Cam Newton will apparently have a new voice in his ear in 2018.
Norv Turner has agreed to become the Panthers’ new offensive coordinator, NFL Media first reported Thursday.
The former Redskins, Raiders and Chargers head coach will replace Mike Shula in Charlotte. Shula was fired on Tuesday, along with quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey.
Turner, 65, hasn’t coach since abruptly resigning as the Vikings offensive coordinator on Nov. 2, 2016. Turner had been either a coordinator or head coach in every year since 1991, when he was the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys. He was hired as Washington’s head coach in 1994 and led the Redskins for seven seasons. He then had coordinator stints with the Chargers (2001) and Dolphins (2002-03) before the Raiders hired him in 2004 as their new head coach. He was fired after winning just nine games in two seasons, but jumped across the Bay in 2006 to be the 49ers’ offensive coordinator.
A return to San Diego arrived in 2007 when Turner was named head coach of the Chargers. He led the Chargers to three straight AFC West titles, but did not win a playoff game and was fired following the 2012 season.
Turner had a one-year stop in Cleveland as the Browns OC before getting hired by Mike Zimmer in Minnesota in 2014.
Priority No. 1 for Turner, who won a pair of Super Bowls with the Cowboys and has worked with Troy Aikman and Philip Rivers, will be developing Newton’s accuracy. Newton has never had a completion percentage higher than 61.7 and that came in 2013 — his only season above 60 percent. The Panthers ranked 28th in passing this season as Newton completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 3,302 yards with 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
The Panthers offense went from being ranked 11th in yards and No. 1 in points in 2015 to 19th and 15th in 2016, and 19th and 12th this season.
For the first time in Newton’s career, he will have a new offensive coach. Shula was Carolina’s quarterbacks coach when Newton was selected with the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Shula was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2013, but was let go two days after Carolina’s 31-26 loss to the Saints in last Sunday’s NFC wild-card game.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday he did not anticipate any coaching staff changes, but changed his mind Monday after sleeping on it.
“(I) came to the conclusion that, going forward, I believed that the thing we needed to do was bring in a different perspective, different ideas, in terms of going forward to what I believe is our ultimate goal (of) winning a Super Bowl,” Rivera told reporters on Tuesday.
Prior to becoming the Panthers head coach in 2011, Rivera was on Turner’s Chargers staff — first as the linebackers coach in 2007 and then San Diego’s defensive coordinator from 2008-10.
The Panthers could also be in need of a new defensive coordinator as Steve Wilks is expected to get one of the vacant NFL head coaching jobs.