Blog Entry

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

Posted on: November 22, 2011 12:30 pm
Turner could be looking for work come January. (AP/US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Norv Turner is in his fifth season as the Chargers head coach. He took over the team in 2007 after general manager A.J. Smith fired Marty Schottenheimer for going 14-2. In three of the four seasons since, two things have been constant: the Chargers have gotten off to glacially slow starts only to mount a late-season run and make the playoffs. And San Diego, despite a franchise quarterback and plenty of playmakers, is still looking for its first Super Bowl.
Turner's record in San Diego
2007: Started 1-3, finished 10-2, lost to the Pats in the AFC Championship game
2008: Started 3-5, finished 5-3, lost to the Steelers in the AFC Divisional game
2009: Started 2-3, finished 11-0, lost to the Jets in the AFC Divisional game
2010: Started 2-5, finished 9-7, missed the playoffs 
But 2011 was different; the Chargers started 4-1, were the clear favorites in the AFC West (and even some folks' Super Bowl favorites), and everything was finally coming together. Unfortunately, the new collective bargaining agreement didn't shorten the regular season to five games. San Diego has dropped five straight and is a complete mess of a franchise. Philip Rivers has looked, well, awful, the run defense is non-existent, and head coach Norv Turner, through it all, remained expressionless.

But barring a Tebow-like miracle, Norv won't have to worry about the Chargers much longer. The San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee writes that Turner's days could be numbered.
At this point, it is apparent only a drastic turnaround will save Turner, as the Chargers have lost five straight and are in last place in the AFC West, in grave danger of missing the playoffs for a second straight season. [Owner Dean] Spanos also has wondered about repeated game management decisions, and after five years it is possible Turner has been given enough time to get done what no Chargers coach ever has – win a Super Bowl.
Ah, yes, those game-management decisions. The latest came Sunday, in the Chargers' loss to the Bears. San Diego lost its final two timeouts with 3:16 to play and trailing by 11. They burned the first one, and then during thee timeout decided to challenge a ruling. The Chargers lost the challenge (of course they did) and another timeout. You don't see that every day.

But Turner isn't the only guy who should be worried about his job. Smith could be in trouble, too. Acee writes: "But even late last week, word had begun to circulate in league circles about Spanos' escalating concern about the state of his franchise in the hands of Turner -- who has the second-highest winning percentage in team history at .608 (45-29) -- and even Smith, the man Spanos has given virtually complete control of football operations over the past nine years."

In general, Smith has done a good job of roster-building and fielding a winning team. But the lack of success in the postseason coupled with Turner's weekly gaffes have started to add up.

Early last season, when Vincent Jackson was holding out for a new deal and Smith refused to budge, Jackson's agent Neil Schwartz said "We had multiple deals in place. It is our understanding … that the Chargers were unreasonable. More than one general manager referred to A.J. as the 'Lord of No Rings.'"

Short of an improbable turnaround, Norv and A.J. might soon be the Lord of No Jobs.

As we mentioned in Tuesday's Coach Killers, maybe Rex Ryan was onto something.

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Since: Sep 11, 2009
Posted on: November 23, 2011 2:07 pm

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

The fastest, most dynamic, dangerous runner in the NFL

I am a Matthews fan, if he can solve the fumbling issues I think he has the chance to be an elite NFL back, but I wouldn't go so far as to claim those things you said above...

That being said I do agree, I understand Tolbert is a good goaline back but Norv would seem to consider anything inside the 40 goaline and lets be honest, Tolbert isnt going to break one from there and Matthews might..

My question is, why never play them both on the goal line? Run a Power I with Tolbert at full back? He will clear a path more effectively than Hester will... And at least present the option to the defense they might run inside or outside...

Since: Mar 21, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2011 1:51 pm

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

It's sad to see the window close like this but SD needs to hit the reset button.  The AFC west rivals are all on the upswing due to new MGMT and coaches within the last 3 years or so.  KC has a blueprint that of the Patriots.  Denver is run by a HOFer and local hero named Elway and OAK needed the "Crypt Keeper" Al Davis to die and finally let a coach, coach the team NOT the owner.. in order to succeed.  SD needs a new coach.... at the VERY LEAST!!  I hate AJ Smith and his gung ho tactics of letting talent walk.  Vincent Jackson will likely be the next star to walk and now Rivers will have no line to stand behind and no WRs to throw to.  I don't mind AJ trying to draft talent in the late rounds and busting his 1st rounders again, only if Norval is gone.  If you reset the button and get a fresh coach and draft a stud rookie WR and stay healthy across the board.. oh yeah and also a 4th place schedule in 2012... SD will be the 49ers of next season going F'ing 9-1.  IT CAN BE DONE DEANO!!!!!!!  Then you'll get a new stadium.  It isn't rocket surgery folks =)

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 23, 2011 11:53 am

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

About 5 years late.....

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: November 23, 2011 10:34 am

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

Brian Billick has the good fortune to be braodcasting a lot of Charger games.  If he could come with someone from the Baltimore/Ozzie Newsome braintrust as a GM, that might be a good way out.

Since: Jul 23, 2011
Posted on: November 23, 2011 9:20 am

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

In a league that bases success on wins over expectations, Norv has been disappointing.  Perhaps the issues have been one's of chemistry or poor assistant coaches.  Regardless, the talent has seemed to be in place for ample victories, particularly so playing in the AFL West which of late has been less than sterling.  Norv, if memory serves, has a great reputation as an assistant but historically has fallen short when given the top coaching slot.  Some people are great assistants while others thrive being in control (or so they think).  It's time for a change and if Norv still needs to work let's hope he lands a coordinator's position with a team that will allow him to do well what he does best.  

Since: Jul 27, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2011 4:38 am

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

It’s not that bad yet…it’s nothing compared to being a Padre fan.  No matter what they will always be competitive with Phillip Rivers. 

I've never been a Norv hater but something has to change.  The defensive personnel choices have been awful the last couple of years putting some of the blame on AJ too.  The whole defense has stunk it up.  Jammer needs to move over to safety instead of Gregory.  Play Cason and Gillchrist at the corners.   

They need more changes than just Norv.  They need some playmakers back on defense.  Weddle is good but no one on the defense scares anyone.  We need another Rodney Harrison or Sean Merriman. 

Change it up…something.  I’ll still be watching and cheering but I need a win so the rest of my Sunday isn’t ruined week after week. 

Since: Dec 16, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2011 2:02 am

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

Yeah, I imagine you are happy with Sheli the adopted Manning.  He couldn't carry Rivers jock!  The best thing that ever happened to the Chargers was not getting that whiny little Beotch!

Since: Feb 13, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2011 1:19 am

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

Yes, I think Norv should be moved on. The new defensive coordinator needs to go, even if somehow Norv stays again. Look at the relative fortunes of the 49ers and the Chargers defenses this season to last. Manusky lost me at the end of the first half against the Patriots when he backed the corners 20 yards off the LOS and let the Patriots drive 40 yards in 19 seconds with no timeouts. Haven't seen anything since then to win me over.

AJ Smith is still bringing in decent players. He can stay. Running a disparaging quote from an agent that went up against Smith and lost doesn't add anything to this story.


Since: Sep 15, 2009
Posted on: November 23, 2011 12:57 am

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

In the red zone?  Take Mathews out of the game.
Passing down? Take Mathews out of the game.
Team behind?  Take Mathews out of the game.
Near the goal line? Take Mathews out of the game.

There you have it.  The fastest, most dynamic, dangerous runner in the NFL and he doesn't get to sniff the redzone because
Norv thinks he has 'better options.'

Remember how coach harbaugh would take out Ray Rice near the goal line?  Not so much this year.
Rembember how Haley would take out Jamaal Charles near the goal line and in the red zone?  Not so much after the entire planet realized Jamaal was a stud.

Just send this old guy packing.  He's a moron.

Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:49 pm

Report: Norv Turner's days could be numbered

It's about time...look at what the San Francisco Forty-Niners have done with a new head coach and roughly the same player personnel! Everyone on the planet who's a football fan knew Norv Turner wasn't "the guy" but what we learned is this router isn't deep like we were lead to believe and AJ is responsible for that...both AJ and Norv are at best assistant's! Just look at their track records - for AJ his best years where when the late great John Butler was in charge to keep AJ's ego in check and it's well documented that Norv is a good Offensive Coordinator but running the entire team is too much for him...

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