Tag:Norv Turner
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:41 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:54 pm
 

Coaching carousel winners and losers

Flynn is one of the big winners from the coaching carousel. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

The NFL coaching carousel has come to a close with the Buccaneers and Colts the final two teams across the finish line, hiring coaches on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Let's take a look at some of the winners and losers from a hectic offseason. Because if we're not firing out knee-jerk reactions, what's the point?

Winners

Matt Flynn: Flynn was already going to get real paid this offseason. But new Fins coach Joe Philbin was his freaking quarterbacks coach. Yeah, the rumor is the Dolphins like Peyton Manning better than Flynn. (Also a rumor: I like steak better than tofu.) But Flynn knows Philbin's system and he certainly has to be more inclined to sign his ridiculously overpriced free-agent contract with a team employing his old coach and his old system right? Even if he's not, he could end up in a bidding war between Stephen Ross and Dan Snyder. That's like a sandwich made of $100 Bills.

Ryan Grigson
: The new Colts general manager still has a long road ahead, and needs to draft well to really get Indy's latest rebuild rolling. But he's got an owner who's setting him up well: his first two decisions (firing Jim Caldwell, hiring Chuck Pagano) mean that the Colts simply need to hire a competent offensive coordinator to groom their No. 1 overall pick and let their defensive-minded coach get to work on installing his scheme. Sound familiar? It should.

Norv Turner: Turner was certainly on the old hot seat when the season ended and somehow he still has a job. It might be loyalty. It might be Philip Rivers' influence. Or it might just be a miracle. Whatever, Turner was a lock to get fired and somehow stuck around San Diego for at least another year.

Steve Spagnuolo: Spags got canned from the Rams job but landed squarely on his feet when he got the Saints defensive coordinator job. They'll contend for Super Bowls over the next few years and as Wilson pointed out, Drew Brees is secretly his best weapon. It's an ideal spot to reload and wait for another head-coaching gig.

Jeff Fisher: Fisher got the quarterback he wants, the personnel power he wants and a big old pile of money when he chose the Rams over the Dolphins.

Jay Cutler: Mike Martz retired and took his seven-step drops behind a shoddy offensive line and no pretense of having a running game with him.

Atlanta Falcons: No offense to Mike Mularkey and Brian VanGorder (as well as his superb mustache) but the ATL just got a major assistant upgrade. Ryan maxed out under Mularkey, and Dirk Koetter loves to go vertical -- having Julio Jones and Roddy White make that an easier task than whoever was catching balls with the Jaguars. And Mike Nolan, quite simply, has a fantastic defensive track record.

Cam Newton/Andy Dalton: The two biggest rookie surprises lucked out big time this offseason as their respective offensive coordinators, Rob Chudzinski and Jay Gruden, didn't move on to theoretically greener pastures. Now Newton and Dalton will each get a full offseason to prepare and should look even better in their second year.

Losers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even if Greg Schiano is "the guy," and there's a significant number of people who think he is not, they bungled this search. (For the record, I kind of like the Schiano hire, but it's risky.) They fired Raheem Morris quickly but were the last team to get a new coach in place. They whiffed -- publicly -- on Chip Kelly. They interviewed a bunch of old dudes -- Brad Childress, Mike Sherman, Marty Schottenheimer -- who now probably feel used. An unimpressive effort all around and indicative of how attractive this job is.

Rob Ryan: Think of all the people who got interviews this offseason. Everyone got an interview. Except Rex's twin brother. Think running his mouth and losing twice to the Giants because his secondary couldn't defend anyone ended up hurting his chances to get a head coaching job? It absolutely did.

Mike Zimmer: Also a dude who can't catch a break. Or interview well? Whatever, Zimmer finally got some heat for coaching jobs (it's been long enough) and couldn't seal the deal on anything. Hopefully he'll get more looks but this has a "flyover" feel to it in terms of how much interest other teams will have in Zimmer going forward.

Brian Schottenheimer: Schottey Jr. might have landed with the Rams, but he'll likely be under heavy scrutiny from fans and could see a short leash, depending on how Fisher's feeling. The worst part is a year ago, he was a hot name for a head-coaching job and instead the Jets ran him off while managing to air out some of their respective greivances with the rest of the dirty laundry.

Mike Sherman: Sherman was the leader in the clubhouse for the Bucs job ... or so we thought. Now he's reportedly headed to run Miami's offense. That could vault him back up to a head-coaching gig, but considering he found out about his firing from Texas A&M at a recruit's house (!), landing an NFL job just a few months later would've been a major coup.

Peyton Manning: Bill Polian's out, Jim Caldwell's out and the Colts seem hell bent on cleaning house. The logical next move appears to be shipping Manning out of town as well.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:43 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 7:03 am
 

Raiders hire Broncos DC Dennis Allen

Bruce Allen has been hired to be Oakland's next coach (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz


Dennis Allen, the former defensive coordinator of the Broncos, has been hired to be the next Raiders head coach, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has confirmed (the news was originally reported by Fox’s Jay Glazer).

Reports out of Oakland suggested Allen had done well in his two interviews with the Oakland front office and that early favorite Winston Moss, the Packers assistant head coach, had not.

Latest Coaching News, Rumors

In his only season as the head of Denver’s defense, he helped lead a unit that propped up quarterback Tim Tebow for the last half of the season and allowed the Broncos to win the AFC West and beat the Steelers in the first round of the postseason.

Glazer writes that the two sides still have to negotiate a deal, but with Allen, the Raiders will get a coach whose defense finished in the bottom half of the league standings but who was lauded for the improvements his unit made in the final half of the season.

Although Moss -- who knows new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie quite well from their days together in Green Bay, leading to the speculation that he had a good chance of landing the job -- seemingly fell out of favor during the interviewing process, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg reportedly had a good shot at landing the job.

The Raiders also interviewed Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice and former Dolphins defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, while Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy declined his chance to interview.

Considering former owner Al Davis was such a big proponent of hiring offensive-minded coaches (see: Hue Jackson, Tom Cable, Lane Kiffin, Art Shell, Norv Turner, Bill Callahan, Jon Gruden, etc.), seeing a defensive-minded coach hired is an interesting concept.

It shows that Mark Davis, Al Davis’ son who is now in charge, will take a different tact than this father. Only time will tell whether this new path is the beginning of a Raiders resurgence or if Al Davis had the right idea the whole time.

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 8:49 pm
 

LT: "I am contemplating retirement'

Is the end coming for an all-time great? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

LaDainian Tomlinson, without question, is a slam-dunk Hall of Famer. And it's possible we might have seen the end of his career, as the running back said on Friday that he's "contemplating retirement."

"I am contemplating retirement," Tomlinson told the Scott and BR Show on XX1090 AM in San Diego Friday. "That's what I told my coaches and told my agent and everybody. That's exactly what it is. This is the first time in my playing career that I've actually, honestly thought about this may be it for me. That's kind of where I am right now."

It's crazy to think that Tomlinson won't be playing in the NFL next year, but it also seemed crazy to think of Tomlinson in a jersey that didn't feature a lightning bolt on it, and the past two years he's spent with the Jets.

And it's also worth noting that Tomlinson admitted the question from the hosts was a "good question" -- he doesn't honestly know if he'll retire. And Tomlinson could end up playing again in 2012. He just wants to find that ring and is tired of suiting up without it being a legitimate possibility.

"I just think after 11 years of ... getting close and not getting it done," Tomlinson said. "It's getting tough for me to start over on that journey again."

When pressed about the issue, Tomlinson admitted that it was a "new team" he'd be looking for and probably not the Jets, though he wouldn't rule out a return to New York.

"That's hard to say, I can't say either way, honestly," Tomlinson said when asked if he wanted to go back to the Jets. "I think anything is open you guys. I'm not going to say 'no.' And I'm not going to say 'yes' either."

Tomlinson is fifth all-time in the NFL in rushing yards and he's third all-time when it comes to touchdowns scored with 162, behind only Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith. The majority of those came when LT was a member of the Chargers and the running back said he wouldn't be entirely opposed to a return stint with San Diego.

"Yeah, I absolutely would consider it," Tomlinson said when asked about being a role player with San Diego.

Now that would be a story -- Tomlinson returning for one final run in San Diego. I'm not entirely sure it would ever happen, if only because of the burnt bridges left in the wake of Tomlinson's departure from San Diego.

But if it did happen (and, again, it's unlikely), it would be a pretty big story. Almost as big as seeing one of the greatest running backs in NFL history walk away from the game. Which is also a possibility.

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Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:14 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 6:00 pm
 

Chargers fire defensive coordinator Greg Manusky

Greg Manusky was fired by Norv Turner (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

UPDATE: 5:58 p.m. ET - Several outlets are reporting that longtime Chargers defensive assistant John Pagano has been hired as the team's new defensive coordinator.

The Chargers will look for their second defensive coordinator since Jan. 2011. That’s because, as the San Diego Union Tribune reports, San Diego has fired Greg Manusky.

“I’d like to thank Greg for the passion and enthusiasm he brought to our team and coaching staff this past season,” Turner in a statement released by the team.

Only a season ago, after Ron Rivera left for the Panthers head coaching job (a job in which Manusky actually was one of four finalists), the Chargers hired Manusky to replace him. Before that, Manusky had been the 49ers defensive coordinator, but when Jim Harbaugh was hired, he made it clear Manusky wouldn’t stay in San Francisco.

When it became clear that Norv Turner and San Diego general manager A.J. Smith would be retained by owner Dean Spanos, some kind of change still needed to be made. Manusky -- whose unit finished 16th in the league  in yards allowed -- just became that fall guy.

Of course, this move IS rather interesting, considering this is what Turner said about Manusky THREE days ago.

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"I would not characterize the hiring of Greg Manusky as a mistake," Turner said, via the North County Times. "He has done a good job for us. Losing so many guys and playing so many young players is difficult.

"Defensively, it's all about having impact players. If you don't have players that can [beat] a guy one-on-one and make a big play, you're not going to get the number of stops you need to get. It's been a hard year for all of us and a tough year for Greg, but I thought he did a good job."

So, if it’s not Manusky’s fault, as Turner flat-out says, but instead, the fault of whomever is in charge of player personnel, it sounds like Manusky got a raw deal. Especially since the general manager in charge of player personnel still has a job.

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Posted on: January 3, 2012 9:08 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 9:11 pm
 

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 17

Posted by Will Brinson

Every week, our NFL experts will hand out the Eye on Football hardware to the best of the best from the NFL week that was.

Week 17 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman  Cruz Broncos  Akers McCarthy
Judge  Flynn  Allen  Akers Coughlin
Prisco  Flynn  Allen Carpenter Coughlin
Brinson  Flynn  Allen Carpenter  Coughlin
Katzowitz  Flynn  Allen  Akers Harbaugh
Wilson  Flynn  Suggs Carpenter  Turner
The NFL's regular season is over. It seems kind of crazy, right? Somehow the lockout was just a few months ago and now we're headed for the playoffs. Whatever, that doesn't stop us from handing out our final regular season Eye on Football Awards of the year.

Matt Flynn wasn't completely a consensus pick for the Eye on Offense Award, but with his performance there's no question he's making some coin in 2012.

Jared Allen can't love his ex-teammate Brett Favre, since he'd have the NFL single-season sack record if Favre hadn't flopped for Michael Strahan. Somehow I doubt the Week 17 Eye on Defense Award will make up for that.

Usually I give tiebreakers to the guy I picked ... and I'm doing it again this week. Dan Carpenter's 58-yarder nudges him past David Akers, despite a touchdown pass, for the Eye on Special Teams Award.

And Tom Coughlin closes out the season with the Eye on Coaching Awards similar to how he closed out his real season: by winning two straight headed into the playoffs.

Leave your votes in the comments below or scream angrily at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
Victor Cruz Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
Big play after big play when the defense knows Eli Manning is going to him. He still produces. He obliterated the Cowboys as he has almost every team he's gone against within the latter part of the year. It's been incredible to watch him become the next great receiving star.
Matt FlynnMatt Flynn, QB, Packers
He's the backup for Green Bay, and he doesn't play much because ... well, because that's what happens when you sit behind Aaron Rodgers. So , when he does get his chance all he does is throw for six touchdowns and set a franchise record with 480 yards passing.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
Matt Flynn Matt Flynn, QB, Packers
Flynn makes his first start of 2011 and throws for 480 yards and six touchdowns in place of Aaron Rodgers, who the Packers were resting. Wow. He made himself a lot of money.
Matt FlynnMatt Flynn, QB, Packers
Credit the Packers for finding hidden talent (even if Flynn won a BCS title). Flynn's not hidden anymore -- 480 yards and six teeters Sunday against the Lions means Flynn's the head of the class in terms of free-agent QBs heading into the 2012.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Matt FlynnMatt Flynn, QB, Packers
It’s unfortunate for Matthew Stafford that he came up against Flynn, who set Packers club records in passing yards (480) and touchdown passes (six). Flynn was incredible, leading Green Bay to a victory and making himself a ton of money in the process. By playing him this week, GB assured themselves that they’ll lose him in the offseason.
Matt Flynn Matt Flynn, QB, Packers
If nothing else, Flynn's performance on Sunday (480 passing yards and six touchdowns in a win against the Lions) proves that Aaron Rodgers is a system quarterback. So does that mean Flynn deserves to be in the MVP conversation, too?
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Von MillerDenver Broncos, DST
This is a team award presented to one of the best and most underrated defenses in football, saddled with a terrible quarterback. The Broncos defense held the KC Chiefs to a touchdown and still lost, 7-3. Denver's defense has actually been one of the great surprises of the season.
Jared Allen Jared Allen, DE, Vikings
He produces 3.5 sacks to finish the season with a league-leading 22, just a half-sack short of Michael Strahan's single-season record. What I love about Allen is his motor. The Vikings won three games, but this guy never let up and never quit.
Prisco Brinson
Jared AllenJared Allen, DE, Vikings
Allen had 3 1/2 sacks against the Bears, but feel one short of Mike Strahan's single-season record for sacks in a season with 21.5.
Jared AllenJared Allen, DE, Vikings
Allen got his Ginsu on against Chicago's line and nearly broke Michael Strahan's record for 22.5 sacks in a season. His 3.5 on Sunday left him just short but considering Brett Favre's flop and how horrible this Vikings team is, he really deserves it more.
Katzowitz Wilson
Jared AllenJared Allen, DE, Vikings
He was a man possessed as he went for the NFL season sack record, and though he fell a half-sack and a Brett Favre dive short of Michael Strahan’s record, Allen put the exclamation point on the best year of his career, recording 3 ½ sacks against Bears.
Terrell Suggs Terrell Suggs, OLB, Ravens
He had a sack and a forced fumble in a game that a lot of people thought the Ravens would lose. Now they're perfectly positioned for a Super Bowl run and Suggs could be the defensive MVP
Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
David AkersDavid Akers, K, 49ers
Lined up for a field goal but it was a fake. Excellent throw by Akers who tossed a touchdown throw to Michael Crabtree. The most amazing thing about Crabtree's throw? He had better form than Tebow.
David Akers David Akers, K, Eagles
He sets the single-season record for field goals one week, then throws a touchdown pass the next -- a touchdown that, oh, by the way, is the difference in the 49ers' game-ending victory. The more I see of Akers the more I wonder Philadelphia gave up on him.
Prisco Brinson
Dan CarpenterDan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
Carpenter made four field goals, one from 58 yards, as the Dolphins beat the Jets to end their playoff chances. Carpenter's 58-yarder was into the wind.
Dan CarpenterDan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
If not for Carpenter, the Dolphins don't send Jason Taylor out the right way and end Rex Ryan's hopes. Carpenter converted field goals after three turnovers (4/4 on the day) including banging home a 58-yarder that was good from 73.
Katzowitz Wilson
David Akers David Akers, K, 49ers
He established the new league record for field goals byfinishing the season with 44, and he threw an awesome TD pass on a fake field goal that helped the 49ers beat the pesky Rams. For his career, Akers is now 2 for 2 passing for 25 yards and a score. With a passer rating of 158.3.
Dan Carpenter Dan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
Carpenter was 4 for 4 on Sunday against the Jets, including a 58-yarder. With his perfect performance, he helped the Dolphins seal the Rex Ryan's fate and finish the season with a 6-10 record (after an 0-7 start).
Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
Bill BelichickMike McCarthy, HC, Packers
McCarthy lost one game all season. He beat Detroit with Matt Flynn at quarterback. He might have the best offensive system going in football right now. He's the offensive Bill Belichick.
Mike Munchak Tom Coughlin, HC, Giants
For the second straight week he pulls off a huge victory -- this time winning the NFC East with a decisive defeat of Dallas. For weeks, Coughlin was subjected to questions about his job status and the Giants' second-half collapse. Then he produced the season's two most important wins, and, just like that, the questions ended.
Prisco Brinson
Tom CoughlinTom Coughlin, Giants
It was win or go home and he had Coughlin team ready to play against the Cowboys for the NFC East title. Coughlin is good in big games, which bodes well for the playoffs.
Tom CoughlinTom Coughlin, HC, Giants
At this point, I'm rooting for the Giants to run the table, win the Super Bowl (again!) and have Coughlin set his pants on fire at trophy ceremony, just to make the fans happy that his seat is finally hot enough. Great job getting his team ready down the stretch.
Katzowitz Wilson
Jim Schwartz John Harbaugh, HC, Ravens
His brother received so much credit this season, but look at what John pulled off Sunday. He beat the Bengals in Cincy and earned a playoff bye and homefield advantage in the second round. Given how mediocre Baltimore is on the road, that’s one heck of an accomplishment.
Hue Jackson Norv Turner, HC, Chargers
Did he really save his job? Turner and the Chargers beat a Raiders team with everything to play for -- in Oakland, no less. If Turner does return, imagine how good San Diego will be if they ever put together an entire season mistake-free football.

Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:40 pm
 

Chargers keeping Norv Turner, AJ Smith

Dean Spanos is bringing back Norv and Smith for one more run in San Diego. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Norv Turner will return to San Diego as the Chargers head coach in 2012, and A.J. Smith will continue to be the general manager, the team said in a statement released Tuesday.

“Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs,” president Dean Spanos said. “A.J. Smith is the best man to improve our roster, and Norv Turner is the best man to lead that roster on the field.

“Together, we have stability and experience that’s hard to find in the NFL. They’ve both been in this league a long time. I don’t think there is anything they haven’t seen or experienced. They’ve led us through some difficult situations.

“As we’ve seen throughout Norv’s tenure and particularly this past season, the players believe in him, respect him and play hard for him. When we went through that tough stretch, no one quit. The team kept playing hard, and that’s a tribute to Norv’s leadership and the respect the players have for him.

“Now we will take a hard look at everything, from player evaluation to coaching to the rash of injuries we’ve suffered in recent years. Injuries have killed us. And no one is ever perfect in this business. Player evaluation isn’t an exact science. We need to improve across the board and I’m going to make sure we do."

On Monday, CBSSports.com's Clark Judge wrote that Turner and Smith could return to the Chargers, even though the speculation in recent weeks was that both were in serious danger of losing their jobs.

In six seasons with the Chargers, Turner was 52-34. Impressive, except that the team has missed the playoffs the last two years and has struggled to play consistently for most of his tenure.

San Diego started the '07 season (Turner's first) at 1-4, finished 11-5, and lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. A year later, they lost their final four regular-season games, made it to the postseason with an 8-8 record, before losing in the divisional round. In 2009, San Diego was 2-3 before wining 10 in a row … and losing in the first round to the Jets. The Chargers begun '10 at 2-5 and eventually missed the playoffs. And after a 4-1 start in '11, they lost six in a row. San Diego still had a chance at the postseason but a Week 16 blowout at the hands of the Lions sealed their fate.

Still, as Judge pointed out, "Quarterback Philip Rivers is a big fan of Turner and voiced his support Sunday for his embattled head coach." And despite fan and media sentiment, San Diego rallied to win three of four and finish in a tie atop the AFC West at 8-8 (the Broncos won the tiebreaker).

Judge adds: "That will go into Spanos' thinking. But so will a business decision. That's one reason he begged off on making an immediate move, saying he needed a couple of days to think about it." But he also notes that the news "doesn't mean Turner is in the clear. On the contrary ... Spanos won't tolerate another 8-8 season, so Turner has been put on alert." 

On Tuesday, Spanos sounded like he was confident in his decision.

“We all have our quirks and faults, but I want A.J. and Norv on my side. They are the right men to help us win a championship. … Despite the number of wins we’ve had, the net bottom line is it doesn’t mean anything unless you win a championship. That’s our goal and I am committed to winning a Super Bowl for San Diego.”

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Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:38 pm
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Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:28 am
Edited on: January 2, 2012 10:04 am
 

Spanos taking 'a couple days' on Turner, Smith

The decision on Norv won't be made for 'a couple days.' (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

It wouldn't be surprising if Norv Turner were booted as coach of the Chargers on Black Monday (coming in a few hours to a box office near you!), but it's looking unlikely that he'll lose his job immediately.
Week 17 Recap

San Diego President Dean Spanos, who reportedly expressed support for the Bolts during their late surge, said he'd take "a couple days" to decide the fate of Turner and general manager A.J. Smith.

"I’m going to sleep on this for a couple days," Spanos said, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "There are a lot of things I want to think about. I’m looking at the entire organization."

Norv was a little less optimistic sounding when asked about returning in 2012, according to our Chargers Rapid Reporter Dan McLellan.

"I don’t need to answer that because there’s going to be a decision made, and we’ll all know what it is, and what my opinion right now is probably doesn’t have a lot of effect," Turner said. "I’ll leave it at that."

Turner, for all the criticism he receives, has the support of his team.

“I really believe in him,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “I can’t speak for every guy, but the guys that have been here and know what this league’s about, they all believe in him, too, and they all want him here. We all want him here."

Rivers reference to "we" probably includes Spanos as well; there's no doubt he believes the team has the talent to succeed and feels like the Chargers are close to contending.


The problem is simply that Norv can't get San Diego to turn the corner. He's obviously an offensive genius and his players clearly love him and a lot of times, Turner's teams look like potential world champs.

But with the continual disappointment of this Bolts regime it's going to be hard for Spanos to justify rolling with the status quo into 2012.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com