Jerry Rice: Norv Turner is a coach that can’t get you over the hump

Jerry Rice is one of the greatest players of all time and he played under Norv Turner in Oakland.

So his opinion of Turner carries a little weight.

Rice says that Rex Ryan was right: The Chargers would have won a title or two with Ryan in San Diego.

“Norv Turner is one of those coaches that just can’t you over the hump,” Rice said on SportsCenter Monday. “I played under this guy, it’s just something about Norv Turner and say, a Bill Walsh.  Bill Walsh would really give you that incentive to go out there and play football.”

Host Chris McKendry pointed out to Rice that most coaches would suffer in comparison to Bill Walsh.  Rice didn’t want to hear it.

“I played under Norv Turner and I know what he brings to the table,” Rice said.

It’s worth pointing out now that Rice didn’t play for Turner for long.  When Turner got the Raiders head coaching job, he buried Rice on the Raiders depth chart so that the team could develop Doug Gabriel, Alvis Whitted, and Ronald Curry.  (Good times.)

Turner eventually traded Rice to the Seahawks, essentially for free.

Since that happened, Rice has repeatedly said that Turner is the “worst coach” that he ever played for at any level from Pop Warner to the pros. Rice has taken every chance he can to disparage Turner through the media.

So Rice’s opinion of Turner is worthy of note, but it’s not exactly unbiased.

75 responses to “Jerry Rice: Norv Turner is a coach that can’t get you over the hump

  1. “he buried Rice on the Raiders depth chart so that the team could develop Doug Gabriel, Alvis Whitted, and Ronald Curry”


  2. Norv is an idiot. He calls a timeout before deciding on whether to challenge a play. If he just throws the flag initially, the worst thing that happens is he loses a timeout. Instead, he manages to lose two.

  3. Shame he’s going to let personal biases influence his opinion on something he knows little about because he’s not in that locker room. Rice has been a lazy analyst since signing on with ESPN and that’s been easy to see, all of his analysis is typical crap opinion thrown around and no real good football information.

  4. I think Jerry Rice is 100% right. If a coach consistently has decent teams that never win in the playoffs than its the coach’s fault. The GM clearly has assembled teams that have talent and its the job of the coach to make it “click.”

    Comments like this don’t happen early in the career of a coach. They happen when a guy has been given chance after chance and keeps falling short

  5. ……..and in other news, water is wet and the sky is blue.

    Regardless of this is coming from an ex-player with an axe to grind, no real news here as 95% of those who follow the NFL even a small bit would tell you the same thing.

  6. Didn’t Turner get the job because the last guy apparently “couldn’t get the team over the hump” as well? I think the guy does pretty well for a coach that can communicate without actually moving his mouth.

  7. If you are a charger fan you have to hope that the team loses most of its remaining games so ownership is forced to remove Norv Turner. They will keep him around if this team goes on a run and finishes a game out of the playoffs.

  8. While I think Norv can’t take you over the hump, I think a lot of teams in the NFL would be glad to get to that hump. And that’s why Norv will almost certainly have a job in the NFL. He’s not the best but he’s so much better than the worst. Think the Redskins wouldn’t have traded anything to get Norv instead of suffering through 2 years of Zorn? Or 2 years of Old Ball Coach?

  9. If Turner decided that the combination of Doug Gabriel, Alvis Whitted and Ronald Curry was better than Jerry Rice – even one legged, old man, half speed Jerry Rice – then any and all bias is well deserved.

  10. You don’t need to be a HOF WR to know Norv Turner will never get you over the hump. So regardless of Rice’s ‘biases’ in the matter, we’ve got a long history of Norv Turner not being good enough.

  11. Get over the hump…Norv can barely even get to the hump. This team has gotten worse every year since he took over.

  12. I have no idea why the consensus greatest receiver of all time is so insecure that he feels the need to kick dirt in Norv Turner’s face.

    If I were the greatest receiver of all time, I’d sit on my yacht sipping imported gin while a supermodel read my fan mail for me.

  13. Jerry ought to have a little more class than that, even if it’s true. You’re not Desean Jackson, you’re Jerry Rice, for crying out loud!! Bigger than life, all time greats are supposed to have more dignity than to talk that way.

  14. How much cash did ESPN have to pay Jerry Rice???

    Whatever they’re paying him is worth it because he knows one thing, the truth!!!

  15. I think by now most people realize this about Norv so it isn’t really an epiphany or anything. Unless the Chargers make a miraculous comeback this year Norv is probably good as gone at the end of the year.

  16. I am a Broncos fan but even if i wasn’t, my opinion of Norv Turner would be the same. I really think he is a better coordinator than a head coach. I don’t know his career record as far as wins/losses, but it can’t be much above 500? He does need to be removed as HC…

  17. Turner is a good OC and a bad head coach. This guy consistently snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

  18. Considering Norvell Turner’s long tenure in the NFL, combined with his lack of success, I have but one question:

    Which NFL executive does he have nude pictures of? Blackmail is the only reason this milquetoast keeps getting NFL jobs.

  19. Norv is probably better as an asst coach than the head coach. But just look at his record. How far has Norv gotten with really good teams? How far has Rice gotten with really good teams? Even if there were some bitterness, the records speak for themselves.

  20. As I diehard Chargers fan who lives and dies with each game it is obvious that Norv is out-coached in games. He inherited probably the most talent laced roster in the NFL in ’07 and they were coming off a 14-2 season. Talent us what led the Chargers to the playlets in Norvs first 3 seasons. Guys are getting older now and AJ hasn’t been drafting great and that is where coaching comes in. The playcalling is awful. I would put 11 in the box on 1st down because 95% of the time its going to be a run up the middle. Dont even get me started about Greg “vanilla” Manusky. If Rex Ryan, Mike Tomlin or Mike McCarthy coached the team for the last 5 seasons they would have won multiple championships. Now back to being a Chargers fan …

  21. Jerry Rice was a great player, maybe the best WR of all time. Always respected the way he carried himself back in the day.

    But other that O.J. Simpson, I can’t think of too many other retired players who have done more to have me lose respect for them after their playing days than # 80.

  22. Thanks Gregg for that ending. I was taken aback by his sharp jibe at Norv. Your last sentence put everything in proper perspective. I think Rice has no interest in coaching in the NFL as you don’t do this to the fraternity.

  23. Jerry Rice is right, but Turner gave him away essentially for free because he was pretty much washed up. How did he do in Seattle?

  24. sssshhhhhhh………chargers need to keep Norv! Go Norv Go Chargers!………i just wish broncos kept Josh as well. Have to love the guy in KC as well……

  25. Marty couldn’t get over it. But Norv can’t even get to it. It seems the every year the chargers have been getting worse since he became HC.

  26. When Norv was associated with the 49er’s and Raiders they sucked and the Chargers were good. Now the Niners and Raiders are in 1st place in their respective divisions while the Chargers are in last with Norv. Coincidence?

  27. @thegreatness34: jerry rice had a 102 rec’s & 14 td’s & 103 rec’s & 27 td’s in his jr & sr yrs respectively in college without montana or young. he is THE greatest receiver of all time. unfortunately,he hung around too long just like alot of great athletes do.

  28. You don’t need to have played for him to know that Rice is right. The fact is that the Chargers have been a solid team with good talent for years, but they haven’t lived up to their potential. Anybody that’s paid any attention to the Chargers during Norv’s term as coach can see that.

  29. it doesn’t take an NFL Hall of famer to state something as obvious as this. its like the chargers need two coaches one for the regular season who can consistently get the team to the playoffs and one to coach the post season to actually go somewhere.

  30. You don’t need to have played for Norv Turner to recognize he can’t get it done. It’s been obvious for quite some time. But I certainly don’t fault Turner for trading away Rice. Rice was clearly on a downward slide and considering he did next to nothing with Seattle, I would take my chances with a young Ronald Curry or Doug Gabriel than a washed up 40 something year old receiver no matter how good he once was.

  31. Norv Turner=
    The Bill Callahan of the AFC West

    Inherits a great team and leads them to mediocrity.

    Too bad as Norv seems like a nice man. He should be a QB coach and stay behind the curtain.

  32. Rice’s opinion may not be unbiased, but that does not mean he isn’t correct in hi analysis. AJ Smith is not far behind Norv on the way out the door. Smith’s drafts are littered with failure, ie Ryan Mathews and Larry English. I think he traded UP to get these two bums.

  33. alldayaldon: can’t dispute JR was a great receiver, but what he did at Mississippi Valley State against other high school teams is irrelevant. JR had Bill Walsh, Roger Craig, John Taylor and 2 HOF QBs. The point is, he’s a baby and as sharp as a bowling ball. Norv may not be the greatest head coach, but piling on like that is childish and shows no class.

  34. Norv Turner after taking over 14-2 roster:
    2007 playoffs: 2-1
    2008 playoffs: 1-1
    2009 playoffs: 0-1
    2010: Did not qualify for playoffs
    2011: Losing record

  35. I was a norv believer but now have lost faith, Shottemheimer was also not a SB coach he proved that in Cleveland and KC before blowing a 14-2 season in SD in 2006, that’s when SD did have the most talent in the NFL. AJ should be fired, his drafts are lame and he got nothing for Brees and Turner not to mention the wasted drafts, 1st round wr BUSTer Rymes? 1st for steroid LB sackdance when he could have had Ware? 1st for always hurt, including college LB English when he could have had LB Mathews?(GB) if SD had kept turner the burner at RB then we could have kept LT as 3rd down back GM AJ has to go the team has no depth at wr/lb/ol and is old at TE with no replacements, the “D” coordinator sucks-can’t stop run without giving up the bomb,can’t stop the screen too predictable, no imagination even KC could pass against SD went from #1 to easy to beat

  36. The difference between Marty and Norv is that Marty is actually a good coach who just had some pretty bad luck in the playoffs. In KC, he couldn’t help that Lin Elliott missed three field goals in a 7-10 loss. In Cleveland, he couldn’t help that Earnest Byner fumbled on the goal line when he was waltzing into the end zone. Yeah, sometimes he was too conservative in the playoffs, but he was a hell of a coach.

    Norv just sucks.

  37. Jerry, don’t blame Norv because your are too stupid to know when to quit.

    It has been sad to watch your pathetic attempts to break into broadcasting around the Bay area and now at ESPN.

    Although you are the greatest receiver ever, you are classless. Just disappear from the scene.

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