Apr 4, 2007
Usually, where there’s smoke there’s fire, and there’s definitely smoke on the Michael Turner front. It certainly appears the Chargers are willing to let Turner go, perhaps for less than the 1st and 3rd round tender that has been applied to LT’s backup.
There are three teams interested in Turner: the Bills, Titans, and Packers. I would love for him to go to the Titans; it would be a perfect fit. Head coach Jeff Fisher loves to pound the rock as much as anyone, and a strong running game would make a difference in the development of QB Vince Young. The threat of Young would also help Turner, since you really can’t focus on a back when Vince Young is on the field. Offensive coordinator Norm Chow ideally wants a big back and a little back (think LenDale White and Reggie Bush at USC). Turner’s the big back – 5’10, 237 – but he can also run very well and shows surprising quickness to the corner. He can bust off the long runs, and in fact ran ahead of the speedy Pacman Jones on one of his long runs last year against the Titans. In some ways, he is a big back and a little back himself. Signing Turner would also alleviate any concerns about White, who would be pushed back to the second string and whose chances to start would be put on hold indefinitely. The Titans plan on locking up another back before the draft, so it looks like it’ll be Turner, Corey Dillon (who will be in town today), or Chris Brown – and I really hope it’ll be Turner.
If Turner’s not a Titan, it’s a tough call as to what my second choice for him would be. For 2007, I would say Green Back, but I think being in Buffalo would be better for the long-term. I think Turner would be a good fit for GB’s zone blocking scheme, but you never know for sure until he’s in it. His potential in that system is tremendous, though. There would be a solid defense to keep their games close, and a solid passing game, so Turner would be a great #2 fantasy back on the Packers in 2007. I’d still take him as a #2 back on the Bills, but until the passing game can pose a serious threat, defenses will be stacked against the run. But I like Losman’s progress, and Dick Jauron is usually conservative with the running game, so Turner would likely average 20 carries a game, and he’d get things done.
I think everyone at this point understands Turner’s potential, but I think I’ve been on the bandwagon a little longer than most. I am 100% convinced that Turner will be an excellent starter. I would love to have him as my #2 RB this year.
And the bottom line is I’ll feel that way regardless of where he goes this off-season, if he does, in fact, go.