Blog Entry

Bolts to 'almost certainly' fire GM Smith, Norv?

Posted on: December 3, 2011 4:28 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

The Chargers 2011 season -- a requiem for a once-talented roster -- marches sadly along on Monday in Jacksonville. San Diego, with a win over the Jaguars, could climb within two games of the AFC West lead ... provided both Denver (in Minnesota on Sunday) and Oakland (in Miami Sunday) lose as well.

The season has, to this point, "snowballed out of control," inspired people to question whether or not quarterback Philip Rivers is hurt, and fire up reports that Norv Turner's seat is warmer than the water just off the San Diego coast. Needless to say, things aren't going well, and they could get worse -- Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune reports Saturday that the Bolts have 'no choice' but to fire Turner and that general manager A.J. Smith could be on the chopping block as well.

"The decisions are not made," a team source told Acee. "But everything is lined up."

The Turner news is hardly surprising. It was believed that Norv needed to make the playoffs in order to save his job past this year when the season began. But even with the expected regression of Kansas City, the limitations of the Broncos offensively and Oakland sometimes willing to be Oakland, the Chargers find themselves in the basement of an imminently winnable division.

That's on Turner, and barring a series of miracle events -- just winning out would only get the Chargers to 9-7 -- he's as good as gone.

What will be interesting is the timing of Norv's all-but-guaranteed dismissal, and how that relates to the job security of general manager Smith. If Spanos believes that Smith is his general manager going forward, he could consider relieving Turner of his duties as soon as this week, particularly if the Chargers lose to the Jaguars.

Acee writes, again per a source, that "the needle [on Smith's possible firing] has moved from 50/50 to 75/25."

But it's highly unlikely that Spanos would can both Smith and Turner during the season, and subject the team to the utter chaos and logistical nightmare that would be operating with an interim general manager and coach. Besides, there is a possibility of making a playoff run, however remote. (Football Outsiders gives San Diego a 0.7 percent chance of making the postseason.)

And if Spanos is indeed considering widespread organizational change, expect him to wait until after the season to relieve Turner of his duties. As well as Smith.

Also worth noting: Smith still has three years and $6 million remaining on his contract, and isn't expected to retire any time soon. So he'd likely come at a cheaper cost for another organization that would be interested in bringing him to run their front office. Even if San Diego struggled recently, it's hard to rip Smith too hard, given the success the Chargers have had in his tenure there.

One organization that might be interested is Oakland. Acee reports that Smith, if he's no longer employed by San Diego, "will be on the list of candidates to become the Oakland Raiders general manager in 2012."

Though many things have to happen to make that reality -- starting with Smith's dismissal from San Diego -- it would certainly add another level of intrigue to an already spicy rivalry.

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Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:56 am

Bolts to 'almost certainly' fire GM Smith, Norv?

If Charger ownership wants to bring a championship to San Diego then they do need to get rid of both Norv Turner and AJ Smith. The reason AJ Smith needs to go is that he is responisble for firing Marty Schottenheimer and bringing in Norv Turner. Norv Turner has failed to bring a championship to San Diego. Not only has Norv Turner and the Chargers regressed every year on the field of play, but so has AJ Smith in the war room on draft day. AJ Smith has too big of an Ego and is plagued by always attempting to find "a diamond in the rough," on draft day. In the later rounds find your obscure player, but don't waste your first round picks and these risky players (e.g. - Larry English) AJ Smith has turned the Chargers into the Padres by letting the good talent go. If AJ was smart he would have given Eric Weddle a little less when it came to giving Weddle a contract extension and used the remainder of the money to re-sign Darren Sproles. Another example of AJ Smith of having a huge ego is owenership had to step in to resign Kris Dielman...... Imagine if the Chargers didn't have Dielman for the last few years. Oh wait that scenario is playing out now, as Dielman has been out Rivers instead of feasting on defenses he has been feasting on grass. In the last two years the Chargers have had 14 draft picks and have selected one offensive lineman in the 6th round!! The list goes on on for reasons why AJ needs to go, but perhaps the biggest reason, is if you look at all the elite frachises in the league those teams (Steelers, Patriots, Packers, Saints, Colts.....) have head coaches that are the face of the franchise not GM's. With those elite teams mentioned you rarely hear the GM's name mentioned. With the Chargers their GM is constantly in the news and most of the time it is for how disliked he is around the league, or involved in contract disputes. As long as the Chargers have AJ Smith running the team and the Chargers locker room, Chargers ownership will never be able to hire a strong minded head coach. The Chargers need to find and hire a strong minded head coach to turn this dysfunctional franchise around. Will the next Mike Tomlin please stand up?

Since: Dec 14, 2009
Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:48 am

Bolts to 'almost certainly' fire GM Smith, Norv?

Worst  gm and coaching staff ever

Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:14 am

Bolts to 'almost certainly' fire GM Smith, Norv?

Not so fast!!! The owner is clueless and has NO balls, no leadership and no football knowledge. He is basicly unconscious. When smith and Marty S didnt get along after a 14-2 season, he sided with Smith and canned Marty. Since then Smith has lost his drafting magic and let many talented players go. If that all wasnt bad enough, he treated V Jackson and his LT Dielman like crap and didnt give them the contracts they deserved. He lost the locker room. Was this Smith's decision or the owner??? Ther is a BAD culture in the SD locker room. A soft coach. An uneffective GM. An unconcious owner. The players dont like, trust or respect anyone around them. You cant blame them, either. Get rid of them both and let Cowher come and pick his own GM and make this organization respectable.

Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:15 pm

Bolts to 'almost certainly' fire GM Smith, Norv?

GM - Ron Wolf
Head Coach - Mike Sherman
OC - Bill Callahan 
DC - Jack Del Rio 


Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:09 pm

Bolts to 'almost certainly' fire GM Smith, Norv?

As a Charger fan, I don't think it is necessary to even read this article as I and many other Charger fan's would unanomously agree that both Smith and Turner should go. For Smith it is long overdue as he has managed to screw this organization from the inside out. From Marty to Norv this team is the shoulda/coulda/woulda team of the past 10 years. From LT's record breaking years, tie that too Marty's conservative nature and then Norv and his sling it attitude, that turned into indecision time during the 4th quarter. Combine all this with AJ's incompetance and BOOM!!! Waste of talent and time.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:05 pm

Bolts to 'almost certainly' fire GM Smith, Norv?

 There is NO question that Norv Turner has been given more chances than any coach that I can think of without being canned. John Q. Public has known for years that Turner was a lousy coach. The fact of the matter is that the talent of the Chargers carried the coach not vice versa. The list of coaches who could have taken that talent to the Super Bowl is long very long. Sadly the talent of this team is on the decline because of age and poor decisions. Turner is not talented enough to overcome this and that is the simple truth.
 On a side point, did any of you watch that botched snap many moons ago? Rivers closed his hands before the snap and I am almost willing to bet he himself has been undermining this team. Unless he has lost his skills darn near completely there is no excuse for so many of the bad passes and bad decisions he has made. It is time for Mr. Rivers to go to in my modest opinion. But since I am just a fan of the game that decision is not for me to make. You folks have a great day! Say a prayer for my Browns if you have the time, I am sure that it would be appreciated.

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: December 3, 2011 5:49 pm

Bolts to 'almost certainly' fire GM Smith, Norv?

The simple question to this answer is, yes. It seemed like ever since Turner was hired, it was only a matter of time before he was fired. The guy is a good coach, just not really head coach material. 

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