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Turner's Play Calling Keys Huge Bolts Win

Posted Dec 9, 2012


Head coach Norv Turner has long been regarded as one of the best play callers not just in the NFL today, but in the history of the game.

On Sunday he showed just why.

Turner called a near flawless game against the league’s number one ranked defense as the Pittsburgh Steelers looked lost for the most part on the field.  As a result, the Chargers came away with an impressive 34-24 victory.

“He’s great,” said Philip Rivers. “He’s been calling plays in this league for a long time.  He was awesome. He is most every week.  And he called a heck of a game and we made the plays.  He put us in good position, but we have to go make the plays.  And that’s what we did tonight.  We were in a groove.  Everything was just tight.”

Just one example of Turner’s excellent play calling was a draw to Ronnie Brown on 3rd-and-13 that the veteran running back ran off right guard for a 17 yard gain. It came during a pivotal drive to open the second half that ended with a Malcom Floyd touchdown to give the Chargers command of the game.

“It took me a bit by surprise, but it was a good call,” said Brown. “Like any other play, I was thinking let’s go and make this work.  Even though it’s kind of tough in that situation to get that call, I trusted coach knew what he was doing and sure enough he did.  Everybody was probably thinking let’s get a field goal, especially against a team like that.  You don’t expect to bust out a big run but he called the right play in that situation.  I made the best of it and it gave us an opportunity.”

Even when Turner doesn’t call a play, such as when Eric Weddle audibled into a fake punt deep in San Diego’s own end zone that was converted, it’s in large part due to the head coach.  That’s because it’s Turner who allows him to have an option to call the fake based on what he sees.

“I called it,” said Weddle. “If I see a look, Norv and (special teams coordinator) Rich (Bisaccia) let me call the fake.  If I see it they have trust in me to make the right decision.  All week we study and they give me the confidence and range that if I see the look, and if it’s the best for our team, then I can run it. It’s a lot of work that goes into it.”

Overall, Nick Hardwick summed it up best when he spoke about Turner and the job he does as play caller.

“When Norv is on point calling the plays like he was today, it’s hard to stop,” he said. “You can tell when he gets a play or two ahead of the defensive coordinator and we’re really clicking and the ball is moving.  He was good.  He was on fire tonight.”

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