While he does not bring another Super Bowl ring to the coaching staff, Ron Turner did come close. Turner was offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears for Super Bowl XLI, a game which saw Petyon Manning and the Colts take the hardware home. During that 2006 season, Turner’s offense with Rex Grossman at the helm ranked 8th in passing touchdowns, 14th is total pass yardage and 14th in net yards per pass attempt. It was the second most successful season under Ron Turner’s command, his most successful season coming in 1995 with Erik Kramer under center. The rest of Turner’s 9 year career is checkered with inconsistencies and his teams never ranked higher than 12th in passing yards. His quarterbacks only cracked the top ten in passing touchdowns 3 times, due to the Bears propensity to run the ball first and foremost. During his final 4 seasons with the Bears from 2006-2009, his teams ranked among the top 5 in interceptions thrown three out of the five years. Bears fans demanded his job in 2009 and Turner was shown the door. Turner has since coached the wide receivers with the Indianapolis Colts in 2010 and quarterbacks in 2011. Given the trials and tribulations of Curtis Painter last season, it’s going to be hard to sell this as a great addition to the team.
While the hire won’t do much to get Buccaneers fans excited, we have to remember these seasons came with Turner as offense coordinator and not just a quarterbacks coach. The fact he was able to do so much with so little at times actually points to his ability with managing quarterbacks towards their strengths. Rex Grossman is still tossing interceptions without Turner and Erik Kramer disappeared into obscurity.
What this hire does do is validate the fact the Bucs are truly following through with my estimation they will be running a variation of the “Air Coryell” system. Ron Turner has always tried to implement a power run game with down field throws and it is the same type of offensive strategy his brother Norv runs in San Diego. For what coach Greg Schiano wants to do, Turner does fit perfectly. Josh Freeman may very well be the best equipped quarterback Turner has ever coached. If he was able to pull solid seasons out of much lesser quarterbacks, there is the potential he can get Josh Freeman back to his 2010 form. Like most hires on this coaching staff thus far, Ron Turner will be a “wait and see” addition.