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Gene Wang
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Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Give Norv a Break

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Mention the name Norv Turner around these parts -- and by that I mean the Washington-metropolitan area -- and you're likely to get vitriolic reaction.

Turner spent nearly two full seasons coaching the Redskins, and most of it was tumultuous.
Fans often criticized his on-field decisions, and he never really endeared himself to ownership.
To the delight of many Redskins fans, owner Daniel Snyder fired Turner with three games left in the 2000 season. When Turner was dismissed, Washington was 7-6 and in playoff contention. The Redskins finished 8-8 and out of the postseason.

In his only full season with the Redskins during the Snyder regime, Turner guided Washington to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title. He got Brad Johnson, then 31 years old, to his only Pro Bowl. Stephen Davis ran for 1,405 yards and 17 touchdowns and also went to the Pro Bowl. Turner came within a poor snap of advancing to the NFC championship game.

Yet that wasn't enough, and Snyder decided to go in another direction. Since Turner was fired, the Redskins have been to the postseason twice, going 1-2 overall. Since Turner replaced former Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer in San Diego, the Chargers have made the playoffs twice, including this year winning the AFC West title and last season advancing to the AFC championship game.

You think the Chargers aren't delighted they have Turner coaching right now? He did what Schottenheimer never could by taking San Diego deep into the postseason. Last year the Chargers lost the AFC title game to New England, 21-12 with MVP LaDainian Tomlinson out for all but a few plays and quarterback Philip Rivers hurt.

This season despite an injury to Tomlinson that greatly limited his production, the Chargers persevered to win the AFC West. Rivers finished as the league's top-rated passer and tied for first with 34 touchdowns. It's no coincidence Rivers had the best season of his career with Turner, one of keenest offensive minds in the game, as his coach.

With Tomlinson close to healthy again and Rivers playing better than almost any quarterback in the league, there's no reason why Turner and Chargers can't go far into the postseason again.

By Gene Wang  |  December 30, 2008; 12:54 PM ET  | Category:  San Diego Chargers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The fact that you're ignorant that Turner was the HC for just shy of SEVEN seasons invalidates your entire post. He had ample time to make the Redskins into something and he failed miserably.

The man has been a HC for 11 seasons and he's made playoffs 3 times...FAIL! Last year shouldn't count since a baboon could've taken that team, with all of its talent, to the playoffs. Look at the trend: Marty won 14 games. Next season, Norv wins 11, 3 fewer. Next season, Norv wins 8, 3 more fewer. That's what you get with a Norv-coached team, a descent into mediocrity.

Norv is an above-average OC. His opening drives are things of beauty. But beyond that, he's incapable of adjusting in games and he's known for losing games late. But has HC, he's pathetic. The fact that AJ Smith fired Marty and hired Norv shows how little he actually knows about football, at least football coaching. No intelligent football mind on earth thinks Norv is a good HC, period.

Posted by: kirbyknight | January 2, 2009 10:21 AM

I agree that Norv spent nearly two full seasons coaching the Redskins. The problem is that he stood on the sideline for almost seven.

Maybe if he had coached more and spent less time looking pensive.

The talent of the Chargers' squad is currently rising above their coaching incompetance.

Posted by: trigamy1986 | January 2, 2009 11:48 AM

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