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Niners close in on Turner as O-coordinator

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2006) -- Fired Oakland Raiders coach Norv Turner was negotiating a move across San Francisco Bay to become the 49ers' offensive coordinator, a team source said.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't complete, said Turner is expected to be introduced later this week as coach Mike Nolan's replacement for Mike McCarthy, who became the Green Bay Packers' head coach last week after one terrible season with the Niners.

Turner, who also coached the Washington Redskins for nearly seven years, was fired by the Raiders on Jan. 3 after two losing seasons. But the Bay Area native still is considered one of the NFL's top offensive minds, with a career highlighted by his work as the Dallas Cowboys' offensive coordinator during two Super Bowl-winning seasons.

Nolan was Turner's defensive coordinator in Washington from 1997-99, and he put his former boss high on his list of candidates for McCarthy's replacement last week.

Turner went 49-59-1 with just one playoff berth in Washington before getting fired with three games left in the 2000 season. He took over the Raiders in January 2004 but won just nine games, leading to his dismissal by owner Al Davis.

Turner will take over for McCarthy, who presided over one of the worst offensive seasons in NFL history in Nolan's first year in San Francisco. The Niners (4-12) managed just 3,587 total yards -- the fewest in the league, the franchise's lowest total since 1963 and the fifth-fewest since the NFL began playing 16-game schedules in 1978.

With a talent-thin roster and four starting quarterbacks, including No. 1 draft pick Alex Smith, the Niners averaged fewer than 15 points. Smith didn't throw his first touchdown pass until the season finale -- after 11 interceptions and seven starts. San Francisco finished with franchise lows in offensive touchdowns (17), first downs (191) and yards passing (1,898).

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