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The Norv Turner Effect

Discussion in 'Fantasy Football Talk' started by RaiderRay, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers...Go Padres, Gulls, Ducks, Raiders Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005

    We have all heard about the Madden cover curse, the curse of the Bambino and the Sports Illustrated cover curse. But a new curse (some would call it a trend) has emerged around the presence and absence of offensive wizard Norv Turner.

    Let's call it the Turner Effect.

    Back in the preseason, I examined a trend surrounding running backs that experienced a statistical breakout under Turner. The simple fact is that those breakout runners also saw their stats fall across the board once Turner left their respective teams. That concerned me when it came to the value of Frank Gore, who led the NFC in rushing yards and become a fantasy football stalwart in all formats last season. I'm not that superstitious a person, though maybe I am a bit more now, so I mentioned the trend and let it slide.

    Instead, I should have warned owners with more fervor that Gore became a far more viable bust candidate the second Turner left San Francisco to become the new head coach in San Diego. As someone who has never believed much in curses, I didn't think it held water. Truth be known, this turned out to be the second time in three seasons that Turner has burned me.

    Fool me once, shame on you, Norv. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    Gore rushed for an NFC-best 1,695 yards with nine total touchdowns last season, so his draft value was at an all-time high headed into 2007. The former Miami Hurricane, who missed last weekend's contest in Atlanta due to an injured ankle, has seen a ridiculous decrease in value without his former offensive coordinator. Based on his current porous totals, Gore will rush for 932 yards and six scores in his first season since Turner left the Niners.

    Remember when I said that Turner has now burned me twice? Well, the first time came in 2006.

    LaMont Jordan signed with Oakland in the offseason and was one of my top sleepers based on the presence of Turner, who was the new head coach in Raider Nation at the time. Jordan went on to post career bests in all statistical categories. He had 70 catches, 1,588 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns. Much like Gore in 2007, his value heading into the 2006 season soared.

    The Raiders fired Turner after a 4-12 season, which should have put an enormous bullseye on Jordan's back. The veteran went on to miss seven games in 2006 due to injuries, and he finished with 10 catches, 508 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. He was also one of the biggest disappointments in all of fantasy football. After a hot start to this season, Jordan aggravated his bad back and has since lost the top spot on the Oakland depth chart to Justin Fargas.

    Was it coincidence, or did the loss of Turner somehow curse Jordan?

    Before you dismiss that notion as ridiculous, consider the fate of Ricky Williams.

    The New Orleans Saints gave up an entire draft class to land Williams, who was touted as the next great runner in the NFL. He went on to rush for 884 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie, and his averages with the Saints (1,043 rushing yards, six TDs) were not that of a superstar back. Williams then found himself in Miami with Turner, who helped him realize his statistical potential.

    In his first season under Turner as his offensive coordinator, Williams rushed for an NFL and career-best 1,853 yards. He also scored a career-best 17 total touchdowns and went from underachiever to fantasy stud. Williams totaled close to 1,400 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns in 2003, but Turner left Miami in the offseason to take over as the head man in Oakland.

    That was the beginning of the end of Williams' value and statistical success.

    In 2004, Williams was suspended for the entire season due to off-the-field issues. He came back in 2005 and was part of a committee situation with Ronnie Brown, but the former Texas standout wasn't the same runner. He went on to be suspended a second time in 2006, and at this point it seems Williams will not be reinstated to the NFL in the near future.

    Still don't believe in the Turner curse? Well, it doesn't end with Gore, Jordan and Williams. But it did start with our final victim, Stephen Davis.

    Davis was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 1996, but he didn't make a significant impact until 1999 when Turner made him his featured back. Davis became a viable fantasy star, as he rushed for a career-best 1,405 yards and scored a career-best 17 touchdowns. He would rush for 1,318 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2000, but Turner was fired with three games left in that season. In his 13 starts under Turner, Davis averaged 92 rushing yards per game.

    In those starts under interim head coach Terry Robiskie, Davis averaged 72 rushing yards per game.

    Davis did rush for 1,432 yards the season after Turner was fired, but he scored six fewer touchdowns compared to his 2000 total. He would reach the 1,000-yard mark just one more time in his career before knee problems cost him a chance at an NFL roster spot.

    So with these valid little factoids on the table, do we believe in the Turner effect or is it mere coincidence? Those who aren't superstitious might ridicule the notion, but the stats don't lie. If a Turner curse does exist, is it that far-fetched to believe that the likes of Marshall Faulk, Daunte Culpepper, Eddie George, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb and Dorsey Levens were also jinxed when featured on the Madden cover?

    I will make one statement: Has anyone seen Vince Young's numbers this season? Oh, and he did miss his first start ever with an injured quadriceps? Curse or no curse?

    You decide.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. zatoichi

    zatoichi BoltTalker

    Feb 22, 2007
    It would be nice to can him and bring in someone like the Chin or Dick Vermiel, but it's not happening. If Chargers beat writer, Kevin Acee, is to be believed, we might be stuck with the Turner & Cottrell comedy team for more than one year. Unbelievable. Well, I don't own the team, so what can I say. The Chargers were on the verge of becoming a national team and.... Oh well, I guess they are a national team in San Diego! This is not an easy team to love.
  3. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

    Oct 3, 2006

    Love isn't an easy thing.
    Real diehardfans go allalong the stony roads with their team,
    whether they win or lose.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. henryqjr2001

    henryqjr2001 BoltTalker

    Sep 18, 2007
    I heard Jerry Rice say at the being of the season, he is the worst coach he has played for. He has no guts to be HC, HE CAN'T HANDLE THE RESPONDSIBILTY!! HE HAS NO CLUE!!:icon_shrug:
  5. powayslugger

    powayslugger No longer a fan- FU Spanos

    Dec 14, 2006
    I finally cut Frank Gore from my fantasy team... the guy had done nuttin' this year. Another casualty of "the Turner effect"

    I replaced him with Justin Fargus.

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