The Chargers made the right choice

I can’t say for sure that Norv Turner was a great hire for the NFL Chargers, but I’m confident he will be great for the fantasy football Chargers, especially QB Phillip Rivers.

While his excellent track record with RBs (Emmitt Smith, Terry Allen, Stephen Davis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Ricky Williams, Frank Gore) gets most of the fantasy headlines, a bigger key to me especially in this case is Turner’s track record working with young QBs. Turner has repeatedly shown an ability to coach up younger players and put them in the best position to succeed. Just last year, he helped 49er QB Alex Smith go from looking like a rookie in way over his head and destined to go down as a bust to a player clearly on the right track toward a successful career. He does it by play-calling, scheme, and some old-fashion coaching.

Turner’s coaching style sets up well for the Charger players. Turner likes to pound the ball with a power running game, and then take shots downfield. He’s also a coach who tends to have success incorporating the TE into the offense. He was Tomlinson’s offensive coordinator in LT’s rookie year, and that worked out well, so [...]

Watch out for Walker

You might have missed it late last week, but the Broncos exercised an option bonus on WR Javon Walker for $10.7 million. Had they not done that, the rest of his five-year contract would have been voided and Walker would have become a free agent on March 2nd.

The deal Walker signed last year with Denver was basically set up for the team to have an out had Walker not proved he was recovered from 2005’s devastating knee injury. I certainly had doubts about Walker’s ability to return to form right away, on his new team, and with Jake Plummer throwing him the ball. But while Walker wasn’t a beast by any stretch, he looked great. He was all the Broncos hoped for and more, so they wisely locked him up.  

So now the Broncos are set with a stud #1 WR for years to come, but the great thing for their franchise is that they were able to secure a future stud QB in 2006’s draft, so they are poised to have one of the best QB-WR combos in Jay Cutler and Walker.

Cutler may still be a little rough around the edges in 2007, but there is no [...]

Palmer, Johnson may be #1 for me

One of my favorite e-mails from 2006 was from a guy blasting us for continually ranking Chad Johnson high in our weekly rankings. I liked the e-mail because two days after we received it, Johnson caught 11 balls for 260 yards and 2 TDs.

There are times when people on our boards question a ranking for a particular week before the games are played, and they wind up being correct, but that doesn’t mean we were wrong in our stance on the player going into the matchup.
Fantasy football is less of an exact science than it’s ever been, so in a guy like Johnson’s case, you just have to give the player the benefit of the doubt. 

I do think Johnson hurts himself at times by his antics off the field, although his antics are merely child’s play compared to a guy like Terrell Owens’. The bottom line with Johnson is that he’s a tremendous player. That’s not a profound statement by any stretch, but I think it’s worth saying because I believe Johnson’s better than a lot of people who think he’s great realize. He may be the best route-runner in the league, and his hands are tremendous. He has a great feel for the position, [...]

This Carr won’t take you anywhere

I’m sure it’s annoying when fantasy writers such as myself waffle on some issues. Unfortunately, waffling is unavoidable in many cases in today’s week-to-week and year-to-year NFL. In many cases, you can make a definitive statement about a player and be right half the time, so making those definitive statements can be difficult.

But I’ll make one right now: David Carr does not have a good future as an NFL starter, no matter where he goes.

In a weak free agent and NFL draft class, Carr, still only 27, will get a lot of attention and will be the subject of a lot of rumors. The Texans appear ready to give up on Carr, or they at least do not appear keen on paying him what he’s in line to make the next two years ($5.2 and $6 million in 2007 and 2008).

There are a lot of teams that should have at least a passing interest in Carr: The Vikings, Raiders, Browns, Chiefs, and Bears, and maybe even the Dolphins and Panthers.

But I’ve seen enough of this guy to believe he won’t succeed. The new coaching staff did a great job handling and massaging him in 2006, yet by midseason they were resigned to limiting him to [...]

Given the circumstances, Marty had to go, and Norv has to come

Poor old Marty Schottenheimer has the most career coaching wins of any head coach NOT to play in the Super Bowl. His Chargers were 14-2, the top team in the NFL heading into the playoffs. They were #1 in points scored and only six teams gave up fewer points.

And I totally understand why he was fired yesterday.

The fact is Schottenheimer was more of a father figure for the Chargers than anything else, and ownership had serious questions about his ability to lead this team on the field, on offense or defense. This move had to be done, and the timing was as good as any after the team lost both of their (excellent) coordinators as well as TEs coach Rob Chudzinski, the new OC in Cleveland,  and LBs coach Greg Manusky, the new DC in San Francisco. Had he stayed, his rocky relationship with GM A.J. Smith would have likely exploded, and the team would have imploded. Schottenheimer was also trying to hire his brother as DC, which was not the right move to make given the timing and circumstances.

There are a few candidates who will stabilize the values of their key players, most notably Norv Turner, who coached in [...]

About John Hansen

John Hansen

Specializing in football, Hansen is one of the most connected fantasy writers in the country.

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