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Stafford, Caldwell know about 'difficult' OC switch

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Norv Turner's surprising resignation thrust the Minnesota Vikings into odd territory: a playoff contender swapping out offensive coordinator.

Jim Caldwell has a little experience in that area. In December 2012, Caldwell took over the Ravens offensive coordinator gig and helped Baltimore to a Super Bowl. Last year in Detroit, Caldwell fired his OC and placed Jim Bob Cooter in charge. The Lions' offense took off to end the season (6-3 record).

"Everything is just a little bit different," Caldwell said told Minnesota media this week, via the Vikings official team website. "Baltimore was a unique situation, and it was one of those things where we just started to click at the right time. The guys played well on both sides of the ball for a significant stretch. It took us a little bit to get our footing, but we ended up performing well. There was no magic to it. We just played well."

Sunday's tilt against the Lions could be the most difficult adjustment, with Pat Shurmur taking over on short notice. In Cooter's first game last season, the Lions' offense got dominated in a 45-10 loss to Kansas City in London. With Shurmur calling plays from Turner's playbook there could be similar struggles out of the gate.

"We couldn't do all of it in one week," Matthew Stafford said of the midseason change. "You had to do little by little changes in our circumstance just because it was going to be so different.

"I have no idea what their plans are, but obviously, any kind of change in the middle of a season is somewhat difficult, but there's ways to work through it, and who knows how they'll do," Stafford added. "I don't know what philosophical differences, if any at all, are going to be changing with their coordinator, so I don't want to speak for them. It may take no time at all. It may take weeks. Who knows?"

The Lions had the benefit of a bye week to figure out their offense under Cooter, a luxury the Vikings are not afforded.

Still, an offense held hostage by a porous offensive line, ranking 31st in rushing yards and total yards and 28th in passing yards can't get much worse than it's been the past two weeks.

"Every team has its own unique challenges and deals with that," Caldwell said. "It's one of those things that was not a comfortable situation in either situation, but the great thing about teams in this league is they adapt quickly and the players adapt quickly."

The Vikings need Sam Bradford to adapt quickly and the offensive line to perform at least marginally better as Mike Zimmer's squad attempts to keep their playoff plans afloat after the latest wild turn of 2016.

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