Norv Turner on Brandon Weeden: “I’m impressed with him and think he’s going to be a good player in the National Football League”
After yet another disappointing season last year the Browns new ownership group decided to make some significant changes. Just about a week and a half ago the Browns ushered in a new era of football in Cleveland. The Browns tabbed Michael Lombardi as their lead personnel guy after introducing former Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as their former coach. Of course the Browns set their sights a bit higher on other candidates but were reportedly rebuffed. Chudzinski has never been a head coach at any level and it will be a transition for him but he has done a nice job of putting a tremendous staff around him to succeed, including Norv Turner as offensive coordinator. Turner’s resume as a head coach is not a glowing one but when he has been in the role of OC, Turner has shined. That expertise will be needed in Cleveland. With the exception of maybe one or two seasons, the Browns offense since returning in 1999 has been dormant and last year with rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden was no exception.
Norv Turner joined ESPN 850 WKNR with the Hooligans to talk about how tough it will be for him to work alongside a guy who used to be on his staff as opposed to the other way around, what it means to him to hear Troy Aikman rave about his playcalling ability, why he decided to come back so quickly after being fired as head coach, whether he feels like he needs a particular kind of quarterback to run his offense successfully and what he saw from Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden on tape.
How tough it will be for him to work alongside a guy who used to be on his staff as opposed to the other way around:
“Mike (Nolan) worked for me in Washington and then I worked for him for a year with San Francisco. I understand people making a big deal out of it but the way I’ve been brought up and the communication and the way you go about doing things, I think everyone understands their role and I’ve been an assistant before, I’ve been a coordinator before, you understand the role, you understand everyone’s responsibility and you go do your job.”
What it means to him to hear Troy Aikman rave about his playcalling ability:
“We work hard at getting the guys in the best position to go out and have some success but when you have a chance to coach guys like Troy, in Washington we had a guy like Brad Johnson, then Philip Rivers and then the guys around them and then a lot of the playcalling is putting them in position to be successful and then they’re going out and making plays. I’ve been with a couple of guys and I won’t name names but I’ve been with a couple of players and quarterbacks and been in a position where you felt like you called the best play you could and it was a dropped pass, a sack or an interception. Those guys have a lot to do with things being successful and I appreciate when Troy says that but he made a lot of play calls look awfully good.”
Why he decided to come back so quick after getting fired:
“It’s funny because I told the people that I was closest to that I was going to take some time and really make sure I thought about this and get away. My wife and I actually went to Hawaii for 10 days and you’re away from it and it seemed like I was away from it for a week and it seemed like I had been away from it for a month. You’re affected differently and I think I would have taken longer and I think what I was considering is I’ve seen some guys take a year off and feel good about it but then this opportunity showed up. Rob (Chudzinski) was interviewing for the job and Rob called me and said ‘hey if this thing works out are you interested? Would you like to come and do this?’ He told me ‘I’m going to do everything I can to hire Scott, my son’ and so it really gave us something to think about. I think it was a unique situation. The combination of Rob, new ownership, new management and everything here is kind of starting new again and then I do believe it’s going to be a good young team. It’s a combination of things and I said ‘hey it’s a great opportunity and let’s go, let’s go do it.”
What kind of quarterback best fits what he wants to do on offense:
“I think there are so many ways of getting it done now. We were talking earlier today in some of the interviews and three of the four quarterbacks that played last weekend are pretty much pocket quarterbacks. (Colin) Kaepernick being the exception. He can run, he can throw and he’s a young guy that’s going to have a big upside so I just think getting a guy that’s a good player and a lot of play at that position is not about your physical skills, it’s about your mental; Your decision making, your vision, your ability to play under pressure, your ability to feel the rush and slide and move and all of those things, when you see a guy do it you say ‘that’s why he’s a great player.”
What he saw from Brandon Weeden when watching him on tape:
“I saw a young guy that I think now and I thought then has a real positive upside and when I look at him on tape, I haven’t spent any time with him, but when I look at the tape I see a guy who can be a really good player. I think a lot of playing quarterback has to do with the people you have around you and getting those guys playing at a high level. People may think it’s being unfair to Brandon to say ‘well they’re being cool about it.’ I think it’s being fair to him to say ‘hey we have a young guy that has some talent and we’re going to find out about him.’ We’re going to coach him and do everything we can to make him the best player he can be and let’s see where it goes. He’s going to have an opportunity to go compete, play and grow and I’m excited to be working with him.”
Listen to Norv Turner on ESPN 850 WKNR here