Chicago Sun-Times

Turner to reunite with Wannstedt in college ranks?

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Ron Turner doesn't have plans to rejoin forces with Dave Wannstedt.

But Wanntstedt is in search of an offensive coordinator at Pitt with Matt Cavanaugh expected to depart to become the quarterbacks coach of the New York Jets.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Turner's name has surfaced as a possibility, and profootballtalk.com and its sister site collegefootballtalk.com weighed in on the possibility.

Turner's agent Frank Bauer dismissed the suggestion, or at least made it a far-fetched possibility.

"He's not going to do that," Bauer told the Sun-Times Saturday afternoon. "He loves Chicago. I don't see him doing that."

Turner worked under Wannstedt in his first stint with the Bears from 1993-96. His nephew, Scott Turner, is a graduate assistant there. Turner signed a three-year extension with the Bears following the Super Bowl and is under contract through this coming season.

"Ron hasn't called or anything or talked about anything like that,'' Bauer said. "It's untrue. There's no way unless Pitt wants to pay him a fortune. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where that is going to go.''

Cavanaugh served as the Bears offensive coordinator from 1997-98 after Turner departed for Illinois.

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21 Comments

If change is to truly occur, Turner would have to be a part of it as well. Seeing as how he's not part of Lovies inner Tampa circle, I reckon Lovie won't have too much trouble parting with the fella. I would love to see how he would do with a true set of talent and if he ends up succeeding then keep him, but so far he hasn't, to me at least, shown too much success, with what he's got and a true victor can make something out of nothing, in my opinion. Go Bears, and go change we can beleive in!

Brad -
What are the chances of signing a free agent RB or WR who was not a starter but hopes to get more touches? Guys like Buckhalter or Aaron Stecker or WR Devery Henderson would seem to be great pickups for the Bears. These guys would be reasonably priced and would eliminate one more need in the draft. Any chance the Bears pick up one of these guys?

The funny things is most Pitt fans dont want anything to do with Turner. They are probably right.

people hate on turner.But i call him a offensive genius for keeping our offensive good with no talent.I would say the average coach would be 32nd every year with what we have.We have been the least talented offense for a couple of years now.But we still manage to stay out of that 32nd overall spot.I cant think of a team with less weapons than us.

Do us all a favor and go to Pitt, Turner....and don't forget on forth down to run the fullback up the middle!!!!....Turner is the reason Rex never made it here!!!!.....his play calling sucks..BAD!!!!

Hey, Lovie.....let Turner go and hire John Gruden to call the plays....Tampa Bay Bears, sounds good to me!!!!!

To all,

Lovie lets go of a very good defensive coordinator in Ron Rivera (you know...the guy that coached what many to consider a great defense...and may have had a lot to do of why the bears went to the superbowl a few seasons ago)and hires his buddy that couldn't coach himself out of a paper bag. Now you want him to show the door to turner and get what? Unlike defense, Lovie knows less about offense.
If you think things are bad right now, a turner replacement would make things worst.
Wait till lovie get fired after next season, then the new coach can hire a replacement for turner.
This team isn't going anywhere anyway.
It is true...turner has very little to work with.
How many of you want to make a bet that the first round draft pick for 2009 is on defense? How about the second round pick?

We may get lucky and get an offensive tackle in the third.

Not until Angelo and Lovie (and possibley phillips) are fired, is this team even going to have a chance for a turn-around.

Wishing and hoping (like angelo and lovie did with rex) isn't going to make a winning team. They are who we thought they were. Geeee...where did i hear that before?

Ron did alot with the offense this year, and he had little to work with, except there are questions as well,

The 4 downs to no goal, - anyone can play call `run right at the defense.' but that Defense was not the Defense to do that against. being really nice - that was a nonsmart play call series. (and if we had a real good Oline who knows?) But we don't have a real good Oline and that Defense has a real great Dline! and so the Offensive Coordinator has to know that and adjust his play calling.

The fact we kept playing the same WR's that simply were not getting it done, when we had WR on the bench that could not have done worse.
(was this Lovie?)

What happened to the offense in the GBay game? That s... should not have happened.

And I blame the Offensive Coaches as a whole for the Hester misses, as they obviously did not practice enough together after practice, ala Manning/Harrison does with the Colts, if Orton/Hester do not have the good sense to take that responsibility on their own then I expect the Offensive coordinator/QB's Coach/Wr Coach to suggest it (mandatory suggestion)- ?maybe? they are doing that in the offseason? Let's hope so.
Personally after that first miss I would have Orton/Hester throwing to each other 2 hours solid every day, but that's me (and of course Manning/Harrison/Wayne) and the Colts Offense has the good sense to do that. (and I know the injury hindered that - see Rex below)
ProBowl QB's/WR take that on themselves and great Offensive Coordinators make sure their QB'S/WR's do it or else.
Why was Orton brought back too soon? He was still under the effects of the ankle injury, and Rex could have played during that stretch, but that sure would have made Lovie and co. look real smart if Rex had come in and played better than the guy they hand picked, (the little bit he did come in really was not enough to get his game head on)
But it is hard to evaluate the Offensive Coordinator when you have a GM that has basically ignored shoring up the offense for so long that you have no weapons, but some questionable play calling, and Offensive lineups, that make me wonder what the hey was going on as well.

Some of you might go to this site just for the sake of argument.
http://fireronturner.net/?cat=13

I say when my 12 year old daughter can predict the plays before they happen, it's time for a change.......he should have been fired long ago....no immagination at all....he can't even figure out how to use Garrett Wolfe yet.....Hey, Val...if your buddy Ron Rivera was so good, home come he can't get a head coaching job??? He chokes in the big games!!!!Overrated!!!

I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would hire another coach from a team that sucks!!!......Didn't Turner come from Illinois??? What was his coaching record there?? Then we hire big Rod from a 0-16 team!! I know in the real world if you suck at your job that usually means you need to do something else. Not here....kill someone on the operating table and the Bears will hire you as team surgeon!!!!!

Moses, Moses I know you cannot be that hoodwinked to the Turner is the reason for Grossman's failure, that statement borders on stupidity. Grossmans failures are strictly physical and cerebral. Why was Turner such a genius with Kramer at the controls and so dumb with Grossman? Kramer was a NFL QB Grossman was not, Kramer had two 1,000 yrd recievers Grossman did not and theres no guarantee he would have hit them anyway. Several televised games the analyst referred to Grossman staring down recievers and throwing alley oops passes so don't blame Turner for Grossman's small hands, slow-footedness, poor pocket presents and panic interceptions.

Deputy.... Kramer was just better suited for Turners style....I'm saying design your plays around the strength of your QB....yes, Rex has limitations...roll him out more because he's too short....more play action....etc,etc......you watch, Rex will be a star elsewhere....Turner is a moron that can't adjust to anything!!!

Changing offensive coordinators would hurt the Bears more than it would help. I don't think Ron Turner is as bad as a lot of fans think. Ron Turner has directed five of the top 23 offenses in the Bears 88 year history. The key to a good coach is personnel, Ron Turner has proved in the past, with the right personnel, he can produce. Take the 1995 season, under Turner, the Bears had a 3800 yd passer, who also had 20 plus td passes 28. The offense also featured a 1000-yard rusher and two 1000-yard receivers, the only such season in team history.

I agree with Jerry Angelo, the key to a successful offense does start with the QB. Giving the right QB, Turner can produce. Chicago has had some pretty good QB's under Turner, what has killed so many of them is health. Erik Kramer wasn't very durable, but the one season he stayed healthy, 1995, he posted career numbers under Turner, 3838 yds passing, and 28 td passes. Same for Grossman, when healthy, he also put up 3000 plus passing and 20 plus td passes in 2006, 3193 yds passing to go along with 23 td passes. Again, the biggest problem with both Kramer & Grossman was durability.

This season with Kyle Orton, Orton came close to 3000yds, and 20 plus td passes, but Orton was also hurt. Before the injury to Orton, I was all for the Bears signing Orton to a long term deal, but I agree with the move to let Orton play this season, and see if he can remain healthy enough to produce. I think if healthy, Orton can produce, but thats the biggest question mark for Orton, durability. Orton proved his rookie season he can go a 16 game season and stay healthy. With an injury this season, I think its important the Bears make sure Orton does not continue to have durability problems. If Orton continues to struggle with durability problems next season, time to move on to another QB, maybe Caleb Hanie?

Getting a new offensive coordinator would also hinder the development of both Orton & Hanie GO BEARS!!

By Moses on February 8, 2009 10:15 AM
"Deputy.... Kramer was just better suited for Turners style....I'm saying design your plays around the strength of your QB....yes, Rex has limitations...roll him out more because he's too short....more play action....etc,etc......you watch, Rex will be a star elsewhere....Turner is a moron that can't adjust to anything!!!"

Actually Moses you do not build your offensive system around a QB, you find a QB that fits your system. This is also not Turners style of offense that the Bears are using, it is a hybrid cross between Air Coryell(Turners Style) and Smashmouth. If Rex is going to be a star, he will need to find a Florida style spread offense in the NFL. To bad for Rex no such system exists at this level.

By Kevin Armstead
"Getting a new offensive coordinator would also hinder the development of both Orton & Hanie GO BEARS!!"

Really as compared to all the other QB's we developed. Tell me Kevin how is it Matt Cassel who was taken in the 7th round in 2005, didn't start a game until this year, has developed into such a good QB? While Orton a higher pick in 2005 can only wish to play as well as he did. I guess the Pats were able to develop him in the same time the Bears had Orton. Orton got more chances than Cassel, he played more games than Cassel, yet Cassel who started his first game this year smoked Orton. Maybe Orton has already developed into what he will be, or does it take 5-6 years to develop a QB. If it takes that long for Turner to develop a QB he should probably not be a coach for the Bears. Gosh if takes Turner that long to develop a guy we can count on Hanie in 2015. Matt Cassel=stud, Kyle Orton=Dud, oh oh my Ankle, it hurts when I have to play good teams. Oh it's better now, were playing the Rams.

Ron Turner is one of the best offensive coordinators in the league. He has absolutely nothing to work with, which is why he is forced to call such conservative games every week. Yet, as Dice pointed out, the Bears are not at the bottom on offense, though they should be considering their extreme lack of talent there. When Turner was given anything to work with, he's produced more than could be expected, for example in 1995 and 2006. (The 1995 team didn't exactly have a ton of talent either, though it obviously had more than this team does, but Turner nevertheless managed to get a ton out of it.) Mark my words, if the Bears lose Ron Turner, they will be at the bottom of the league by a longshot on offense.

Wow, I didn't realize how many delusional Bear fans there were. Anybody who thinks Ron Turner has the slightest clue deserves the crap offense the Bears run out year after year.

Creighton said: "Matt Cassel=stud"

Creighton, before you get all ga-ga over Matt Cassel, let me throw out a couple names, Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Creighton, I can guarantee if Orton played for New England, and had two weapons like Moss and Welker at his disposal, his numbers would be as pretty as Cassel's. Creighton, don't you think its kind of weird Daunte Culpepper hasn't been called one of the leagues better QB's since him and Moss played together???? Not impressed with Wes Welker, two straight season's with 100 plus receptions, 2007 112 catches, 2008 111 catches, oh yeah, with to different QB's, Brady in 2007, and Cassel in 2008, so don't give me any of that its the QB c#rap, Wes Welker is a legit receiver. And Creighton, don't throw Welkers numbers when he was in Miami at me, because if you do, your basically saying its the Patriots system that gives Welker the big stats. If thats the case, why would Cassel be any different, what makes you think Cassel would do any better in Chicago?? I don't think he would fare any better than Orton did with the receivers Orton had. By the way, Matt Cassel signed a 1yr 14.65 million franchise tender the Patriots offered him, taking him out of free agency.

Creighton, you were going on about Orton's numbers in Dec at home in the cold weather on the other page, and how Orton has a weak arm. I disagree, there are different opinions on Ortons arm strength, some say he has a good arm, like scouting reports, and certain fans that dislike Orton, say he has a weak arm. In Dec, Orton was 80 for 138, a 58% completion percentage, for 777 yds, 5tds, and 5 picks. Not great numbers, but not bad considering he was playing on a bum ankle in cold weather. Creighton, agree or disagree, the ankle had an effect on Orton's game. Before the injury, Orton was on pace for 3500 yds passing and 25-27 td passes. If you know anything about playing QB, you know that footwork means everything. I remember hearing people like Troy Aikman saying how impressive Orton's ability to set his feet in the pocket was. Also, the fact Orton was out there playing hurt is impressive in its self, Orton can't be that bad outside in the cold at home in Dec, he lead the Bears to three straight wins this year at home in Dec, yes his stats weren't that pretty, but I think they would have been had Orton been healthy. As a matter of fact, Orton lead the Bears to two wins in Dec of 2007, when he was healthy. The game that stuck out was the Packers game in 2007, it was sub zero weather with high winds, and Orton had no problems throwing the ball, again when he was healthy, thats a key thing to remember Creighton when your bashing a player, just a heads up. Again, I don't think Orton's arm is as weak as you think, or would like to think.

Creighton, FYI, yes Orton was 65% with passes of 1-10 yds, but he was 57.6% of passes between 11-20 yds, and 56% on passes over 31 yards, with two td passes and 0 picks, not as bad as you think, or would like to think.

Creighton, I don't know what your problem with Orton is [oh yeah its because he plays for the Bears] but he isn't as bad as you might think. Laugh it up with good ankle bad ankle, but Orton might surprise you next season, my only question about Orton is can he saty healthy an entire season? And Creighton, Orton's numbers weren't that great vs the Rams, that was a sleeper game for everyone, where are you getting that anyone ever said Orton's number were that great vs the Rams??. I think if Orton can stay healthy, [and remember to slide more] he's gonna be a pretty good QB for the Bears. In week 17 vs the Texans, Orton was getting back to form throwing for 244 yards, 2 td passes, 0 picks, and a QB rating of 97.1. GO ORTON!! GO BEARS!!

Wrigley,
I would not go as far as saying Turner is one of the best O-coordinators in the league, but he has proven that he is a good coordinator. A great coordinator could get more out of what he has in Chicago. You have Forte, Olsen, Clark, and Hester. That should be good enough for him to work with. So the skill positions are decent enough, which leaves us with one problem area:

The problem continues to be trust in the QB position. His best games came with Erik Kramer and Brian Griese at QB, both seasoned professional quarterbacks.

Grossman required the playbook to be reduced/scaled down, or whatever you want to call it. He was not capable of reading the blitz and changing the play, so you have to be quick with throws, run a lot, or suffer the turnover mess we had with Rex at QB. Defenses learned that if you apply quick pressure, either you get a sack, a fumble, or an up-for-grabs bad decision...Not a great way to run your offense

With Orton, he can read, he can adjust and change the play, but at the end of the day, he is not aggressive enough with the deep passes. He has the arm, but lacks the touch. The biggest reason for this is not trusting the deep routes. Whether he is uncertain when reading the safeties, or just doesn't throw enough of them, he either misses long or short, and doesn't give his receiver a chance to make the play, and because of this, the field gets shortened, and defenses can play more coverage and keep the short routes in front of them. Also not a great way to run an offense.

This offseason, since we are going into it with Orton as the starter until someone decides otherwise, he should be at Halas Hall every day working on the deep ball. Get Bennett, Hester, Davis, Rideau, Olsen, and anybody we can find that can run a route, and keep throwing, watching film, and developing AS A UNIT! Turner only gets so many "organized team activities", but there is no restriction on the players working out on their own. If Turner accidentally left some ideas or drills he was cooking up in his head out in the open, and Orton managed to find it, that wouldn't violate the team rules.

This is the first real season that I can remember where there is no uncertainty on the offseason roster when it comes to the QB position. Rex had the job, but Griese was there. Orton and Rex fought over the job all through preseason. Orton has the job with little or no competition from Basanez and Hanie, so he needs to take the ball and run with it (using a bad cliche).

If he still can't throw the deep ball, then we are wasting our time on offense. He has the ability and arm strength, so the only thing I can think would be holding him back is mental. Whether it is reps or reads, he should be able to fix it. If he can't, he won't be a professional QB for long. If he can, he has all the other tools to make a decent career as a starting QB. Will he make anyone forget about Peyton Manning? No chance, but there are only about 5 guys in the league who have that kind of potential and ability. And there certainly aren't any of them in the free agent pool or in the draft this year.

Please, Ron Turner, leave. Your not good for the bears any more.

I agree Joe about Orton and working this offseason with the receivers . I think fans have a short memory about certain things like that we dumped our old receivers from a year ago and we brought in 3 new receivers basically.Then we had the QB's and the receivers all splitting reps all offseason. You then look at the sesaon and both Booker and Lloyd are injured and Hester has the early rib injury and then the adjustment to offense period .They get them back and then Orton is injured.Someone commented about extra time after practice but I think people forget that when Orton first returned from injury he wasnt going through full practices .

I think we saw a nice offense in its infant stages this season. I think next year we see the entire package if we can strengthen the receiver core.

Joe,

You forgot about the most fundamental part of the offense: the line! The Bear line is below average. Additionally, Matt Forte is an above average back and very good all round and in many intangible ways, but he's not exceptional or a superstar. Devin Hester is just learning to play wide receiver in the NFL, and the rest of the Bear receivers suck. To say that if Turner were great that he would have gotten even more out of this pathetic group is like saying if Gayle Sayers had been really good, he would have done even more because he played with Mike Pyle and Dick Gordon. Forget it! The Bears have almost zero talent on offense compared to other teams and Turner is practically a miracle worker. And what about the '95 team? What great superstars did it have that allowed Turner to have thousand yard receivers and rushers? The Bears spend almost no money on offense and they've gotten what they've paid for. To think anything else is delusional.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 7, 2009 3:28 PM.

Four Down Territory, Feb. 6: Hating Grossman is misplacing the blame was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears still special, just not No. 1 is the next entry in this blog.

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