The Most Important Coaching Staff Signings You Aren't Paying Attention to
USA TODAY Sports
Plenty of NFL coaching staff changes have occurred during this young offseason.
There have been, however, other changes along with the head coaches at the offensive and defensive coordinator positions.
It's an interesting turn of events given how the 2012 season unfolded, because some were promotions and others demoted in terms of the coaching hierarchy. And depending on the results of the 2013 season, some quick changes could certainly take place one year from now.
To that end, let's check out some of this offseason's most important coordinator signings.
Norv Turner, Browns Offensive Coordinator
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
On Thursday, Norv Turner was named the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator.
Norv Turner, the former head coach of the San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, has been named the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.
“Norv has been one of the most respected offensive coaches in the NFL over the last 25-30 years, and he has had a tremendous amount of success at each one of his stops -- as a position coach, coordinator and head coach,” said Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski.
This was a smart move by Cleveland, because the Browns acquired a coach with an immense amount of pro experience.
Turner, after all, was the Dallas Cowboys' offensive coordinator from 1991 through 1993. There, he was part of two Super Bowl championships, and then proceeded to be a head coach for 15 seasons with three teams.
Given all the Browns' young talent combined with Turner's experience, Cleveland is on the rise.
Ken Whisenhunt, Chargers Offensive Coordinator
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Ken Whisenhunt doesn't have to move far after having been the Arizona Cardinals head coach for six seasons.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com:
Former Cardinals HC Ken Whisenhunt will become offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2013
This is a great pickup by the San Diego Chargers, because we've seen what Whisenhunt can do with a solid quarterback.
In reviving Kurt Warner's career with the Card's, Whisenhunt and Arizona won two NFC West titles and appeared in Super Bowl XLIII. The Bolts provide enough talent for Whisenhunt to develop, because Philip Rivers is a much more competent signal-caller than anyone currently under center for the Cardinals.
As a result, we can rightfully anticipate San Diego reverting back to previous years when it was among the top high-powered offenses in pro football.
Dan Quinn, Seahawks Defensive Coordinator
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
From 2009 through 2012, Gus Bradley was the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator.
Now, though, according to the Jacksonville Jaguars' official Twitter feed:
Gus Bradley named fifth head coach in Jaguars history today.— Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) January 17, 2013
That said, Seattle quickly added a strong replacement in Dan Quinn. Per the Seahawks' official Twitter feed:
Seahawks name Dan Quinn defensive coordinator to replace Gus Bradley.— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 17, 2013
Quinn was previously the defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators during 2011 and 2012. Last season alone, Florida ranked No. 5 in total defense and points allowed per game. Factor in the rugged schedule of the SEC and that's quite impressive.
Also, Quinn served as the Seahawks' defensive line coach in 2009 and 2010. After Seattle collected just 28 sacks in '09 the 'Hawks logged 37 in 2010, which displays the immediate impact of Quinn and why he's a great hire for the Great Northwest.
Adam Gase, Broncos Offensive Coordinator
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos' offensive coordinator position opened and closed rather quickly.
[Adam] Gase is 34 and a first-time offensive coordinator after he was promoted Thursday by the Broncos from quarterbacks coach. Manning is 36 and has been calling plays in audible fashion for the past 14 seasons.
"I'm not nervous about calling plays," Gase said in a conference call Thursday. "You have one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time as your quarterback — I'm excited. I'm thrilled to be able to have that opportunity. We're looking to go pedal to the metal, and play as fast as possible and be aggressive."
At the very least this is an interesting move, because Peyton Manning is 36 years old. So, Gase will be coordinating and offense conducted by an older player who is arguably the greatest quarterback ever.
Expect Gase to transition easily, though, because he has been with the Broncos since 2009.
Having worked with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow before Manning, that experience assists Gase along with a veteran at the helm. In short, Denver's offense isn't going to miss a beat.
Dennis Thurman, Jets Defensive Coordinator
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Another in-house promotion goes to Dennis Thurman of the New York Jets.
Yes, Rob Ryan is a free agent, but Rex Ryan will promote Dennis Thurman to be Jets DC. Besides, not sure if 1 team is big enough for 2 Ryans— Manish Mehta(@MMehtaNYDN) January 9, 2013
Given that Thurman was the Jets' defensive backs coach from 2008 through 2012, New York made an excellent decision here.
Just from the emergence of cornerback Darrelle Revis does Thurman's promotion gain validity.
Looking back at the 2012 campaign, New York was without Revis after Week 3 and still finished ranked No. 2 in pass defense. Only allowing a 53.8 completion percentage, New York will easily improve with Thurman in 2013.
Doug Pederson, Chiefs Offensive Coordinator
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Not only is Doug Pederson sticking with Andy Reid, but he's getting promoted with the Kansas City Chiefs.
According to Reid Ferrin of the Chiefs' official website:
One of the many pieces to the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff puzzle was filled today, when the team named Doug Pederson as its new offensive coordinator.
When coach Reid decides who his starting quarterback will be, that signal caller will be receiving instruction from a former QB of Reid’s, Doug Pederson.
So, not only has Pederson played under Reid, but he has coached with him as well.
This chemistry is what K.C. needs right now, because the offense was horrendous at quarterback in 2011 and 2012. No matter who was taking snaps, the Chiefs never found consistency dependability and had to defer to running back Jamaal Charles for any offensive production.
Not that feeding Charles is a bad thing, although presenting some sort of passing attack is nice to field a balanced offense. Fortunately for Kansas City, Pederson and Reid are two experts at breaking down the quarterback position.
Other Coaches to Keep an Eye on
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith interviewed for three NFL head-coaching vacancies but the respective clubs picked other candidates.
So Smith is expected to sit out the 2013 NFL season and reconsider his options next offseason, according to a league source.
2013 would certainly be an interesting season without Lovie Smith on the sidelines. It would also be shocking given his resume.
[Washington] Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris is scheduled to interview with the Cleveland Browns for their defensive coordinator position, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
The Browns are a young and talented team possessing much potential. A coach such as Morris suits well to develop a growing franchise.
After one season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mike Mularkey was fired, per the team's official Twitter feed.
Finishing 2-14, nothing new has yet to come of age for Mularkey.
This is somewhat surprising, though, because Mularkey was the Atlanta Falcons' offensive coordinator from 2008 through 2011. In that span he developed Matt Ryan and was responsible for one of pro football's most consistently explosive offenses.
As the 2013 offseason progresses, Mularkey deserves consideration from anyone needing an offensive mindset.
Follow John Rozum on Twitter.