Blog Entry

An apology to Norv Turner

Posted on: September 5, 2008 11:05 am
Edited on: September 5, 2008 11:55 am

I didn't think I'd ever say these words.

Norv Turner, I'm sorry for every rude or negative thing I've ever said about you. It's safe to say, I never fully appreciated what I had in you.

Maybe it's Al Michaels' calling the trap Jim Zorn called on 3rd and 1 in Thursday night's opener that got stuffed "vanilla." Maybe it's that Norv Turnerthrough 18 minutes the Redskins still didn't have an offensive first down. Maybe it's that since your firing in 2000, we've had three offensive geniuses in our midst, yet the best we've finished was 11th in yards.

Norv, I can't spell it out any better: We can't move the g****** ball anymore. And if there's one thing that makes this game unbearable, it's teams that can't move the ball. Steve Spurrier couldn't put together an offense no matter how many wideouts and Florida alum you spotted him. Joe Gibbs couldn't crack the top 10 in points or yards despite having a bevy of overpriced weapons at his disposal. And now this Jim Zorn character, dios mios. We made a quarterbacks coach a head coach, just like that. It's like electing a state congressman to be president. He never oversaw an offense, let alone an entire coaching operation. Yet, here we are with this Zorn guy and the offense doesn't look like vanilla ice cream, it looks like sugar-free vanilla TCBY soft serve.

It took 28 minutes and 50 seconds to record a first down in the opener. Yes, the team ended up putting 7 points on the board, but Zorn left all three timeouts unused in the first half and failed to properly manage the 4-minute drill in the final frame. The team couldn't run all night, it couldn't pass, it couldn't function on the same level as the Giants.

Norv, I'm sorry. There was a time when your teams didn't know much about defense, but they sure could move the ball down the field. You re-juvenated the careers of Terry Allen and Henry Ellard. You turned Stephen Davis and Brad Johnson into stars. You milked Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell for 1,000-yard seasons and eeked out two decent seasons from Irving Fryar. You made Stephen Alexander and Gus Frerrote relevant. Most importantly, when it was third and long, there was a certain confidence it would be converted.

You did all that, but we wanted more. Dan Snyder wanted more. He saw what you did and figured like most of us, "if Norv can do THAT, imagine what Marty Schottenheimer could do?"

Jim ZornThen it became, "remember what Norv did? Imagine what Steve Spurrier could do?"

Then it became, "remember what Norv did? Imagine what Joe Gibbs could do? Yes, Joe Gibbs!"

Then it became, "well, Joe did some nice things, Marty did some OK things and Steve did nothing right outside of the preseason, remember what Norv did? I bet Jim Zorn could be the next Norv, both have backgrounds in developing quarterbacks."

So we're now stuck with Jim Zorn, who is essentially Norv Turner circa 1995. Except that year, Norv's teams dropped 7 points or less three times. Zorn already has one 7-less game in the can.

Granted, it was against a first-class defense in the defending Super Bowl champs. And often times a good defense can make a decent offense look silly. But there's no excuse for the lack of game management -- including running the ball unsuccessfully, yet repeatedly on second down -- and the inability to work Chris Cooley into the gameplan. And there's never an excuse for failing to put your team in a position to win. Zorn did just that by refusing to play for the field goal first in that bastardized last possession. He acted like a quarterbacks coach, always believing one more play can seize the day. He needs to act like a coach, creating the best odds for his team to win.

The Redskins players didn't lose last night, upper management lost. Dan Snyder continues to bring in the wrong personnel to run a franchise. They've done that since they axed Norv Turner seven seasons ago, and I imagine they'll continue to do that, as evident by failing to hire Gregg Williams in the offseason and the flirtation with Jim Fassell.
From myself, and I'd imagine a few other one-time Redskins faithful, sorry, Norv. We didn't know how good we had it back in the late 1990s.

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Category: NFL

Since: Aug 17, 2008
Posted on: September 5, 2008 5:25 pm

An apology to Norv Turner

WOW!!, The Redskins looked like a bunch of Pee Wee footbal players. If Zorn keeps up with his simple, stupid play calling, he might not even reach mid-season as the head coach.

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: September 5, 2008 4:54 pm

An apology to Norv Turner

I like the "sugar-free vanilla TCBY soft serve" comment. There couldn't be a better analogy than that. The West Coast offense is about building creativity on offense. I think I saw 4 different plays the whole game...1) run left 2) run right 3) run up the middle 4) pass to a wide receiver (right or left, so maybe this counts as 2). The last time I saw a team use only 4 different plays was on Tecmo Bowl for Nintendo almost 20 years ago.

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: September 5, 2008 3:43 pm

An apology to Norv Turner

Wagons empty, hop on.  There's only one rule.  No wearing of Vince Young jerseys to Texans home games and absolutely NO cheering when VY scores the game winning TD on the ground.  (I wanted to blow chunks when VY scored the game winning TD in a Texans home game and Reliant Stadium erupted in cheers like we were in Nashville!)

I like Slaton as a Dominik Davis type guy.  I hope his progression continues.  He could have a very bright future here.  It's the Scondary that scares me.  I have yet to see anything from Jacques Reeves that says he can get the job done and Fred Bennett is still to Green.  I'm hanging on to hope that Daunta Robinson can come back 100% soon.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: September 5, 2008 1:56 pm

An apology to Norv Turner

For some reason, I've taken a shining to the Texans the past three seasons (maybe it's my old love for Casserly...). I like what they have going on (aside from running the ball), got room on the bandwagon?

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: September 5, 2008 1:24 pm

An apology to Norv Turner

Doesn't seem like he has much confidence in himself. Makes a big difference.

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: September 5, 2008 1:22 pm

An apology to Norv Turner

You know you're in trouble when after the season opening loss, the best positive you could find to comment on is the coaches hair and tan.  I watched that awful mess of a game last night too and I feel for ya.  I actually said to a buddy of mine that the Redskins remind me of the 2005 Texans.  The year of high hopes.  The year it was supposed to turn around.  Jason Campbell reminded me of David Carr in 05.  He looked very uncomfortable.  Does seem like he has much confidence in himself.  I watched that go down in over 5 season here in Houston and it's brutal.  I hate to say it but unless Jason grows a pair, the Skins may be shopping for a new QB soon. 

Is it me or does the Redskins have the shortest receivers in the league?  Chris Cooley is gold for the Skins.  I don't know why they don't untilize him more.  They didn't seem to go to him a lot last night, for what ever reason.  The one good catch and run he had was negated by a penalty.  I feel for ya, I really do.  I'm a Texans fan so I can relate.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 5, 2008 11:48 am

An apology to Norv Turner

how does he maintain that George Hamilton tan?!

Marvelous tan, isn't it?  Hope it's still there in December.  I wonder if Zorn got his hair products from the same folks who supply Tom Brady with his?

Since: Sep 4, 2008
Posted on: September 5, 2008 11:39 am

An apology to Norv Turner

Give him a chance. And nobody EVER apologizes to Norv. He is the leagues scapegoat on why things go wrong. You re ruining it for the Chargers!! Please withdraw your apology...

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: September 5, 2008 11:36 am

An apology to Norv Turner

A coworker today actually commented about Jim Zorn's marvelous hair. Can't argue there, great mane and for a guy who lives in the D.C. area, how does he maintain that George Hamilton tan?!

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 5, 2008 11:14 am

An apology to Norv Turner


I'm really sorry about your Skins, but at least on a bright note Jim Zorn looks good and could very well attract a bunch of  older, female fans to the Skins...

Seriously though, I'd give him a year, I have a hunch he'll find his way.  You need a new RB though. 

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