Blog Entry

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:49 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 5:08 pm
 
Dean Spanos' decision to retain Norv Turner and A.J. Smith wasn't exactly a surprise. There were rumblings following last weekend's defeat of Oakland that Spanos was considering retaining them, with one source on Monday telling me he thought both would be back.

And that's precisely what happened.

Turner had two more years left on a contract that pays him $3 million per, and Smith has three more years left on a deal that pays him $2 million annually. But money was not the consideration here, I was told. Spanos is simply resistant to change, reluctant to make a sweeping overhaul unless he feels he must, and with the Chargers winning four of their last five he believed Turner deserved another chance.

It couldn't have hurt, either, that star quarterback Philip Rivers spoke out in favor of retaining his coach after the Chargers finished the season. Rivers is not only the club's best player; he's the spokesman for the team. And when he defended Turner, he had to make an impression with Spanos.

This doesn't mean that Turner is in the clear. On the contrary, the club missed the playoffs the last two years, and that's a problem. Spanos won't tolerate another 8-8 season, so Turner has been put on alert. My guess is that he either wins the AFC West next season or it's on to another coach.

But at least he has the chance.

A week ago, I never thought that was possible. But Spanos' move is made in the name of continuity, something the Chargers lacked over the years, and he must figure that if it can work for others maybe, just maybe, it can work for him. If you believe in your head coach -- and Spanos is fond of Turner -- then you give him every opportunity to prove you right.

Spanos just gave Turner his last chance.






Comments

Since: Jan 3, 2012
Posted on: January 3, 2012 7:08 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

I have been a fan of the Chargers since I sat on the concrete bleachers of Balboa Stadium and watched Kieth Lincoln, Paul Lowe and Lance Alworth weave their magic.  Many mistakes have been made over the years - Ryan Leaf, Curt Welihan, Buster Davis and Bob Sanders to name a few.  I was not much of a Norv Turner fan (as an HC).  And AJ Smith's brusqueness and imperialism really rubs me the wrong way, and he treats players abhorrently sometimes.


My mental jury was still out on both of them, especially after the Detroit debacle.  My mind began to change a bit regarding Turner after the Oakland game, and what the players had to say about him.  But there is an element of Spanos' decision that hasn't been mentioned:  Time.


He couldn't fire Smith and keep Turner.  What GM would want to come into a situation with a lame-duck head coach?  Even if that were to happen and Turner won something, a GM still wants to hire his own coach.  No experienced GM would take that on, in my opinion.  And the public backlash would have seared Spanos' eyebrows.


If Spanos fired both of them, you have to replace the GM first.  That takes time.  And only after he's on-board would he go coach-shopping.  By that time, most of the good coaching candidates would have already been hired (or gone back to the announcers booth).  What does that leave the GM with, another Mike Riley or Harland Svare?  He'd also be doing that while trying to prepare for the draft.

Which would be the least catastrophic here?  The status quo.

So I can understand Spanos' decision.  But I can also hear him saying to Smith:  "Get some good free agents in here.  Treat the players better during negotiations.  Find us a proven DC."  And to Turner:  "My patience won't last a whole season next time."


This might seem a little like strange bedfellows, especially with the fans under the covers.  But from a business standpoint, it makes sense to me.  The players will be happy (most of them).  And the beauty of it is that Smith and Turner get to start tomorrow, versus a new GM or coach starting weeks or months from now.      


      
;     



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 6:39 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

still playing the IDIOT card, eh Lost Boy?

Lack of continuity???  You mean like letting a Hall of Fame QB walk away because you were too cheap to pay him the franchise tag money in a year you were pushing to go to the playoffs? Rivers 1st year starting went 14-2 and dumped his drawers in the playoffs (as he often does).
The concern was Brees' shoulder, and only TWO teams thought that rotator cuff injury would ever heal. And of those two, Miami backed out. Yeah, Drew is HoF now, but if you knew anything about the Chargers, you'd know that Brees was only a .500 QB as a Bolt.





Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 6:25 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

"Spanos' move is made in the name of continuity, something the Chargers lacked over the years,"

Lack of continuity???  You mean like letting a Hall of Fame QB walk away because you were too cheap to pay him the franchise tag money in a year you were pushing to go to the playoffs? Rivers 1st year starting went 14-2 and dumped his drawers in the playoffs (as he often does).

Lack of continuity???  You mean like letting an up and coming RB walk away with no compensation because ownership wanted to retain a declining vet? Okay a tough choice to make but get something in return.  Nope. Walk.

Lack of continuity??? You mean like then letting that Hall of Fame RB walk away for no compensation a couple of years later?????

Lack of continuity??? You mean like franchise tagging a scat-back RB TWO YEARS IN A ROW...making him the 2nd highest paid RB in the league over that time rather than signing him to a long term deal.  But they didn't let him walk-----ohhhh yeah they did.

Terrible GM. No excuses. HE picked the 58-85-1 HC to take over a 14-2 team for the sake of "continuity". How's that working out for them?????



Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 5:45 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

>Spanos is simply resistant to change

Tell Drew Brees that a few years ago.



Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2012 5:37 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

I don't have an issue with this. Rivers had a terrible year throwing interceptions and probablly lost a couple of games all by himself. Throw in the injuries and you have an 8-8 season. The Charges played a lot better toward the end. They do have holes to fill but this isn't one of them.



Since: Dec 15, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 5:23 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

@foutsrules It's not about who someone roots for, or not rooting for them when they lose.  It is the manner in which they go about business.  This is the same argument for the Bengals, who actually made the postseason (by backing in).  Their owner/GM has no clue, and does everything he can to screw over everyone in Ohio (fans included) for the Almighty Dollar.

I also recall some tough years (the 90s?  How about the early 00s?  Did you forget that Drew Brees was your QB at one point?).  They fired Marty when they were finding success, and keep Turner when he isn't.  Turner cannot win, even though year in and year out everyone says the Chargers have the "talent" to do damage, especially on offense.  Again, 2010:  #1 ranked offense AND defense, and the best you can do is 8-8?  That's on the head coach, and he doesn't get his players to play.

Insults and derogatory statements don't hide the fact that Norv Turner is AVERAGE at best as a coach, and his teams will be AVERAGE at best as well.  I don't know of any other coach that has gotten more mileage out of his OC stint than Turner.

As long as Turner is the coach, the best you can hope for is a playoff berth.  Super Bowl?  Even an AFC Championship?  (Imagine that with Jim Mora's lovely inflection...)     



Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:55 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

Unbelievable! When a coach who consistently starts off slow and can't win coming off bye weeks, that's a BAD COACH. ZERO PREPARATION! With Norv, the more time he has to "prepare" the less likely the Bolts will win. Check the record. This guy couldn't motivate a rabid pitbull. Above .500 wins this division and he can't even do that. And AJ let the horrible special teams coach from last year stay the whole year even though it cost them at least 3 losses...INSANE



Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:53 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

You know, I'm so sick of these so called fans that post about loyalty to the fan base and we deserve better or thats it I'm no longer a Charger fan, what are you people 2 friggin years old. I too thought that Norv should have gone and I too am not a big fan of the way AJ goes about his business but if you are really a Charger fan like myself, since I saw Dan Fouts throw the pigskin for the very first time, then shut the F up and back your team. Every team goes through peaks and valleys, but just look at games won since 2004, the Chargers are top 4 in that category, a far cry from the dismal 90s in which I still steadfastly professed my love for the blue and gold. If your a fan of the Chargers, then be a fan, root for them always, not just when they are winning, stand behind them don't be one of those fair weather choir boy fans that only support a winning team or jump on the bandwagon when things are going good. There is still alot of talent on this team and I think AJ realizes that he better jump into the free agent market this year, no time for penny pinching, get us some pass rushers, a solid cornerback and some veteran help on the Oline and we make the playoffs, from there it's up to the players to get this team over the hump, and unlike thousands of you fairweather pansy fans who can only complain, I will always believe in my team. Just take a page from the cubbies fan base, they haven't won in what 103 years and they still love their team and root for them no matter what. CHARGERS FAN 4 EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:51 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

Change the date on this story and it is the exact same from last year at this time. The Chargers lost the AFC West to a Tim Tebow led Bronco's team for christ sake. It is said evey year, the Chargers have too mauch talent on that team to fail year in and year out. But they do, and everything stays the ame.



Since: Jan 3, 2012
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:31 pm
 

No shocker that Turner, A.J. back

I would have fired Norv at least by halftime of the Detroit game.  Now that would have sent the fans the message that the Spanos family is concerned about winning.  The Chargers looked terrible in every single game this year with the exception of Baltimore and at Oakland.


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