The Indianapolis Colts have reportedly made their decision on who will be their next quarterbacks coach.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on March 1 that the Colts are hiring Cam Turner to be the team’s quarterbacks coach. Turner previously served as the quarterbacks coach and co-passing game coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals.
In addition to working with Kyler Murray, Turner also coached on the Carolina Panthers offensive staff from 2015-17. Turner worked in Arizona from 2018-21.
“The #Colts are hiring Cam Turner as their quarterbacks coach, per source,” Pelissero wrote on Twitter. “Turner was in Arizona with Kliff Kingsbury the past four seasons, including two as QB coach/co-pass game coordinator. He worked with Cam Newton in Carolina and Kyler Murray in AZ, and now heads to Indy.”
With Turner as his quarterbacks coach, Murray won NFL Rookie of the Year in 2019. Turner served as Carolina’s wide receivers coach when Newton won NFL MVP in 2015.
Turner’s Previous NFL Experience
In all likelihood, the Colts will be selecting one of the Top 3 quarterbacks available in the 2023 NFL Draft. If that signal caller develops into a star, new Indianapolis head coach Shane Steichen and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will receive the credit.
But quarterbacks coaches can be just as key to a young signal caller’s development as the head coach or offensive coordinator.
In Turner, the Colts have landed a quarterbacks coach who has experience at both working with rookies behind center and helping young quarterbacks take the next step.
During his rookie season, Murray completed 64.4% of his passes for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns with Turner as his quarterbacks coach. Murray then improved across the board from a statistical perspective in his second season. He completed 67.2% of his throws for 3,971 yards and 26 touchdowns to make his first Pro Bowl in 2020.
Murray’s passing yards and touchdowns declined in 2021, but he became more efficient, completing 69.2% of his passes with fewer interceptions. His yards per attempt average also jumped from 7.1 in 2020 to 7.9 in 2021.
Murray dealt with injuries and struggled last season, which led to the dismissal of Arizona’s coaching staff. But the encouraging signs Murray showed in his first three seasons reflects well on Turner as a quarterback developer.
Turner didn’t directly work with Newton when he won MVP in 2015, but he did coach the Panthers wide receivers. Carolina’s wideouts combined for 22 receiving touchdowns in 2015 despite missing their leading receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, from the previous season.
Those wide receivers helped Newton toss a career-high 35 touchdowns in 2015.
Turner became Carolina’s assistant quarterbacks coach in 2017. Newton threw for 3,302 yards with 22 touchdowns that season.
Turner’s Role as Colts New QB Coach
Turner played football for The Citadel, but interestingly, he played wide receiver and not quarterback. As previously mentioned, his first position coach job in the NFL was also at wide receiver.
He began his coaching career at The Citadel as a wide receivers coach as well in 2010. His first NFL job was as an assistant to the head coach for the Minnesota Vikings in 2011-12.
Then in 2013, Turner received his first opportunity to coach quarterbacks. His first chance as a quarterbacks coach in the NFL came with the Panthers in 2017.
With the Panthers and Cardinals, Turner worked with two mobile quarterbacks. Steichen’s most recent background also includes a mobile signal caller with the Philadelphia Eagles in Jalen Hurts.
That could be noteworthy given the quarterbacks to be available in the 2023 NFL Draft. The most mobile signal caller in the class will be Florida’s Anthony Richardson. He rushed for 654 yards and 9 touchdowns last season, but he’s not one of the consensus top three quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
Of the Top 3 signal callers in the 2023 draft, Will Levis scored the most rushing touchdowns during college. He had a career-high 9 rushing yards as a junior in 2021.
But Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud are widely considered the Top 2 quarterbacks in the class. Neither excelled at rushing while in college.