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Turner named Browns' offensive coordinator

Posted Jan 17, 2013

Norv Turner has been named the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator, and five others have been added to Rob Chudzinski’s first coaching staff.

Norv Turner, the former head coach of the San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, has been named the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.

Turner comes to Cleveland after spending the last six years with the Chargers, where he helped them to a 56-40 regular-season record, and a 3-3 mark in the postseason after leading the team to three consecutive AFC West Division championships from 2007-2009. Turner’s teams finished with a .500 or better record in five of those seasons.

“Norv has been one of the most respected offensive coaches in the NFL over the last 25-30 years, and he has had a tremendous amount of success at each one of his stops -- as a position coach, coordinator and head coach,” said Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski. “I was able to learn a great deal in the time that I worked for him in San Diego, and I expect that having him as our offensive coordinator will make a big impact on that side of the ball.”

Under Turner’s direction, the Chargers finished in the top five in points scored from 2007-2011, and were No. 1 in yards when quarterback Philip Rivers led the offense to 6,329 yards and 441 points, second-most in the NFL in 2010. During the 2010 season, the Chargers scored 20 or more points in 13 games and better than 30 eight times.

Turner brings 38 years of coaching experience to Cleveland, including a three-season stint as offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys from 1991-93. During his time in Dallas, Turner coached an offense that featured three Pro Football Hall of Fame players, quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin, and won back-to-back Super Bowl championships (XXVII and XXVIII).

Aikman threw for a career-best 3,445 yards and 23 touchdowns against 14 interceptions during the 1992 season, a year in which the Cowboys went 13-3 and earned the NFC East Division championship. Later that season, Aikman earned MVP honors in Dallas’ 52-17 win over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII.

In addition to Turner, the Browns added former Cleveland assistant Mike Sullivan (offensive line), Scott Turner (wide receivers) and Brad Roll (strength and conditioning) to the coaching staff.

Roll has worked as strength and conditioning coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993-95), Buffalo Bills (2004-05), and Oakland (2008-12), as well as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Miami Dolphins (1996-2003) and St. Louis Rams (2006-07). Scott Turner was an assistant at the college level, at Oregon State (2005) and Pittsburgh (2008-10), before joining the Carolina Panthers as the offensive quality control coach in 2011. Sullivan, a sixth-round pick of the Cowboys in 1991, worked as the Browns’ assistant offensive line coach in 2001-04, and 2007-08. He also directed the Chargers’ offensive line from 2009-12.

“I am very excited about the coaches we have been able to add to our staff thus far,” Chudzinski said. “I have worked with Norv, Mike, Scott and Brad previously and know the quality of coaches and teachers that they are, and how much our players will benefit from their presence.”

Offensive line coach George Warhop and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor were retained from the 2012 coaching staff.

In 2012, Warhop worked with an offensive line that blocked for running back Trent Richardson, who broke six Browns rookie records, including 950 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. They also allowed quarterback Brandon Weeden to complete 297 of 517 attempts for a Browns rookie record 3,385 yards and 14 touchdowns against 17 interceptions. Weeden also set franchise rookie records for wins (five) and passing yards in a game (364 at Oakland on Dec. 2, 2012), and three of the six longest touchdown passes by a Browns rookie.

As special teams coordinator, Tabor designed returns that allowed Joshua Cribbs to gain 1,178 yards and average 27.4 yards per return on 43 kickoff returns. Cribbs, who averaged only 25.0 yards per return in 2011, was named a Pro Bowl alternate this season.

On punt returns, Cribbs gained 457 yards, and rookie wide receiver Travis Benjamin set a franchise record with a 93-yard punt return touchdown in a 30-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 9.

“After sitting down and getting to know both Chris and George, I was extremely impressed with the type of coaches and men that they are,” Chudzinski said. “Not only was this special teams group vastly improved from the previous season, but special teams became one of the top units in the league last year. George played an integral role in helping to shape a young unit that I feel made great strides last year, and which has the potential to get even better. The continuity we have been able to create by retaining Chris and George will be big pluses in both of their respective areas.”

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