|Chargers coach Norv Turner didn't have the answers Monday night against the Broncos, who erased a 24-0 deficit to beat San Diego 35-24. The conclusion here: It's time for a new coach. (US Presswire)|
The Chargers organization has repeatedly stated its goal is to not only make the playoffs, but to win the Super Bowl. If your goal is to win the Super Bowl, then the moment you know your leaders are incapable of reaching that goal is the time for new leadership.
San Diego may be tied with the Broncos at 3-3 atop the AFC West, but Monday night's game proved now is the time for change.
Coach Norv Turner blowing a 24-0 point lead was not an isolated incident; it was merely the latest and most absurd example of his failed leadership.
The need to fire Turner now goes beyond two consecutive disastrous second-half performances. San Diego has looked atrocious in each of their losses and has shown no ability to beat a quality quarterback.
To win a Super Bowl, you are going to have to beat quality teams led by quality quarterbacks in the playoffs.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan racked up 275 yards and three TDs in Week 3. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning led their teams to a combined 52 second-half points in the last two weeks.
“We are going to fix the issues that keep us from finishing games,” Turner said Tuesday.
The Chargers, however, have had fixable mistakes for the last three seasons under Turner's leadership. The special teams were an issue in 2010 and turnovers persisted throughout 2011. Neither was completely fixed in season.
A.J. Smith is just as culpable. Although he had an active off-season, Smith continued his pattern of letting Pro Bowl talent leave without compensation. FS Eric Weddle and RB Ryan Mathews are the only two of Smith's 40 draft selections to make the Pro Bowl since Turner joined the team in 2007.
Dean Spanos, owner/team president, ignored the demands of the fan base to fire Smith and Turner at the end of last season when the Chargers finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. In retaining them, Spanos said that Smith and Turner gave the Chargers the best chance to win. Clearly, that is not the case.
Spanos is unlikely to make a change now because the AFC West remains a weak, winnable division. The goal, however, is not to make the playoffs; it's to win the Super Bowl.
Spanos deserves no credit if he doesn't make a change and the Chargers make the postseason, but lose in the playoffs. Failure to act now is only a sign of stubbornness.
Dismissing Smith and Turner at the bye week is not throwing in the towel on the season; it is the only act that will restore hope in San Diego's fan base.
It's time for Spanos to be a leader. That means finding a new leader for the coaching staff and a new leader for the front office.