In the wake of Norv Turner's sudden - and to some: bizarre - abrupt departure from the Minnesota Vikings, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport asked him if he'd return to coaching...
Rapoport: "So now, at 5-2, the Vikings go on without him. Turner thinks if the defense continues to play well, the team can be successful. But have we seen the last of Turner?
"I haven't made a decision," he said. "(My wife) Nancy and I say, 'Let's get to January and see where we are. That's been the case the last two to three years. But this has been a challenge for my wife. Cleveland, then Minnesota ... and we have a house five minutes from the ocean (in California) ... At 64 years old, if you continue, it would need to be a right place and with the right people." - NFL.com
Hmm...? Say what you will about Turner, but he's one of the more well respected offensive coordinators in the NFL over the past 15 years. Also, he isn't the only one we'll be hearing from that'll be hinting at their availability to step in to one of the more coveted head coaching slots in the NFL. If the Rams' Jeff Fisher doesn't turn things around soon, the wolves are going to be at his door...
The pendulum swings...
Is it just me that gets a leery feeling when I look at the L.A. Rams this time of year? This is one of those times when I hate the word: "Portent", so if you're so inclined, you can head here to find another way of tossing around any impending harbinger-esk thoughts... It's time to step from the shadows of dread "Ye 'Ol Rams Fans" and live in the perpetual now. I personally let the negative train whisk on by me, so forgive my unending homer-esk trend. The Rams are in a place right now to absolutely control their own destiny. Yes, REALLY!
With Arizona swooning, and the Panthers looking like they need someone to sing "soft kitty" as their ills and woes appear to be weekly, the Los Angeles Rams have yet another chance to set the table for a post season run. Dropping games to the Giants and Lions hurt, but they weren't mortal blows to their playoff hopes. They have a six game run ahead, facing opponents outside the NFC West. If the Rams' defense can dial things up in the quarterback sack category, the pass-happy teams ahead are win-able games. Atlanta, New England (at Foxboro) and New Orleans (at "Who Dat-ville") have high swoon factors for the Rams, but they're do-able... The key here? Finding Todd Gurley...
I'm not bending toward the L.A. offensive line for all Rams running back Todd Gurley's woes. Holes are there, but Gurley isn't getting by the first level. Break out runs aren't something Fisher and Gurley should've hung their hats on, but they have so far. Dialing up his pass receiving may be the way to go? The more I watch film of Buffalo's LeSean McCoy, the more I like the idea of getting Gurley in space.
Case Keenum is getting a raw deal in L.A. Say what you will, but - in my opinion - Keenum is playing his heart out. While everyone screams and rails to have rookie quarterback Jared Goff hit the field, can anyone have just a smidgen of empathy for what it must be like for Keenum to hear it day after day, week after week? What's more, if you look at the weapons Keenum has around him, he's done a fair job of turning middling wide receivers Kenny Britt and Brian Quick into players teams have to take seriously. Yes, Keenum's arm strength has vastly limited him, but is there really any wide receiver on the Rams roster who could take consistent advantage of a Joe Flacco-esk cannon arm?
The key cog missing, is the utter lack of Tavon Austin making any real impact for the Rams. He should be the Emmanuel Sanders/Jarvis Landry kind of guy for L.A. First downs, and plus-yardage after he moves the chains should be his deal. Instead, he's mostly irrelevant. I won't mention ball control issues for Austin, which have head coach Jeff Fisher an inch away from benching him at times.
Enjoy the games today! Hit me up on Twitter with your thoughts and comments: @thenovelroad