Football coaching merrygoround: Seven and done

The Oakland Raiders today hired Norv Turner as their new head coach, filling the seventh and last opening in this NFL off-season. Turner most recently was assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins the past two years and before that was head coach at Washington for nearly seven years with a fairly poor 49-59-1 record and just one playoff trip. His big claim to fame was as Jimmy Johnson’s offensive coordinator in Dallas during a stint that included two Super Bowl wins.

Which would make him different than Joe Bugel, the only other person Al Davis hired for this job who had previous experience as a head coach; in every other instance the Man in Black hired a noob. The local writers have repeatedly mentioned that what Davis really likes best is someone to be offensive coordinator–he’s still, at age 74, the real head man–and Turner does match this profile. The team has a young QB, Marques Tuiasosopo, whom Turner can mold plus a couple of other young skill position players (Jerry Porter, Justin Fargas) to be the offensive core. There will surely be a major roster turnover either this coming season or the next but Turner has a five year contract.