John Mullin over at SI.com composed a list of players and coaches going into no-win situations in the 2009 NFL season. And, Ron Turner makes the list:
Ron Turner, Chicago Bears offensive coordinator
The Bears sent two No. 1's, a No. 3 and Kyle Orton to the Denver Broncos in April. What they got in return was Jay Cutler and a civic case of Mile High that stopped just short of queuing up for Super Bowl tickets, playoff ducats being a foregone conclusion.
After all, the NFL's charter franchise already had a franchise running back in Matt Forte (NFL's No. 3 in total yards) via the 2008 draft and now a franchise quarterback was de-planing at O'Hare. Never mind the questions inherent in no current Bears wide receiver having more than 74 career catches; the answer to all questions is Cutler, so if the Bears win, it's because of Cutler.
"I don't need the credit," Turner said. "Let Jay and the players have it. That's fine with me."
A complicating factor for Turner, and others like Caldwell, is that significant NFL forces are always at play that are beyond the control of the no-win'ers. Turner's 1994 Chicago offense ranked 23rd but the Bears reached the playoffs. The Bears even won a road wild-card game as Turner guided an offense with afterthought Steve Walsh when the marquee QB signing, Erik Kramer, flopped. The following year the Bears again went 9-7, with Turner's offense setting franchise records behind Kramer. But they missed the playoffs when the pass defense collapsed from fifth to 27th during a stretch of eight of nine games allowing no fewer than 24 points.
When Rex Grossman went down in the 2005 preseason, Turner's steady hand kept the offense controlled under Orton in an 11-5 playoff season. The next year the Bears went to the Super Bowl with Grossman. Two years later both Orton and Grossman are gone, the defense ranked 21st in yardage and 16th in points allowed.
Coach Lovie Smith is taking over as the de facto defensive coordinator. But if the Bears miss the postseason for a third straight year, all eyes will turn to Turner.
"That's just the nature of the business," Turner said. "All you can do is focus on what you can control and not worry when they say good things or bad things."
I kind of agree with the opinion that Turner won't get any credit if the offense improves, Jay Cutler will receive it as stated above. Which in someway is deserved.
But my question to you is, if(when) the offense improves will you give all the credit to Cutler for being a beast or will you only give most of the credit to Cutler while leaving some for Turner because he was able to succesfully use the weapons given to him?