1. Welcome to San Diego Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the San Diego Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Create an Account or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

No doubt: Norv wants to run ball

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, May 23, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    What’s surprising is that I’ve yet to receive one e-mail from somebody either blaming Norv Turner for the Arizona immigration law or insisting he step down as CEO of British Petroleum. But I’m not giving up hope.
    Poor Norv. The Chargers head coach is not liked by many — mostly for the wrong reasons (he doesn’t do backflips and wave pom-poms, so he can’t coach) — and is admired by some — mostly by those who matter (his family, general manager, owner, peers). Mostly, he’s just misunderstood.
    Example: Turner, who calls his own plays, is a pass-first-run-second offensive coordinator. I realize knee-jerk emotional types have little time for research, but if you bothered to study up on Norv’s career, then you know it’s not true. Not close.
    But even LaDainian Tomlinson, who should know better, accused Turner of being a throw-first coach as LT used the bus he was taking out of town to run over his former coach and offensive linemen.
    If you single out San Diego’s 2009 season, then it’s unfair, because LT, his skills in decline, and the Chargers in general had difficulty running, so Turner did what he had to do to win games. And so his team won 13 of them, 11 in a row, without much of a ground offensive.
    History and the facts it tows along tell us Turner runs the ball.
    During the three years Norv served as Cowboys offensive coordinator (1991-93), Emmitt Smith led the NFL in rushing.
    Turner was Washington’s head coach in 1995-96, when Terry Allen rushed for 1,309 and 1,353 yards, making the Pro Bowl , and in 1999 Stephen Davis gained 1,405 yards, leading the NFC and making the Pro Bowl. Not exactly Blanchard and Davis, those two.
    He was the Chargers offensive coordinator LT’s rookie year, when the tailback gained 1,236 yards on a bad team. He called plays as head coach in 2007, when Tomlinson led The League in rushing (1,474 yards) and in 2008, when LT gained 1,110.
    He did the same for Oakland in 2005, when the great LaMont Jordan ran for 1,025 yards.
    He did the same in San Francisco in 2006, when Frank Gore led the NFC with 1,695 yards and made the Pro Bowl.
    So Turner eschews the run? Last year was an aberration. He tried to run it and couldn’t, so he used weapons such as quarterback Philip Rivers and receivers Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd to move it — not the easiest thing to do, when you can’t run.
    “You’ve got to do what’s best, and I believe we know this team better than most,” Turner is saying in between his team’s offseason coaching sessions. “My first year here, LT led the league in rushing and we had good balance. With last year’s team going the way it did, we had a productive passing quarterback (Rivers) who led the league in 20-yard-plus plays.
    “You have to give your team the best opportunity to win. As we got going last year, we had some games with balance; some games we didn’t have balance and still won.”
    Unforeseen things came into play. LT slipped. Even when he broke free he couldn’t do the things he did before. The offensive line was makeshift the entire season, losing Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick and rookie guard Louis Vasquez opening night and then right tackle Jeromey Clary. And yet defenses stacked against the run.
    “You know, people still had great respect for LT,” Turner says. “We saw a lot of 8-man fronts — a lot more than you think — and out of that we had great success in the passing game.
    “This has become an 8-man-front-pressure league. Most teams are leaning to the 8-man front now. But the team that beat us in the playoffs (the Jets) didn’t beat us because we couldn’t run the ball. A lot of things went into that game. We didn’t play well in areas we had played well in during that winning streak.”
    But their lack of balance kept them from being even more dangerous offensively — and they were very dangerous as it was. Turner believes LT’s replacement, rookie Ryan Mathews, who the team sacrificed plenty to get in the draft’s first round, will bring additional danger to the offense.
    “We did not have a lot of explosive runs the last two years, and that’s the quickest way I know of to get teams out of 8-man fronts, popping a long run,” Turner said. “We’re really looking forward to getting Mathews in here next week.”
    And the coach is convinced his maligned offensive line, if healthy, will be plenty good enough. As it was, he got far more than could be expected out of it a year ago.
    “We want to run the ball,” he says. “You want to be a team that, in the fourth quarter, goes out and runs the ball when they know you’re going to run the ball. And we’re going to be capable of doing that.”
    I’m sure he’s ticked at what LT said. He won’t admit it publicly.
    “I’ve been through it; it’s a normal reaction,” he says. “I have great respect for LT. I look at it as a superstar going through difficult times.”
    When superstar runners can’t run, times become difficult. And their tongues move better than their legs.

Share This Page