ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Chiefs fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner on Tuesday after another disappointing season offensively.
Turner, who signed a three-year extension out last season, has been with coach Ron Rivera for seven years, including the last three years in Washington. He coached under Rivera for parts of four seasons with the Carolina Panthers as well.
The Leaders finished the third straight season with poor offensive ratings. They were 20th in total yards and 26th in points. Their best rankings in Turner’s three seasons were 23 in points and 21 in yards—both of which occurred last season.
“Unfortunately, we did not live up to the expectations and standards that I expected to see from our offensive unit,” Rivera said in a statement. “I felt it best to make a fresh start as coordinator next year. I have an enormous amount of respect for Scott and thanked him for his three years of service to our organization.”
Near the end, players and others in the organization grumbled about the inconsistency of Washington’s offensive philosophy. There appears to be a gap between Rivera’s vision of what he wants offensively – led by the running game – and Turner’s vertical passing attack. During the season’s closing press conference, both Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew emphasized the desire to be more of a physical running team.
“We need to control the pace of the game,” Rivera said.
Washington’s offense didn’t help that she lost her starting running back Brian Robinson Jr In the first four games of the season after being injured twice on his right leg in late August. The captains wanted to feature him in a power-based running game. Once he lost it, they focused more on trying to get the ball to their receivers – Terry McLaurinAnd Jahan Dotson And Samuel Curtis – With powerful weapons Carson Wentz. After scoring 55 points in the first two games, they scored a total of 47 points in the next four.
Some players complained that in some games it took too long to get the ball to key playmakers such as McLaurin. Or, as some gamers have said, they will stray from the formula that used to work in the games. Others said they liked the offense but wanted to see changes in the way it was taught. It was also considered a difficult offense for quarterbacks to learn, perhaps with not having much flexibility for them at the line of scrimmage.
There was concern throughout the year about the crime trend. One source said Rivera has been involved in more offensive meetings this season to get a better understanding of what was going on. One person whose team has played for Washington this season said the Captains lacked an offensive identity and simply called a bunch of plays, which led to some predictability.
Complicating matters: Washington’s offensive line struggled, and it lacked stability in the middle. In the past three years, eight players have started at quarterback, including three this season — Wentz, Taylor Hynek and upward Sam Howell. Washington will look to bolster its streak this off-season, possibly with at least two new starters.
Rivera also spoke to the players during exit meetings, with some saying they gave him their thoughts on the offense.
Rivera said, “I take into account everything I get, not only from the players but from the coaches themselves, from what I look at, what I notice on the field, on tape.”
Washington will interview outside candidates, but the leaders like the offensive system they have. One of the internal favorites would be quarterbacks coach Ken Zambezi, who was the 2016-17 coordinator with Cincinnati before being fired after two games into his sophomore season.
Turner served as the quarterbacks coach for Rivera’s last two seasons at Carolina State. He served as interim offensive coordinator for the final four games of the 2019 season before joining Rivera’s staff in Washington for 2020.
“We’ve had some moments where it was good. Obviously, some moments when it was bad,” Turner said last week. “For the most part I feel like I’ve done a pretty decent job. There are times where I’ve definitely gone too far in one way or another.”
Rivera fired his defensive line coach, Sam Mills III, in August. The streak had its best collegiate season in 2022.