just ask Richard Sherman. Turner will line Wright up everywhere in 2014 and will be sure to utilize his ability to help produce yards, first downs and touchdowns.