Re: Elsewhere in the NFL: Norv Turner won't be fired
posted at 12/28/2010 1:37 PM EST
An interesting insight into the world of Norv Turner, by Gregg Easterbrook, ESPN Tuesday Morning Quarterback and Patriots Hater Extraordinaire:http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/101228_tuesday_morning_quarterback&sportCat=nfl
Sour Coach's Play of the Week No. 1: Cincinnati leading San Diego 20-13 -- the Bolts needing a victory to stave off elimination despite fabulous stats, Carson Palmer having his best game of the season with the T.Ocho sideshow out of the lineup -- the Bengals faced third-and-7 on their 41 with six minutes remaining. Palmer threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to backup receiver Jerome Simpson, and TMQ wrote the words "season over" for San Diego in his notebook.
San Diego corner Antoine Cason was out of position at the snap and burned badly. Sportstalk has analyzed this play all wrong, placing the blame on Cason. Many touts have accused him of a busted coverage; on "Mike & Mike in the Morning," former NFL receiver Cris Carter said Cason must have been "tired" or lost focus. The Chargers' coaching staff was to blame!
As Cincinnati approached the line of scrimmage, Bolts defensive coordinator Ron Rivera hadn't called the defense. And the home team was not in a hurry-up -- far from it, with a fourth-quarter lead, Palmer was milking the clock. Rivera did not radio in the defensive call to San Diego green-dot linebacker Kevin Burnett until the Bengals were starting their cadence. At the snap, Cason was looking back at Burnett, trying to get the defensive call. Blame this touchdown on the coaches! And blame the San Diego coaches twice because they weren't paying attention -- with their defense way out of position as Cincinnati was about to snap, coaches should have called timeout (San Diego had all three).
From my own modest experience as a middle-school head coach, I can relate that you get 10 seconds, max, to decide on your call, because you must allow time for the call to go in and then be relayed to the players. Rivera hadn't made his call quickly enough. Plus he apparently didn't teach his defense a default call. Quarterbacks typically are coached: If you don't get the call or are confused, run a slant or a draw, staple plays that work from any formation. Middle linebackers typically are coached: If you don't get the call or are confused, then the call is Cover 2, every team's staple defense. The San Diego defense did not seem to have a default call to compensate for their coach's error.
Thank God for Bill Belichick.