49ers Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner has landed the head coaching gig in San Diego.
The news being reported today means the Rams will face a different Niners team twice this season. An NFC West division rival, the Niners are a young, talented team on the rise, and, potentially, a serious challenger for the Rams shot at the division title for the upcoming season. You'll recall the Rams early season loss to the Niners and barely beating them in week 12 to halt a 5 game skid. Of course, both those game stand more as a testament to the Rams weaknesses last season than to the Niners' strengths.
Turner was a big part of Alex Smith's development this season, and his departure could mean the Niners have to rely even more on Frank Gore to put up yards. The Niners, who'll also be active in the free agent market for defensive players thanks to $30 million plus in cap space, will surely suffer on offense as Smith adjusts to life without his coach.