Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner had his introductory press conference Wednesday morning, as he was accompanied by head coach Rob Chudzinski. Not that I'm getting tired of Jimmy Haslam or Joe Banner, but it was refreshing to see a Browns press conference that was more coaching related. Here are a few highlights from Turner's press conference:
- Calling Plays & QB's Coach: Right away, Chudzinski announced that Turner will be the guy who calls plays, and will also pull double duty as the team's quarterbacks coach. "[With] the great quarterbacks that [Turner] has been around and developed throughout the years, I think that will be a real asset for us," said Chudzinski.
- Benefit of Chudzinski Not Calling Plays: One of the things I have issues with is when the head coach is too zoned in on their specialty that they are more like a glorified coordinator vs. having the opportunity to take control of the entire team and being able to manage the game. Chudzinski acknowledged the benefit of handing over the playcalling duties to Turner:
"I think it will allow me to be able to be involved more with special teams, be involved more with defense and those guys in those areas. One of the things as a head coach that I want be careful of is just being classified as an offensive guy. I’m the head coach of the football team and being involved with everybody in all of those different phases and all of our players on a day-to-day basis is important in shaping the direction that we want to go."
- Playing Fast & Making the Big Plays: Turner talked about his intentions to ensure the Browns are an exciting team ready to hit all of the big plays:
"Having a feel for a lot of the players on the roster, the youth of the team was extremely exciting to me and it looked like a great opportunity to be with someone who, obviously we share a philosophy in terms of offensive football and the way you play football. The biggest thing for me, you want to offensively be a team that is exciting. You want to be a team that the fans love to watch. If you’re going to be that type of team, obviously you have to be able to score points, you have to be able to make explosive plays, big plays, you have to be a team that plays fast, plays hard, plays physical and I think it will show that our guys like to play football."
- Speaking Highly of Trent Richardson: You could tell that Norv Turner had some glowing remarks about Browns running back Trent Richardson.
"I got to see Trent (Richardson) firsthand. He made an amazing, explosive run against us in that game here in October, I think it was. I know it was a rainy day, but he’s an impressive, young player. I’ve been fortunate through most of my stops to be with outstanding running backs, great running backs. Guys who have characteristics like Trent. I’ve been fortunate to be able to coach five backs that have led the NFL in rushing."Heading into the Browns' game against the Chargers, San Diego was regarded as having one of the league's better run defenses. In the first quarter, Richardson ripped off a 26-yard touchdown. He finished the day with 24 carries for 122 yards (5.1 average) in a 7-6 win. Remember -- this was also a week after he was benched for not running well against the Colts. Turner surely had to be impressed with how Richardson delivered in pain.
- Not So Glowing on Brandon Weeden: In that same game against the Browns, Weeden didn't have the best statistical day: he was 11-of-27 (40.7%) for 129 yards. In short, Turner said he is still in the early stages of reviewing what Weeden has to offer at quarterback, but he did say this: "Certainly there are things I look at right now and I say, ‘Brandon can get a lot better at these things.’ So you get excited, you go out and work on the details of playing the position.".
When Chudzinski was asked about Weeden being the starter in 2013, he said, "I think that’s premature to say that." Some members of the media are trying to look into that too much, but the fact is, Chudzinski is right: you shouldn't commit to a second-year quarterback as a head coach until you see what happens in free agency and the draft. It would be premature to define him as the starter right now when you really don't know what's going to happen yet.
- Bonus Interview on Bull & Fox: Sometimes, you hear less mumbo jumbo and more "real talk" when a coach is being interviewed by a radio show. This afternoon, Turner was on Bull & Fox on 92.3 The Fan. Listen to his interview when you have the chance.
The entire press conference transcript from this morning can be found here, including Chudzinski talking briefly about Michael Lombardi.