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Mike Zimmer on Vikings Recent Coaching Moves

The Vikings announced a handful of coaching moves last week, with Pat Shurmur being named the offensive coordinator and two new coaches joining the staff.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer chatted with Vikings.com's Craig Peters at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama about the recent moves to his staff.

Shurmur was Minnesota's interim offensive coordinator from Week 9 to the end of the regular season. The Vikings averaged 20.9 points and 332 yards per game with Shurmur at the helm. 

"I think Pat did a great job coming in under difficult circumstances," Zimmer said. "Pat and I have a good relationship, we're able to communicate very easily.

"Pat is very open to suggestions and ideas, he's not one of those guys where (he thinks) he kind of knows everything," Zimmer added. "It's been good, and I think the relationship with Sam and Pat has been good as well."

Zimmer, who said he's been going through film of the Vikings offense and defense from last season, said Shurmur will provide a steady voice and bright ideas on offense. 

"We've been doing a lot of things with the offense, sitting in and going through the cut ups in the morning, and I go through the cut ups of the defense in the afternoon, we're just starting at the beginning process," Zimmer said. "But it's almost refreshing to be with a new system now."

Kevin Stefanski, who is entering his 12th season with the Vikings, will be Minnesota's quarterbacks coach in 2017. He previously coached both running backs (2016) and tight ends (2014-15), and was an assistant quarterbacks coach from 2009-13.

"I think it's going to be great for Kevin in the future," Zimmer said. "He's getting a good idea of how to coach a lot of different positions, a lot of the skill positions.

"I think that will enhance him in his career, but it's nice to have a different idea on how the running backs see things as a quarterback and how the tight ends see things as a quarterback," Zimmer added.

Clancy Barone (tight ends coach) and Kennedy Polamalu (running backs coach) are two new additions to Minnesota's staff.

Barone had been with the Denver Broncos since 2009 and helped the franchise win Super Bowl 50.

"Clancy has coached with the offensive line and tight ends and won the Super Bowl and has been with a lot of good coaches," Zimmer said. "He's a very energetic guy, very smart. I think he'll fit in really good with the staff."

Polamalu was UCLA's offensive coordinator in 2016 and was the running backs coach in Cleveland in 2004 and Jacksonville from 2005-09.

Zimmer said Polamalu's collegiate experience could help the Vikings as they evaluate potential draft prospects. In addition to UCLA, Polamalu spent time at San Diego State, Colorado and USC.

"Kennedy was in Jacksonville and they had a very good running game when he was there," Zimmer said. "He's been at USC and UCLA, and I think that always can help when college coaches can come in that have seen a lot of these guys who are out here (at the Senior Bowl) or guys that they've played against.

"When you get in the draft process, they might be able to add some things because they might have recruited them," Zimmer added.

Zimmer also provided an update on his right eye, which he said is "doing better."

Zimmer suffered a detached retina in his right eye during the season and underwent multiple surgeries, one of which forced him to miss Minnesota's Week 13 matchup against Dallas.

Zimmer said he's planning to have another surgery at the end of April.

"Hopefully it'll be all good then," Zimmer said.

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