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Norv Turner wanted Matt Cassel for Browns QB in 2013

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Matt Cassel's current OC wanted him before they actually ended up together.
Matt Cassel's current OC is excited about his prospects. (USATSI)

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New Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner knows a thing or two about landing good quarterbacks. So the amount of interest he shows toward both Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel is worth noting.

Particularly interesting is Turner saying he wanted Cassel to come to Cleveland when he was Browns OC in 2013.

"I think that would have been at the time a good move for us," Turner said via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer-Press. "I gave my evaluation [for the Browns to sign Cassel]. I thought he would have fit.

"Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't."

In this case it was a "doesn't" situation and Cassel landed with the Vikings.

It's hard to imagine he would've gotten too many more chances in Cleveland than he did in Minnesota; he started six games for the Vikings in 2013 after all. Jason Campbell got eight starts after Brian Hoyer went down three games after deposing Brandon Weeden as the starter.

"I just remember that there were conversations about the Browns being a possible landing spot for me," Cassel said. "Obviously, I've got a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Turner."

But maybe it works out over the long haul for Cassel. He's comfortable in Minnesota and only has Christian Ponder and the rookie Bridgewater to compete against.

At the very least, Cassel is pumped Turner is in Minnesota to coach him up, a year after missing on a chance to play for the offensive mastermind.

"I was excited when I heard that he was coming [to Minnesota]," Cassel said. "I was so excited about it, and now to be out here working with him, it's really been a great experience."

Minnesota is an interesting offensive team. Their passing game has struggled the past few years (23rd in 2013 according to Football Outsiders, 22nd in 2012, and 28th in 2011) but Adrian Peterson in the backfield is a big plus.

Mix in Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson and suddenly there's a recipe for potential success in the passing game if Turner can generate decent quarterback play.

Bridgewater, as the first-round pick, seems like the logical starter. But if Turner has been high on Cassel for a while, don't rule out the veteran winning this job.

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