It's time Norv Turner gets the credit he is due, says BOLTHYPE's Jeff Williams. Turner has taken a beating from the fans and the media, and yet through it all Norv has his Chargers playing their best football as they roll into the playoffs.
When are we going to learn? For a third straight year, the Chargers got off to a rocky start, and Norv Turner was believed to be a failure. For the third straight year, the Chargers fought back from that rocky start to make the playoffs. Each of the last three years I picked the Chargers to win the Super Bowl (I know, big surprise), and in the previous two years they came close but not close enough. Through it all Norv has taken a beating from the fans, and I’ll admit to leading the charge against him more than once. But it is past time to give Norv his due credit. He has coached through an incredible number of injuries and poor defensive schemes yet still manages to have his team playing their best football in December and January. This season more than ever, he has been passionate on the sidelines, he has been incredibly focused, and most importantly he has Philip Rivers playing like an MVP.
Norv Turner was brought in for a number of different reasons, including his familiarity with the offense, and his ability to get along with others (like his GM), but primarily he was brought in to mentor Rivers. After their first year together back in 2007, Rivers performance really took off. In 2008 he posted career highs in passing yards, TD’s, completion percentage, and QB rating. This year he has already set a new career high for passing yards with 4155, and tied his career low for interceptions with just 9 (in a full season, assuming he doesn’t play enough Sunday to throw for another one).
Back in 2007 I wrote about Turner’s expert handling of QB’s, and compared the numbers put up by Troy Aikman early in his career to what Rivers might be able to accomplish under Turner’s tutelage. Turner was offensive coordinator for the Cowboys from 1991-1993, when Aikman threw for career highs in yards, touchdowns, completion percentage, and QB rating. As previously mentioned, Rivers has already thrown for career highs of his own under Turner, and has greatly exceeded the numbers put up by Aikman in that same time span. In fact, the only stat that Rivers has not topped Aikman in is Super Bowl victories.
Aikman won two Super Bowls while Norv was the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys, and he was named MVP of Super Bowl XXVII. Rivers is still waiting for his first opportunity to play in a Super Bowl. After so many chances and missed opportunities, will this be his year? I’m going to stick to my prediction and say yes, and this year I really believe it. And I really believe in Norv.
Labels: Norv Turner
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