On Tuesday, the Redskins tabbed Scott Turner as their new offensive coordinator, which means that Kevin O'Connell will soon be working elsewhere in football. It was a move that caused as much as panic in the area as the DMV's first measurable snowfall of 2020, if not more.
And, to some extent, that panic is understandable.
O'Connell worked closely with Dwayne Haskins for all of Haskins' rookie year, and near the end of last season, the quarterback started to really get it and produce like a dangerous signal-caller. That surge coincided with O'Connell's growth as a play-caller, so many hoped that KOC would return to continue to develop alongside Haskins.
But after interviewing with Ron Rivera multiple times, O'Connell is out and Turner is in. So, naturally, people are questioning whether this crucial change will work out for Haskins and the Redskins.
Well, it's difficult to predict that right now, but there is a story out there that should calm those who are stressing about the shift in the meantime.
That story comes from SI's Albert Breer, who focused on Turner's relationship with Cam Newton in Carolina back in early September of 2019. In it, Breer details the close relationship Turner built with Newton, and Turner comes off as a coach who's very committed to ensuring that his QB is put in the best position to succeed.
There are plenty of good nuggets throughout Breer's story, but here are two of the most interesting facets — facets that Redskins fans will like to hear:
- This quote from Newton about Turner: "There's no greater feeling than knowing you've got somebody that is coaching you that has your best interest in mind... Scott is just still one of those people, I know I can go to him for brutally honest advice, and that's the key." That's quite an endorsement from a former MVP.
- One of the most-referred to things in the piece is a notebook that Turner told Newton to start keeping. To better help Newton — who apparently is constantly scribbling plays and writing down concepts around the Panthers facility — Turner decided that Newton should put all of his unorganized notes into a single place. That notebook became attached to Newton, and is one way he feels like Turner led him to begin working "smarter" throughout the 2019 offseason. The two would reportedly discuss the notebook and themes they picked up from it often, whether that was in Turner's office, over dinner, etc.
So, Turner was someone whom Newton deeply trusted and who fine-tuned how Newton studied and learned. Those are two qualities that could prove very valuable as Turner and Haskins begin their working relationship.
Yes, in a perfect world, O'Connell and Haskins would each remain in Burgundy and Gold for the next decade, reaching a point where they could chat about the offense and communicate audibles using a series of blinks, subtle head nods, and Latin words.
But the NFL isn't a perfect world — supporters of the Redskins know that better than most — and Haskins will enter his second year with a new offensive coordinator (and, in all likelihood, a new QB coach, too).
Fortunately, that new offensive coordinator is highly-regarded by one first-round passer already. Now, Turner will look to establish a similar vibe with Washington's first-round passer.
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