Will Tampa Bay Pursue Norv Turner?

January 28 – According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the San Diego Chargers have finished a deal with Marty Schottenheimer that will make him their new head coach. Schottenheimer is no longer available, but last year's San Diego offensive coordinator Norv Tuner is. If the Bucs are indeed interested in Turner's services, they'll have to act quickly before the Dolphins lure him to Miami to become their offensive coordinator.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Monday night the San Diego Chargers had finally reached an agreement that will make Marty Schottenheimer their new head coach. But with Schottenheimer's hiring comes San Diego offensive coordinator Norv Turner's departure. Will the Bucs pursue Turner now that he is unemployed?

Turner, 49, was hired by San Diego in Jan. of 1999 to run the Chargers' offense. Turner is regarded as one of best offensive minds to coach in the National Football League. In just one season with the Chargers, Turner helped San Diego's offense finish the 2001 season ranked 11th overall in the league (20th rushing offense, 11th passing offense).

But once Schottenheimer was hired, Turner opted to exercise an escape clause in his contract, which will allow him to get out of the three remaining years of a four-year contract he had signed last year with the Chargers.

Turner has also had head coaching experience. He coached the Washington Redskins for seven years (1994-2000) and posted a regular season record of 49-59-1. During his tenure in Washington, Turner's 1999 Redskins team won the NFC East Division title and his offense ranked second overall in the NFL. Turner posted a 1-1 record in post-season play. But during the 2000 season, Turner watched his team underachieve and implode as he had a falling out of sorts with owner Daniel Snyder. Turner was fired by Snyder toward the end of the 2000 season.

Prior to joining the Redskins, Turner had a successful three-year outing as the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator. Turner transformed a Dallas offense, which ranked 28th overall in 1990 into the ninth ranked overall offense in 1991. Dallas' offenses continued to benefit from Turner's scheme, ranking fourth in the league in 92' and 93 while the Cowboys captured back-to-back Super Bowls titles.

Now that Turner is unemployed, he will become a hot commodity., and he will certainly land a job with another team within a couple of weeks.

The Miami Dolphins, who had offensive coordinator Chan Gailey bow out of his job with Miami in order to take over the head-coaching job at Georgia Tech, will reportedly make a strong run at Turner. Miami head coach Dave Wannstedt and Turner worked together during the Cowboys' Super Bowl days in the early 1990s.

While the speculation regarding Bill Parcells and his interest in the vacant Tampa Bay head-coaching job have resurfaced, Turner will likely receive at least a look by the Bucs' organization. If Tampa Bay is seriously interested in talking to Turner about the job opening, they will have to pursue him quickly. Turner will not likely wait around more than a week before he decides to go with the sure thing in Miami.

In addition to Turner and Parcells, Oakland head coach Jon Gruden, Louisiana State University head coach Nick Saban, Baltimore defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, New York Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Mike Mularky are all believed to be candidates for the Buccaneers' head coaching position.


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