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After a disappointing 2022 season, the Washington Commanders fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner on Tuesday.  He had been in Washington for three years, and had just signed a three year extension last offseason.

Turner had been with Ron Rivera for the last seven years. He came over from the Carolina Panthers with Ron after four years with that organization. Washington was his leap forward, as it was the first time that he had been given the reigns as an offensive co-ordinator.

But it’s tough to justify holding on to a coordinator whose unit consistently ranks in the bottom third of the league. The Commanders were just 20th in total yards and 26th in points this season.

Obviously the blame doesn’t fall solely at his feet. He’s had to try and account for eight starting quarterbacks in his three year tenure in Washington.

Head Coach Rivera issued the following statement:

“Unfortunately, we did not live up to the expectations and standard that I expected to see from our offensive unit. I felt it was best for a fresh start at the coordinator position going into next year. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Scott and thanked him for his three years of service to our organization.”

The writing was on the wall after several players voiced their displeasure at the play-calling. It’s cheaper and easier to let a coach go, than your players.

That isn’t to imply that Turner didn’t deserve to be sent packing. He has consistently been inconsistent in his time in Washington.

Like Father, Like Son

Turner is the son of former Washington coach Norv Turner. Like his dad’s, Scott’s offense endeavours to mix a power running game with a vertical passing attack. Both men used a derivative of Don Coryell’s offense. But it’s tough to accomplish with such inconsistency from the quarterback position.

Also like his dad, sometimes the play-calling decisions seemed to conflict with the strengths of the offense. There was also an air of predictability that seemed to cause increasing difficulty to the offense’s overall effectiveness.

Players seemed to believe that more could be done with the existing roster:

“In the red zone, you got to be able to run the football for touchdowns,” said Logan Thomas. “We got to be able to make plays. It stinks that we didn’t get the job done … because we have the talent.”

Contradiction

Rivera and General Manager Martin Mayhew said they had envisioned their offense to be a run-first system led by Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson.

And at times, it was.

Washington relied on the run game a lot more when Taylor Heinicke took over for an injured Carson Wentz. They got themselves into playoff contention with six wins in seven games before the wheels fell off in December.

If you think about it though, how was this team constructed to be a run-first system?

Why bring in Carson Wentz if that’s the offense you’re looking to build?

Why drop your first round pick on a wide receiver when you have Terry McLaurin already in the stable?

Why not focus some efforts on improving your offensive line, instead of trying to stick in average guards and expecting them to replace a perennial Pro Bowler?

These moves seem to be in direct conflict with the philosophy they’re claiming to adhere to.

Responsibility

It just seems like spin and damage control.

And trying to save their own hides.

There’s nothing wrong with letting Scott Turner go after the season the offense had.

Just don’t forget that he’s not the one who decided on the personnel, or put the pieces into place.

And fire them too.

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Categories Posted In | News | Transactions | Washington Commanders |