One of our five key takeaways from GM Rick Spielman's press conference on Thursday was that Norv Turner's track record working with quarterbacks was a factor in the Vikings decision to hire him as offensive coordinator.
But we also learned that Spielman is anxious to see Turner work with playmaker Cordarrelle Patterson, and that Turner shares in the anticipation.
"Norv already put in ten plays for him. It was the first thing he was doing when he was putting the Xs and Os part of it together," Spielman said on Thursday while chuckling. "He (Patterson) is a unique talent. Last year we were able to collect three first-round draft picks. Felt very strong about him when we did trade back up in the first round to go get him. We know what type of unique traits he has as an athlete, just because not only of his speed and movement skills but his size. When we did trade Percy Harvin away last year, we wanted to get that dynamic returner back, we wanted to get a guy that had traits that Percy Harvin had for us. He's a young guy who's going to just continue to develop, and I expect him to thrive under Norv."
Just one season ago, Turner had great results with another second-year receiver – Cleveland's Josh Gordon. Despite missing the season's first two games, Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646; Gordon also had 87 receptions and nine touchdowns. Turner got that production out of Gordon despite uneven play and several injuries at quarterback.
Turner's creativity and overall offensive acumen is largely responsible for Gordon's success under those circumstances.
"Norv's very creative, and I had an opportunity to work with Norv down in Miami when he was an OC down in Miami," Spielman explained. "I know Norv's reputation not only as a playcaller on game day, but what he did with Josh Gordon in Cleveland, who had a very successful year."
Josh Gordon's Rookie Season (2012)
16 GP/13 GS
805 receiving yards
Cordarrelle Patterson's Rookie Season (2013)
16 GP/6 GS
57 scrimmage touches
627 scrimmage yards
7 scrimmage TDs