Brandon Weeden and quarterback success under Norv Turner

Dustin Bradford

Brandon Weeden's NFL career got off to a bit of a rough start, but that could change in 2013 if Norv Turner's history of quarterback success continues.

Despite being selected in the first round less than 15 months ago, Brandon Weeden's future in Cleveland is unsettled heading into his second season. The Cleveland Browns have yet to commit to Weeden as the starter in 2013 and were reportedly open to trading him at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Weeden is coming off a tough rookie year and will turn 30 during next season, but all hope is not lost. With his rookie year out of the way and with the help of new Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner, Weeden's play could be significantly improved in 2013.

ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski is among those who think Weeden could excel with some tutoring from Turner.

"There's no question in my mind that his throwing skill set and Turner's quarterback-friendly system will mesh effectively," Jaworski said of Weeden, according to Rotoworld.

Turner is entering his first season with the Browns, but he's made a number of stops around the NFL during his career -- with improved quarterback play being among the consistent results. Turner played a key role in Troy Aikman's development and made Alex Smith look like a competent NFL quarterback well before Jim Harbaugh came around. Weeden is his next task and, if the results are similar to the rest of Turner's results, Weeden may justify that first-round selection after all.

Here's a closer look at Turner's career as a head coach and offensive coordinator and the results in his first season.

Troy Aikman

Age Comp % TD % INT % YPA Rating
Pre Turner (1990) 24 56.6 2.8 4.5 6.5 66.6
First season with Turner (1991) 25 65.3 3.0 2.8 7.6 86.7
Difference
+8.7 +0.2 -1.7 +1.1 +20.1

Turner's first NFL job came as the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys in 1991, when Aikman was entering his third season. Aikman didn't look anything like the Hall of Famer he wound up as during his first two seasons, though. He threw 36 interceptions compared to 20 touchdowns during his first two seasons, posting a passer rating of just 62.0.

Turner arrived in 1991 and the results were immediate. Aikman's interceptions dropped to 10 while his yards-per-attempt and completion percentage went up considerably. Aikman went on to have three of the best seasons of his career while Turner was his offensive coordinator, setting career highs for passing yards, touchdowns, passer rating and yards-per-attempt during that span.

Washington Redskins

Age Comp % TD % INT % YPA Rating
Pre Turner (1993) -- 53.8 2.1 3.9 5.2 59.0
First season with Turner (1994) -- 49.6 4.6 4.9 6.5 65.0
Difference
-4.2 +2.5 +1.0 +1.3 +6.0

Turner took over as the head coach in Washington following Mark Rypien's final season with the team. The Redskins were unsettled at quarterback in 1994 with three different quarterbacks starting at least four games. While neither Heath Shuler, John Friesz or Gus Frerotte were particularly good in 1994, Redskins quarterbacks were slightly better than they were the year before.

San Diego Chargers

Age Comp % TD % INT % YPA Rating
Pre Turner (2000) -- 53.9 3.3 5.2 6.1 61.8
First season with Turner (2001) -- 56.4 2.9 3.3 6.7 73.1
Difference
+2.5 -0.4 -1.9 +0.6 +11.3

Turner's first stint in San Diego came as the offensive coordinator in 2001. San Diego's quarterback production was significantly better under Turner, but part of that was because the Chargers upgraded from Ryan Leaf to Doug Flutie ... even though Flutie was 39 at the time.

Jay Fiedler

Age Comp % TD % INT % YPA Rating
Pre Turner (2001) 30 60.7 4.4 4.2 7.3 80.3
First season with Turner (2002) 31 61.3 4.8 3.1 6.9 85.2
Difference
+0.6 +0.4 -1.1 -0.4 +4.9

When Turner took over as offensive coordinator in Miami, Jay Fiedler was entering his third season as Miami's starting quarterback. He set career-highs for passer rating, touchdown percentage and interception percentage in his first season under Turner's guidance.

Oakland Raiders

Age Comp % TD % INT % YPA Rating
Pre Turner (2003) -- 53.4 1.7 2.7 5.7 65.0
First season with Turner (2004) -- 56.7 4.1 3.8 6.9 76.1
Difference
+3.3 +2.4 +1.1 +1.2 +11.1

Turner's first season as Raiders head coach turned out to be the last of Rich Gannon's career. Gannon started three games with a 32-year-old Kerry Collins starting the other 13 contests in 2004. Oakland's quarterback play improved considerably in Turner's first season.

Alex Smith

Age Comp % TD % INT % YPA Rating
Pre Turner (2005) 21 50.9 0.6 6.7 5.3 40.8
First season with Turner (2006) 22 58.1 3.6 3.6 6.5 74.8
Difference
+7.2 +3.0 -3.1 +1.2 +34.0

Jim Harbaugh gets credited for resurrecting Alex Smith's career, but Turner made significant progress during his one season as San Francisco's offensive coordinator. The 22-year-old Smith improved considerably in every major statistical category under Turner before eventually struggling again the season after Turner left.

Phillip Rivers

Age Comp % TD % INT % YPA Rating
Pre Turner (2006) 25 61.7 4.8 2.0 7.4 92.0
First season with Turner (2007) 26 60.2 4.6 3.3 6.9 82.4
Difference
-1.5 -0.2 +1.3 -0.5 -9.6

Rivers is the lone example of a quarterback being worse in his first season playing under Turner. Rivers was coming off of a terrific season when Turner took over as head coach in 2007, but failed to match his numbers the following season. He did, however, go on to set career-highs in every major statistical category while Turner was head coach.

Brandon Weeden

What Turner's past success means for Weeden in 2013 remains to be seen. Considering where he's coming from, though, it would be surprising if he didn't improve. Aikman, Fiedler and Smith all improved in Year 1 under Turner while Rivers was the only player to decline -- and his 2006 season was far better than the year Weeden is coming off.

Smith and Aikman saw significant increases to their completion percentage while three of the aforementioned quarterbacks increased their touchdown percentage while reducing their interception percentage. If the same happens for Weeden next season, he could post some very solid numbers. He completed 57.4 percent of his passes last season, averaging 6.5 yards per attempt with a 2.7 touchdown percentage and a 3.3 interception percentage.

It would be ludicrous to compare Weeden to Aikman, but the numbers from Weeden's rookie season are comparable to what Aikman posted the year before Turner's arrival. If Weeden is able to match Aikman by completing 65 percent of his passes while averaging 7.6 yards per attempt, it will go a long way in establishing himself in Cleveland -- while also maintaining Turner's reputation as a quarterback guru.

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