News & notes
Vikings: Offensive coordinator Norv Turner abruptly resigned Wednesday, stunning the team two days after losing its second consecutive game with an offense nowhere to be found. Coach Mike Zimmer’s voice cracked and his bottom lip quivered near the end of his news conference while discussing his relationship with Turner, whom he hired to run his offense after getting the job with the Vikings in 2014. Zimmer said the decision was made entirely by Turner, who was replaced by Pat Shurmur. “Norv is a very, very good friend of mine. He has helped me tremendously in the three years that I’ve been here,” Zimmer said. “He’s had an unbelievable career. He’s been, really, my right-hand man.” The Vikings have scored only 10 points in each loss after a 5-0 start to the season, with the offensive line’s performance the primary concern. Quarterback Sam Bradford, who was sacked 11 times over the last two games, said he had no problem with the scheme and that the players felt responsible for Turner’s departure. “I obviously didn’t see this coming. I was in here yesterday talking to him. I didn’t really think anything was different,” Bradford said. Turner released a statement through the Vikings, stating his “tremendous respect” for Zimmer, the staff and the players and his desire to see them succeed. “At this time I think it’s in the best interest of the team to step down,” said Turner, who told ESPN his decision stemmed from differing views with Zimmer about the offensive strategy.
Panthers: Quarterback Cam Newton’s concerns about “illegal hits” have been heard by the NFL — and action has been taken. A person familiar with the situation says Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Calais Campbell has been fined $18,000 for his hit on Newton in Sunday’s game. The person spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the league does not publicly announce fines. Newton had a phone conversation with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday about his perspective on the hits he takes from defensive players while in the pocket. “I got my point across. He got his point across. That’s it,” Newton said earlier Wednesday at his weekly news conference. Newton said after Sunday’s game he didn’t feel protected in the pocket after no flag was thrown when Campbell crashed into his legs as he was releasing the football. Dean Blandino, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, said on NFL Network that Campbell should have been penalized for roughing the passer.
Eagles: Josh Huff says he carries a gun because he doesn’t trust people in his hometown of Houston and he has to protect his family. The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver is expected to play this week against the Giants despite his arrest on gun and drug charges. The team doesn’t plan any discipline yet. Huff was charged Tuesday with possession of a 9 mm handgun without a permit and having a small amount of marijuana after he was pulled over for speeding on the New Jersey side of the Walt Whitman bridge. Huff was also cited for driving while intoxicated. His attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., said Huff is licensed to carry in Texas and the gun was not loaded when he was stopped Tuesday morning. “I have a wife and I have a son at home, and my job is to protect them at all costs,” Huff said. “I’m from Houston. You can’t trust a lot of people in Houston. There’s always somebody out to get you. I’ve felt my life has been threatened and that’s why I do have a gun and I do have a license. There’s been several instances in Houston where I’ve lost a friend to gun violence. Why would I let that happen to me?”