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The Suburbanite
  • Turner may reunite with Chudzinski in Cleveland

  • Norv Turner has been a head coach of three NFL teams and would bring a big name to the Browns as offensive coordinator. There are some dents on his résumé, such as a 2012 offense that ranked 31st in the NFL. The last time he worked with Rob Chudzinski, though, their team was No. 1.

     

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  • It appears the Browns have bagged a Duck to run their offense, after all.
    Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is staying put, but it might be just a formality before the Browns name former Oregon quarterback Norv Turner to the offensive coordinator job.
    Turner, 60, got his first offensive coordinator job 28 years ago with USC, in a season capped by a win over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
    He is best known as the head coach of the Redskins (1994-2000), Raiders (2004-05) and Chargers (2007-12), but he has sprinkled in stints as a coordinator.
    His track record shows offenses don’t always soar just because he sets foot on campus, although he undoubtedly has a big reputation.
    His seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator came with:
    • San Francisco in 2006 (the 49ers ranked No. 26 in the NFL at 303.8 yards a game).
    • Miami in 2002 (No. 15, 337.0) and 2003 (No. 24, 288.1).
    • San Diego in 2001 (No. 11, 325.0).
    • Dallas in 1991 (No. 9, 318.8), 1992 (No. 4, 350.4) and 1993 (No. 4, 350.9). Turner landed the Redskins head coaching job after the Cowboys won a Super Bowl in the latter season.
    New Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski was Turner’s tight ends coach in San Diego in 2009 and 2010. Their 2010 offense led the league at 395.6 yards a game, at which point Chudzinski was hired as offensive coordinator of the Panthers.
    The Chargers fired Turner recently after a 7-9 season in which his quarterback, Philip Rivers, took a league-worst 49 sacks. One appealing aspect of the Cleveland job is an offensive line behind which 2012 rookie Brandon Weeden was sacked just 28 times.
    The 2012 Chargers ranked 31st in the league in averaging 297.2 yards a game — the Browns were 25th (314.2) under coordinator Brad Childress, who won’t be back.
    Turner took his lumps as a quarterback, playing for an Oregon team that went 2-9 in his senior season of 1974. He found his niché as a developer of quarterbacks, and became a star as a Cowboys coordinator on teams that won back-to-back Super Bowls.
    He worked primarily with Hall of Famer Troy Aikman in Dallas, then went through a hodge-podge of passers as the Redskins’ head coach. Heath Schuler, John Friesz, Gus Frerotte, Jeff Hostetler, Trent Green, Brad Johnson and Jeff George all started for him at one point from 1994 through 2000.
    As Oakland’s head coach in 2004 and 2005, Kerry Collins, Rich Gannon and Marques Tuiasosopo made starts for him.
    As head coach in San Diego, Philip Rivers started every game for him from 2007 through the 2012 finale.
    For what it’s worth, Turner spent a year as offensive coordinator in San Francisco (2006) when he was between head coaching jobs. His quarterback was Alex Smith, who might be available from the 49ers in a trade.
    Smith was a rookie No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005, when he posted a 4-12 record with Smith throwing one touchdown pass and 11 interceptions in seven starts. In 2006, after Turner joined the team, Smith started all 16 games, went 7-9, and boosted his passer rating from 40.8 as a rookie to 74.8.
    Page 2 of 2 - Chudzinski has declined to talk about 2012 Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden.
    Chudzinski was hired largely because the Browns view him as a state-of-the art innovator on offense. Hiring Turner would add to the accent on offense alluded to by CEO Joe Banner last week.
    “The game seems to be moving more and more towards offense,” Banner said.