The Carolina Panthers will hire Norv Turner as their offensive coordinator, a source told the Observer on Thursday evening. Turner’s son Scott will also be hired as the team’s quarterbacks coach.
On Monday, the Panthers announced that they had fired offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey, both of whom had been in their respective positions since 2013.
Rivera said in a press conference later that day that he and interim general manager Marty Hurney had “a plan in place” to fill the positions, and that whoever did so would have to have a “different perspective.”
Despite being out of football for a year after resigning from his post as the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator in 2016, Turner’s name seemed to fit into the conversation regarding potential replacements for Shula almost immediately.
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Turner is not a young, flashy name coming to Charlotte to breathe life into a largely stagnant offense, but he has deep ties with Rivera.
Turner, 65, was the head coach of the San Diego Chargers when he hired Rivera and the two worked together for four years from 2007-10. Rivera spent the last three of those years as defensive coordinator.
Turner also has two family members on Rivera’s staff: His brother, Ron, is an offensive consultant, while his nephew, Cameron, is the assistant quarterbacks coach.
Scott Turner was the quality-control coach at Carolina during Rivera’s first two years (2011-12). He then spent the 2014-16 seasons as the quarterbacks coach at Minnesota, where his dad was the offensive coordinator. He was most recently on Michigan’s staff.
The Panthers want to maximize the ability of quarterback Cam Newton while he’s in his prime years. Newton, 28, is coming off two of the worst seasons of his career in terms of passer rating, and had shoulder surgery last offseason to repair a partially torn rotator cuff.
Clearly, Rivera hopes Turner, who helped develop talented quarterbacks like Phillip Rivers and Troy Aikman, can help.
Rivera said Monday that the team will keep utilizing the zone-read and power-run concepts in which Newton has found a lot of success. But continuing Newton’s development – as well as the development and efficient use of dynamic back Christian McCaffrey – is a key goal for the Panthers’ offensive staff moving forward.