How quickly has a new NFL coaching assistant been fired? I know the Browns fired Rob Chudzinski after one season as a Head Coach, and the Raiders pretty much fire head coaches at the end of every season as well, but I can't think of many instances when someone like an Offensive Coordinator or other assistant coach was fired in the same offseason that he was hired.
But if new Minnesota Vikings OC Norv Turner keeps talking like he did in a recent interview, he may just become the first. Typical Vikings!
The Vikings of course are heading into the offseason with a ton of questions about their roster. The biggest and ugliest (unless it isn't wearing a shirt) involved what to do at the quarterback position. Josh Freeman has self immolated, Matt Cassel got the hell out of dodge (or at least is going to beg for more money), which leaves "veteran" Christian Ponder as the big name quarterback on the Vikings roster. And to most fans, that's a problem!
But to Old Norv? He doesn't seem to think so:
“I’ve been impressed with Christian and the things he does in terms of his movement. He moves extremely well on the run. He’s made a lot of big plays. The starting point with any quarterback to me is eliminating those [bad] plays. That would be one of our starting points.”
“The guys I have been around that are so-called franchise quarterbacks, weren’t considered franchise quarterbacks until they started winning,” Turner said.
OK, OK, this wasn't exactly the ringing endorsement for Christian Ponder we all feared it may have been. And really, what Norv said – verbatim – isn't WRONG. Christian does move very well! He stands up, and sits down, and runs side to side, and all sorts of stuff very well. He's athletic, and his biggest plays certainly have come with his feet, and not his arm. And that'd be great, if he was backing up Adrian Peterson. But he's not. He's the quarterback. And in order to become a GOOD quarterback, "eliminating those bad plays" may just take a little more effort with this guy than the team can be afforded.
I mean, I still think a franchise quarterback in the draft is in order. Maybe with the first round pick, more likely with the second (depending on who drops). Ponder could stick around, and maybe he learns something that makes him great from a new coaching staff. That could happen, right? And then we'd be in the enviable position of having two potentially great quarterbacks on the roster we'd have to live with, probably trading one for more draft picks for the defense. Could be worse! But is also very unlikely!
Either way, Norv … I got my eye on you!