Players Have Confidence In Norv Turner, But The Critics Continue To Doubt

Listen to guys like LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers, and Luis Castillo speak about coach Turner, you wouldn't hear any trepidation in what they say.

"I think he fits right into this team perfectly," Rivers said. "He knows what he's doing. He's been around. He knows what it takes to win."

The continuity that the players have expressed great satisfaction in cannot be overlooked. As a player, there is something to be said about being on the same page with the coaches and scheme. When you arrive to a point where you can just play, and not have to think so much, then your performance on the field is going to be high-level. The fact that the defensive and offensive schemes are virtually the same, plus a few wrinkles will mean that the players will be more instinctive and won't have to worry about things like getting confused by terminology in a play-call or audible.

What I found particularly interesting is LaDainian's comments about Norv:

"He adds confidence and experience. He's won a Super Bowl, so he's been there," said Tomlinson. "The experience is key. Norv has been coaching twenty-something years, so he's called big games."

Is this a slight quip at Marty and Cam Cameron? Obviously Marty Schottenheimer never won a Super Bowl, and there has been some questionable playcalling in both the 2004 and 2006 Charger playoff appearances. Maybe a frustrated Tomlinson will now finally be allowed to carry the ball some more in the second half of these big games, and is simply making a statement about how Norv will operate differently then the previous staff.

Either way, the same confidence the team expressed in Philip Rivers last year is what I am picking up on again this year in terms of Norv Turner's ability to lead the Bolts. Although the critics will continue to poke at Norv Turner's success as a head coach, never has he had such a stacked roster. He won't need to do much, he just needs to put his players in positions where they can be successful. Marty Schottenheimer didn't need to do much either, but failed when the time came to rely on his players to win games.

May 7, 2007

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Steve said... May 8, 2007, 4:19:00 PM

I think the mindset going in is that Norv doesn't have to rock the house, he just has to keep the ship steered in the same direction as last year.

But, head coaching and the NFL in general is never that easy. The Chargers will have a tougher schedule, and I'd bet Turner's coaching abilities will be put to the test sooner or later (and for sure in the playoffs.)

But all this being said, I think Turner was a great pick. He should do great with Rivers, whose continued development is absolutely crucial to the continued success of the franchise. He's run the offense on Super Bowl winning teams. He's coached some bad teams to bad records, but you can only hold so much of that against him (except that he should choose gigs more carefully.) Fortunately for him, the Chargers are giving him a fresh start, and it is here that he will make his mark (good or bad) as a NFL head coach.

Rob Zepeda said... May 8, 2007, 10:23:00 PM


I think we are on the same page here.

At the time of the interviews, I was hoping for Rex Ryan to be the guy, mostly because I am a huge fan of defense.

And while I was mildly surprised that the Chargers gave Turner his fresh start, I think it spoke of something on a deeper level.

What the hiring of Norv Turner said to me was clear; LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers are the franchise. And however great our defense is, lead by Shawne Merriman and Jamal Williams, at the end of the day, the future of the franchise is in our star QB and star RB. As #21 and #17 go, the team goes.

It is because of this that I think Norv will have a lot of success and prove many doubters wrong.

I appreciate your comments Steve.

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