03 January 2012

Norv Turner, A.J. Smith to Return to San Diego...WHAT?

Breaking news out of San Diego as Chargers general manager A.J. Smith and head coach Norv Turner are both returning to the club, according to team president Dean Spanos. The embattled, and rightfully so, two were thought to be sure goners, particularly Turner, as the team has fallen short of expectations for three straight years (second best record in football in 2009 but loss in first playoff game, missed playoffs last two seasons) as the fanbase has gotten increasingly agitated at the underachieving. But it appears that the underachieving is now to be the norm in America's Finest City.
It just makes no sense that these two will still have their jobs next season. Both have done poor work of late and the team's play on the field has been proof.
Turner has been increasingly awful in late game situations and his clubs of late have just flat-out underachieved in a weak and very winnable AFC West. The teams have progressively done worse each year after he became coach, took the team to the AFC Championship Game in 2007, barely got the team in the playoffs in 2008 but did win a playoff game, went 13-3 in 2009 and was considered to be a Super Bowl contender but they fell in the Divisional Round and have gone 9-7 and 8-8 the last two years. Why Smith was so willing to dump Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season that ended with a loss in the team's first playoff game and now not willing to fire Turner is astounding.
Speaking of Smith, he should be gone too. He has done a poor job of drafting the last couple of seasons, helping to turn a once talent rich club into one that is starving for talent in some parts of the field. 2009 top pick Larry English has been a bust, Ryan Mathews, who Smith traded a lot to trade up in the first round in 2010 to get, has shown flashes but has not been healthy and 2011 top pick Corey Liuget has not contributed much this year. And his arrogant and tough nature in contract negotiations have left current players disgruntled with how hardline he is, cases in point being Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson.
And yet this is all just fine for the Spanos family. I feel for Chargers fans.

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