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Per source: Rivers to Browns is a rumor

Click for philipriversface.blogspot.com.

It’s now SIX days since the Schrager tweet announced Norv Turner to be the Browns’ new OC.  Norv Turner is, per reports, in Hawaii with family where apparently there is no email, tweet, text messages, phone service.  Clearly there are no fax machines or pens.  But that one tweet has delivered this volume of “Norv Turner to Browns” news.  That not one of those reports includes so much as an ‘attempts to reach Mr. Turner and his agent were unsuccessful’ speaks to the current state of internet journalism.  That inside two weeks ago our media friends were over-reporting Chip Kelly to Cleveland says something about the attention spans of news content generators and consumers with which I don’t want to get busy here.

No, let’s play in this sandbox for a bit.  Thus:  Could Philip Rivers follow Norv Turner to Cleveland?  I mean, what the hell right?  When the Browns’ pre-eminent beat reporter can fling this ( Cleveland Browns might pursue Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden ) against the wall then we all have license to concoct whatever we feel.  Quite frankly there’s more basis to a Rivers-to-Browns rumor than there is MKC’s Gruden-to-Browns.  So let’s work with this a bit.

Philip Rivers, 31, 6-5/230.  Presided over a couple great seasons (’06, 14-2; ’09, 13-3).  2-3 in playoff starts.  Led league in TD passes in ’08 (34); led in pass yards in ’10 (4710).  He’s got a large contract, but we have cap room to manage it:

rivers' contract

Prototype QB for sure.  If you’re willing to give him a pass on some of the on-field petulance … check the best stat on his pfr page:  three years in a row he led league in ‘yards per attempt’ with 8.4 ,8.8, 8.7 in 2008-2010.

That got me thinking:  have we as Browns fans ever seen yards per attempt that high?  The answer is “maybe” but you would have to be 60 years old or better:

yds/att leaders

The original West Coast Offense.

For more frame of reference, here’s the last three years:


Shurmur-style West Coast Offense

Back to Rivers, in 2008:  V. Jackson, Gates, and Tomlinson all had over 50 receptions.  In 2009, much the same but replace Tomlinson with Sproles.

But Rivers’ 2010 performance is the one that’s talking to me.  That year Sproles and Gates both had ~50 receptions, but his leading WR?  Malcom Floyd, 37 catches.  With those primary targets, the Chargers led league in yardage, were second in points.  How/why they didn’t make playoffs is a different question.

All I’m saying:  insert Rivers into the solid offensive line with Gordon-Little-Benjamin-Richardson for targets and put Norv Turner at OC where that tandem demonstrated three years in a row that they’ll go lead the league in vertical throws…

I like it.

Let’s get busy spreading this rumor around, mmK?

(And at the same time, let’s shoot down any and all Mike Vick rumors.  Cripes.  Michael Vick???)


Update:  here’s Rivers saying the right things about new Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy.  Damn.  


  1. The more you read on Chud and just look at numbers the better you feel.

    If ANYONE in the league could use a change of scenery it is Rivers. My only concern is whether or not he is truly healthy. That physical would be extensive. He just looked really off this year.

  2. Bryan says:

    Kanick – Good to see you carrying the Frowns mantle. One interesting thing you overlooked (or at least didn’t give any airtime to):.

    Check out the plummet in Rivers’ performance the year after Chud left for Carolina. Its pretty amazing. Rivers downfall coincided exactly with the removal of Chud. To me, its not just Norv coming here that creates a link to Rivers, but Chud.

    • jimkanicki says:

      Good point. QB rating review backs it up: 106, 104, 102, (Chud to Carolina) 89, 89. Yards/Attempt down to 6.5 in 2012. It becomes a slight chicken-egg question: how much of this was due to personnel change (Ronnie Brown with second most receptions in 2012) and how much is putting your o-line coach in as OC (Hal Hunter).

      The simple fact of an OC willing to throw deep and letting WRs make plays is partly dictated by having the right playmakers but largely driven by philosophy. We saw that with Shurmur: even with Josh Gordon and Greg ‘did-you-know-he-has-a-40-inch-vertical‘ Little we saw way too many drag routes underneath.

      Damn. Just thinking about Chud/Turner game-planning with Rivers delivering to Gordon/Little/Benjamin is enough to get pretty fired up.

      • Bryan says:

        Totally agree on the chicken-egg thing. It’s hard to know whether Chud was really the key to Rivers success. But if your Rivers, you likely have fond memories of Chud. So in terms of the personal connection, Rivers might very well be excited to work with Chud again.

        One question is whether Rivers and Turner still get along. I feel like I remember there being some tension there in the last 2 years.

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