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Super Bowl hopes rewrite Norv Turner story

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Who is this man nobody wanted?

    Who is this man who had a tarnished head coaching track record?

    Who is this man they wanted to fire?

    The head coach of the Chargers, Norv Turner, is poised for a realistic chance at Super Bowl Sunday and a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

    He is quiet, unassuming, egoless — almost introverted.

    NFL head coaches come in all sizes, shapes and styles. The great ones carry a unique aura unto themselves.


    Tony Dungy, the icon from Indianapolis, was an intellect, rational in thoughts, relationships and spoken word.

    New England’s Bill Belichick, is all about possession of ideas and methods, with a mix of paranoia.

    Bill Parcells of Giants, Jets, Patriots and Cowboys fame, was dictatorial in style and substance.

    Bill Cowher was prototype Pittsburgh — fire and ice, demanding and dedicated.

    Tom Coughlin of the Giants is all about details, every minute, every day.

    Jimmy Johnson was flare and fury on both sides of the ball during the early-90s Dallas Cowboys heyday.

    They were all winners come Super Bowl Sunday — all with different approaches to get to the end result.

    Norv Turner is wholly none of the above, yet is working on a platform in which he takes from each.

    The Chargers coach is a product of a unique road travelled, one that took him from the Pac-10 to the NFL. A highway that weaved back and forth, working for genius head coaches, gurus, giant egos and oddball idiots. His learning curve to get to this point reads like a Rand McNally Atlas.

    Turner cut his teeth working under USC legend John Robinson, where he learned the value of the power running game and intricacies of attacking defenses via “Student Body Right.”

    His early indoctrination to the NFL passing game came under Ernie Zampese, the then offensive guru with the Los Angeles Rams. Zampese took everything he could from his days with Air Coryell in San Diego. Turner took the best pages of the Zampese playbook with him.

    Turner’s learning curve grew faster as he masterminded schemes to combat the great defenses Jimmy Johnson built with the Dallas Cowboys in practice. Practicing against the best the Cowboys had to offer made his offense the best.

    But Turner learned painful lessons, too, as a head coach. If the job were any good, it wouldn’t have been open in the first place.

    The road travelled took him to Washington, where he learned quickly that there is a big difference between winning organizations and owners who are losers. He had the Redskins on the right track until Daniel Snyder decided he knew more about football than his football coach. The Redskins have been a miserable failure since.

    And his short unhappy stay in Oakland nearly cost him his career. Two years of owner interference from Al Davis almost destroyed his reputation nationwide. He had failed in two places as a head coach, and perception almost became reality. There might never be another chance.

    But win-loss records are not the only thing by which coaches are judged. The media viewed Turner, as did the fans, as a coach with a pitiful career record. Some football people, though, knew the real story, of how Turner related to players with a superior approach to Xs and Os. How Turner’s reputation in developing raw skill on offense, outweighed the career marks in unstable organizations. And how his calming approach in the pressurized frenzy of game day calmed everyone.

    You knew he was something special, when he got in on the ground floor with Johnson and the Cowboys. In three seasons (1991-93), he built an offense that had been 1-15 in Troy Aikman’s rookie year and wound up with two Super Bowl rings.

    The stats are there for everyone to see. Aikman threw 36 picks in two years. Under Turner he threw 49 TDs and 30 interceptions in their three-year run.

    Of course Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin played huge roles in that great offense. But Turner had to groom and grow the quarterback so the others would succeed. The running back and receiver combined for 64 touchdowns during Turner’s stay in Dallas.

    In Washington, Turner inherited a 3-13 team quarterbacked by journeymen like Gus Frerotte, Brad Johnson and Trent Green. When he was done, he had 3 ½ winning seasons (he was fired in the midst of his final year with a winning record) in six years, but was let go after reaching the playoffs just once.

    Washington has since hired Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, brought back Joe Gibbs and now has Jim Zorn. Those coaches could only manage two winning seasons in nine years under Snyder’s watch.

    Turner’s 24-month stay in the Black Hole in Oakland was marked by big statistical seasons by QB Kerry Collins, but marred with a 9-23 record as Al Davis tried to dictate everything. The Raiders are 28-81 since the day they played in the Super Bowl in San Diego in 2003. Turner became a victim like everyone else who has worked there since Jon Gruden left as head coach.

    San Diego was much like Dallas. Yes, he inherited talent. Yes, he changed the playbook. Yes, he has been given a gifted quarterback and took over with the greatest talent the league had at running back. But for Turner, it has become a laboratory experiment. Grow Philip Rivers, add greatness at tight end in Antonio Gates, mix and match LaDainian Tomlinson and a host of role-playing receivers.

    The end result now is a dynamic, diverse offensive team that can beat you many different ways on any given Sunday, in the regular season or postseason. Everyone, at one time or another, is involved in his 550-page playbook.

    Turner is part Parcells-Belichick, paranoid; part-Coughlin-Cowher, attention to every detail; part Johnson, flair on offense and fury from his defense; and part-Dungy, smart, unassuming and ultra-confident.

    No one wanted him; no one respected his record; no one wanted to keep him. San Diego does and will as the win in Dallas was reportedly followed with an offer for a contract extension.

    Now Norv Turner — good man and good coach — appears ready to be something now no one ever thought possible. A true winner.
     
  2. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    :icon_banana:
     
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  3. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the Redskins and owner Snyder. I remember when we played the Rams in St. Louis in the 2007 preseason. The SDUT newspaper had an article where they interviewed Norv about his stint with the 'Skins and his interaction with Snyder.

    It was relevant because the Rams were starting Gus Frerotte due to Bulger's injury.

    In that article, Norv said that he didn't want Frerotte to be the starting QB for his offense and his Redskins team. He felt Brad Johnson was much better and would be a better passer. However, owner Daniel Snyder almost forced Norv to go with Frerotte by letting Brad Johnson go to Minnesota. Why? Who knows? Frerotte had average seasons in 1996 and 1997. Nothing special. The Redskins offense was the same.

    However, in 1999, Norv got his wish and Brad Johnson was the starter after Minny released him and they picked him back up. He threw for 4000 yards, 27 TD, 11 INT. It was also the only year the Redskins reached the playoffs under Norv, and they were a missed FG away (snap was fumbled by the holder) in the final seconds from beating the Bucs (lost 14-13) and reaching the NFCCG versus the Rams.


    It shows you how a meddlesome owner can ruin things. Who knows how many more postseason appearances the Redskins could have had with Norv if Snyder would have allowed him to have Brad Johnson as the starter several years earlier like he wanted?
     
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  4. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Nice work. I have always thought too many people were underestimating Norval, although I have had my doubts about his ability to create a really disciplined team-doubts that have been proven less than accurate. The main reason we don't have a Lombardi under him is injury to too many key players in the play off runs. One factor last season was the failure to franchise Michael Turner. He had a remarkable first year as a starter. If we keep both line's current people healthy and get some of the wounded in better shape, I'm fairly optimistic. We are on a roll. I say we beat the Bengals decisively.
     
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  5. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Norval is quietly regaining my support, but I refuse to be overly rambunctious about it until I see him hoisting a Lombardi. (Or, at the very least, the Lamar Hunt)

    That's not to say I'm going to be running around calling for his dismissal if he doesn't get the team to the Super Bowl. I just feel a bit uneasy making any kind of final-wordesque opinion of him while the season is still underway and the bottom line has yet to be achieved.
     
  6. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    :popcorn:

    "And here we...go."
    [​IMG]
     
  7. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    You'd like that, wouldn't you?
     
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  8. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    It is inevitable.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Zeus

    Zeus BoltTalker

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    Great write up. Did you write that up yourself?
     
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  10. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I love what Norv has done for the offense and knowing that he will be back next year is a comfort. I don't know where the rumor that the player's hated him came from but I have never seen anything like that. Follow that up with River's giving Norv a game ball in Dallas and no one can claim team unity including player's and coaches isn't strong on this team.

    My biggest concern looking forward to next season is, will Ron Rivera be here to contribute his transformation of this defense. Even if Wade Phillips offered to come back for free I'd vote NO. Ron has something great cooking and I'm liking the aroma he has stewing up there in San Diego.

    Together both of these men have brought this team to a point of fear in the NFL, on one hand you know Norv's offense is going to test you at the very seams of your defense. Then in comes Ron's defense and very unpredictable they are. They are like a demolition crew, chipping away until your very foundation falls beneath you.

    I happy with the result's so far this season, a Lombardi run will surly cause Deano to open up his checkbook and get Norv signed, but what to do with Ron, will he stay or will he go??
    I'd hate to see a good thing broken up but I still would wait and see what happens, if that were left up to me.

    Can a NFL team have two Head coaches, you know like HC of the offense and a HC of defense??????? Just a thought.:icon_shrug:
     
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  11. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Good read. I like how it points out that no one has succeeded under Snyder or Davis after Norv left both teams. Not even HoF Coach Gibbs could win in his second stint with the Redskins.

    I love how the haters hang on to the Raiders and Skins as an example of Turner as a HC. Not one coach has succeeded with the Redskins since Snyder bought the team. The Raiders have been a mess since Gruden left.
     
  12. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    I'm sorry but that's not true.
    When Joe Gibbs returned, they finished at 10-6 in 2005 and made it to the playoffs. Then in 2007, they finished at 9-7 and made it to the playoffs.
    That was after Norv and under Snyder.
     
  13. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Who cares about the RAIDERS and REDSKINS?

    Who fargin cares? IT JUST DOESNT MATTER!

    Fact is he is winning with the CHARGERS!

    That is the ONLY thing that counts!
     
  14. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    So, what you're saying is, it takes a HOF coach to win under Snyder?
     
  15. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    What I'm saying is that the information that Kwak provided is not true.

    Nothing more.
     
  16. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    So, you're saying Gibbs succeeded in his second tenure as Redskins head coach?
     
  17. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Well out of four season, he had two winning seasons and two playoff appearances. The level of success can be argued but it's still success.

    Even Marty had some success there to a certain extent (in one season).
    A god awful team (with Tony Banks as their starter) starts at 0-5 and finishes at 8-8... just missing the playoffs. Under those circumstances... that's success. I would have bet money that they would have made the playoffs the following season, had they kept Marty.

    So what would you call it?
     
  18. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I'd call it some level of success.

    I was merely curious because you've repeatedly argued in the past that making it to the AFC Championship Game is not success.
     
  19. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    I thought the only thing that mattered was winning a Superbowl? Two playoff appearances makes a successful coach? Wow you must think Norv is exceptionally successful (considering he actually wins playoff games).
     
  20. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    I said it's not enough to define the Rivers, LT, Merriman, Jackson, ect. era (the skins don't have a sixteenth of that talent level).

    I never said making it to the AFCC is not successful. Though I did remind some people that you don't get a title for that and nobody cares about who lost the AFCC at the end of the season.
     
  21. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Again... to define an era of talent as great as ours... ABSOLUTELY!!!
    Bucs did it. After playoff runs, they finally figured it out (while most of their talent was on their last legs). They completed their great era!


    Maybe this will help...
    I can name quite a few key Bucs players from that era off the top of my head (without Google). Brad Johnson, Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Mike Alstott, Keyshaw Johnson.

    Can you do the same for the 2004 - 2008 Redskins? I can't name one.

    BOTTOM LINE... Success is (or should be) measured by expectations and what you have to work with.
     
  22. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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  23. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Close yer mouth, you will attract Antarian tongue flies!
     
  24. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    When your team is losing and making dumb calls and mistakes the Coach (rightly) gets a tanking.

    When your team is winning, the players usually get all the credit - this is true in almost every team sport. You really need to be thick skinned to be a coach.
    In this case though, many Non-Norval's (myself included), are being turned around - as evidenced by many posts lately.

    IMHO there has been a marked change in the imagination and agressiveness of play calling and for this Norv deserves enormous credit.
     
  25. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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  26. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    My point was they did not go any where. Gibbs did not do any better than Turner and ended up with the same number of playoff wins. 1

    Plus Turner was saddled with Frerotte at QB. :lol: That dude sucked.
     
  27. Airw0lf

    Airw0lf BoltTalker

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    I really appreciate the way he has built the offensive play this season. For example, it was a while before we saw the "Wild Frog" come into action - I believe the first time was against Oakland at the Q. Snap to LT for a TD. Now look at how the Wild Frog has been expanded - snaps to Naanee who might throw the ball, reverses and handoffs to Rivers (see Cowboys game), etc...

    All of the above neglects how we've got more legitimate threats in the air now...it's not just VJ and Gates, but it might be Floyd or Naanee too. Don't forget Sproles' and Tolbert's contributions to our receiving yards too.

    Tolbert has been brought into the running game to compensate somewhat for the limited production from LT and Sproles. Although I will admit that I believe our rushing can still improve a great deal. Not sure that it is entirely because LT is old or because our blocking isn't good...But the bottom line is that our running game has improved (not dramatically, but it has improved) as the passing threat has been built up so well.

    The only thing I'd like Norv to try is to be a bit more aggressive on 4th and 2/3. He seems to ALWAYS punt or kick a FG even if it's just by the redzone! Maybe Norv is saving that up for a big playoff game...when I'm daydreaming I sometimes wonder if he'll send out a FG unit in a playoff game only to run a trick play for the first down or TD.
     
  28. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    I still say fire norv!!!!! If we had Marty or even Mike Riley we'd be gunnin for 16-0 right now...

    [​IMG]
     
  29. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    You just lost any bit of credibility you once had. :lol:
     
  30. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    He had credibility? When?

    :icon_rofl:
     

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