One time I ran into an old co-worker who was in Chicago with his family sightseeing. We started talking about the Bears. He mentioned that he knew Rex Grossman’s father and that he heard Rex’s father said that the Bears ruined his football career. To which I answered, Hell Yes, because his coach at the time was none other than Ron Turner, destroyer of worlds.
Today Grantland had an article about the Tampa Bay Bucs and their benching of QB Freeman, in favor of a rookie who needs a lot of work. Freeman’s benching (which likely bodes ill for his career in Tampa Bay) was all the more notable because he USED to play well, and then his play fell apart. Why is that? Well let Grantland tell you…
Freeman, remember, had a staggeringly good 2010 season at the ripe old age of 22, completing 61.4 percent of his passes while averaging 7.3 yards per attempt and throwing 25 touchdowns against six picks. That’s a superstar… and Freeman was younger that year than Andrew Luck was during his rookie season. That’s scary potential.
Since then, Freeman struggled through a disappointing 2011 season, had a hot start to the 2012 campaign, and then fell off a cliff near the second half of 2012. Part of that has to fall on his coaches, who don’t exactly have the best pedigrees in dealing with quarterbacks. Schiano’s gruff nature doesn’t endear himself to just about anybody on the roster, but the coaches he hired to help Freeman develop are about as curious as can be. For his first staff in 2012, Schiano hired former college coach Ron Turner to be his quarterbacks coach. During the 2011 campaign, Turner had been the quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts, who got virtually noting that season out of their young starter, Curtis Painter.
It is utterly amazing to me how Turner can keep getting jobs in the pro and college ranks with his history of abysmal performance. I was recently in Florida and I met a woman who graduated from FIU. I gave her my pity for Mr. Turner’s presence and the destruction that he has wrought on their once-solid program. She didn’t know a ton about football but she sure recognized that the program had fallen right down the rathole.