The return of Turner

It will be remembered as two of the worst years in Oakland Raiders franchise history. That is the legacy Norv Turner left behind.

Niners offensive coordinator Norv Turner spent the previous two seasons as head coach of the Raiders, compiling a 9-23 record before he was fired.

On Sunday, Turner will be in the press box calling plays against his former team, which still features many of the players he coached the past two years.

"I'm sure it's probably a little more special for him," 49ers quarterback Alex Smith said. "I'm sure he's got a little extra (motivation). He was there and knows all those guys. When you move on, you like to think you're moving for the better. I'm sure he wants to go out there and win."

But Turner said he is not taking this game personally because it's just a fact of life in the NFL. Anyone who latches on somewhere after getting fired is going to be facing that team again at some point.

"It's an important game for our team," Turner said. "I learned a long time ago, whether it's my relationship with (former Rams coach) John Robinson and knowing the game or other people I've been around, you got to take the personal stuff out of it. Just do your job and players go play the game."

The 49ers offense is already vastly improved under Turner from a year ago, when the club ranked last in the league with an average of 224.2 yards per game. The 49ers are currently 13th in the league, averaging 327.5 yards. However, San Francisco is coming off a 41-0 loss to Kansas City.

"I know where this team is, the youth of the offensive team, and I see an upside with (running back) Frank Gore and with Alex and our young lineman," Turner said. "And I think there are guys who are going to be really good players for a long time."


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