One of the hottest head coaching seats in the NFL will reportedly soon be vacated, but the incumbent should be able to find work quickly. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner—and general manager A.J. Smith—will be shown the door at the conclusion of the 2012 NFL season.
Per Acee, San Diego decision-maker Dean Spanos has since refuted the validity of the report. We’ve also seen this movie before. But given the ongoing speculation surrounding Turner’s job security and repeated disappointing performances by the Chargers, a supposition that Turner will be looking for work come January is not far-fetched.
A change of scenery (and job title) could bode well for Turner’s future success in the NFL. Plenty of teams could use him as an offensive coordinator, but one of the following three struggling offenses might be the best fit.
Kansas City Chiefs
Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel have not proved themselves to be franchise-caliber quarterbacks, but current Chargers QB Philip Rivers is having plenty of his own turnover issues. The Chiefs have big bodies at wide receiver that Turner would covet in Dwayne Bowe (6’2”, 221 lbs.) and Jonathan Baldwin (6’4”, 230 lbs.) and desirable running back talent in the form of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis.
With Charles in the backfield and the massive guys on the outside, it’s possible that Turner could revive an offense that is scoring just 15.7 points per game (ranked 31st in the league).
If the Panthers fire head coach Ron Rivera, they should look for a veteran to take over his position and help guide Cam Newton’s young NFL career trajectory. A more experienced coach shouldn’t be threatened by Turner’s presence as an OC like a younger coach might.
If San Diego’s current offense is any indication, Turner would likely ask Newton to do more things as a passer than he’s doing now. Newton’s mobility would still be useful, though—he’ll be able to get out of the pocket rather than standing in and tossing picks when things go awry.
Carolina is ranked 23rd with 19.6 points per game.
The Titans have already shown us that they were unhappy with their offensive coordinator situation as they fired Chris Palmer and promoted their quarterbacks coach, Dowell Loggains. Tennessee also brought in Tom Moore as another set of eyes.
If Turner got the job in Tennessee, he would have a mobile, top-10 NFL draft pick under center in Jake Locker. Chris Johnson is a reliable running back and Tennessee has talented receivers—including tight end Jared Cook, who may finally find his statistical ceiling with Turner calling the plays.
The Titans are averaging 20.7 PPG, 21st in the NFL.
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