Any NFL general manager will tell you he aspires to achieve continuity in key areas of his organization. Yet, as the 2018 preseason unfolds, 17 of the 32 teams have new offensive coordinators, directly affecting the most important position on the field: quarterback.
Some of the new marriages between quarterbacks and offensive playcallers are particularly fascinating, which is why I've made it a point during my offseason conversations with league insiders to gather their thoughts on specific situations. Is Norv Turner right for Cam Newton? What about Jon Gruden and Derek Carr? Can Pat Shurmur revive Eli Manning? Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith also generated ample commentary.
What follows is my own analysis sewn together with thoughts from coaches and evaluators to create conversations around each of the seven:
New QB-OC pairing: Cam Newton with Norv Turner
League insiders generally applaud the job former coordinator Mike Shula did in tailoring the Panthers' offense around Newton's unique talents. But with the 2015 MVP ranking 25th or lower out of 37 qualifying quarterbacks over the past two seasons in completion rate, yards per attempt, interceptions, passer rating and Total QBR, something was going to change.
Enter Turner, who is best known for his work with Troy Aikman, Philip Rivers and a bunch of other pocket passers bearing no resemblance to Newton.
"I think it's going to be real interesting because the one thing Cam isn't is a pocket passer," a personnel director said. "He has a strong arm, but he is inaccurate, and that is why they have always liked bigger wide receivers, to compensate. The other thing we need to see is how open [Newton] is to change or being coached."