The Carolina Panthers are in the market for a new offensive coordinator. On Tuesday morning, the Panthers fired Mike Shula, who had held the job since 2013. They also fired Ken Dorsey, who replaced Shula as quarterbacks coach when Shula was promoted to OC in 2013.
According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer and several subsequent reports, the Panthers' plan to chase Norv Turner to fill the opening.
Rivera himself played it coy when asked about who he had in mind for the position.
"I have a plan," he said, per the team's official website. "There's some ideas that I've sat down and talked to Marty Hurney about. We discussed and are going to work through this plan we have and going forward. I said the biggest idea is looking for somebody with a different perspective on how to get us where we want to be."
For what it's worth, Turner makes sense as a candidate because of his connections to Rivera. Prior to taking over with Carolina, Rivera worked as Turner's defensive coordinator in San Diego for three seasons and as the linebackers coach for a year. Turner has as much experience as anybody in football at calling offensive plays.
However, there are some reasons to be skeptical that he is the right answer. First of all, he hasn't had that much success of late.
Norv Turner hasn't coached a top 15 offense since the 2011 Chargers.— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) January 9, 2018
Here's a look at where Turner's offenses (head-coaching years marked with a star) have ranked in yards gained, points scored, and Football Outsiders' offensive DVOA over the years.
As you can see, none of Turner's offenses have ranked inside the top 15 in yards, points, or DVOA in any of his last five seasons as a play-caller. In 26 years calling plays, his offenses ranked in the top 10 in yards eight times, points 10 times, and DVOA nine times. They ranked in the bottom 10 in yards, points, and DVOA five times each, most of those within the last five years.
Turner could have learned some new tricks during his time away from the game (he resigned as Vikings OC in November 2016) and being able to use Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Greg Olsen, and Devin Funchess could reinvigorate his offense, but it's no sure thing that the Panthers would be getting the early-1990s Cowboys or mid-2000s Chargers.