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Lorenzo Neal sounds off on Turner's decision to pull L.T.

Former Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal, during a Tuesday spot on XX 1090 in San Diego, complained about the decision of coach Norv Turner to yank LaDainian Tomlinson from the field in the shadow of the end zone.

“Yeah, L.T.’s lost a step,” Neal said, “but losing a step for L.T. is still as good as anybody in the league.”

Neal suggested that the move might have caused the team to “lose” L.T., and Neal placed the blame directly on Turner.

Neal also pointed at Turner as the reason for the team’s slow starts and general struggles over the past three years. 

Regarding whether Turner is a good head coach, Neal offered a less-than-glowing endorsement, praising Turner’s offensive abilities but saying that the “jury’s still out” on whether Turner is a good head coach.

Some would say the verdict already has been returned — and that the Chargers are the ones caught serving the sentence.

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49 Responses to “Lorenzo Neal sounds off on Turner's decision to pull L.T.”
  1. FumbleNuts says: Oct 20, 2009 10:23 PM

    They need to use L.T. in more short passing situations and bubble screens.
    Turner should NOT be a headcoach.

  2. TFBuckFutter says: Oct 20, 2009 10:25 PM

    “Yeah, L.T.’s lost a step,” Neal said, “but losing a step for L.T. is still as good as anybody in the league.”
    Really? Because that “step” puts him behind Reggie Bush in yards per carry.
    And that’s shameful. I’m pretty sure my yards per carry is better than Reggie Bush’s.
    But hey, at least Michael Bush is as bad on average as LaiDaiNian…..I forget how many I’s and capitals there are in his name.

  3. charliewade says: Oct 20, 2009 10:27 PM

    The jury’s still out on if Turner is a good head coach? Really? How’s the weather on that planet?
    Twelve seasons as a head coach, only four winning seasons. The guy is almost 20 games under .500 for his career!
    Turner is the epitome of ‘retread coach’ who shouldn’t have gotten a third chance at the apple. He has driven that Schottenheimer team into the ground.
    But to ‘lose’ LT? Where did he go? Did someone bother to put him on the back of a milk carton?
    If he’s a true professional, he will do his job, no matter what that job is on that team. If LT is ‘(lost)’, that’s completely on LT. He’s getting paid, what can he really complain about?

  4. bcharge says: Oct 20, 2009 10:30 PM

    Nice to hear it out of a former player, but Neal isn’t saying anything that every Chargers’ follower doesn’t already know…

  5. Facts Domino says: Oct 20, 2009 10:37 PM

    Good head coach?
    Coach Pokmark sucks.
    He ruined Heath Shuler, and he could go 16-0 and he would still have a losing record.
    The dumb ass that fired the previous head coach, J.A. Smith and Norvell should be held responsible for ruining a franchise that had some young talent at one point.

  6. Lumas101 says: Oct 20, 2009 10:39 PM

    I tend to pay more attention to players than coaches, but I usually can name most or all of the head coaches in the league.
    Every year, it stuns me to remember that Norv Turner is still a head coach.

  7. Otis Taylor 89 says: Oct 20, 2009 10:39 PM

    “Yeah, L.T.’s lost a step,” Neal said, “but losing a step for L.T. is still as good as anybody in the league.”
    Uh, no it’s not. LT can ‘t getit done anymore and Sproles should have had more than one carry.

  8. Smush Rodrigez says: Oct 20, 2009 10:40 PM

    LT has not been the same since Neal left. I think that gets overlooked. Man is a friggin beast. I could get 1500 yards running behind him.

  9. SC21 says: Oct 20, 2009 10:41 PM

    @buckfutter
    So you’re averaging more than 4.0 yards a carry in the NFL? I didn’t realize we had such talent among the commentators.

  10. charger33 says: Oct 20, 2009 10:41 PM

    TF, are you a baller somewheres? I doubt your yards per carry would be even close to half your age, which in my best guess would be 6 yards per carry, so by your math you are better than Reggie and LT for that matter. LT’s YPC is crap because Norv the panicker panicks and decides to throw the ball 50 times a game. LT has shown, obviously by his career numbers, to be a 25-30 carry a game back. His age has nothing to do with it. The terrible O line and easy to read play calling by a guy who has already had 2 too many chances to be HC are way more of a determining factor. His name is spelled, LaDainian, and if thats too many I’s and capitals for you Billy Bob, go get a GED.

  11. hayward giablommi says: Oct 20, 2009 10:51 PM

    If I recall, Ladynian FAILED to find the end zone on the first two downs and was subbed for by Sproles on 3rd down.
    If she doesn’t want to be benched, find the end zone on your first two shots. Punk.

  12. leatherneck says: Oct 20, 2009 10:57 PM

    In retrospect, Marty-Ball looks pretty good.
    AJ Smith should be the one who gets fired.
    “Nice collection of parts you’ve created there, Mr. Smith. We need to create a football team, so you can leave now.”

  13. Massappeal says: Oct 20, 2009 11:24 PM

    The guide to a winning team is that the best people play. If a player has deminished skills, but still thinks he is a “star”, he can tear a team apart.
    Letting someone tell him that he is still one of the best in the league, does him and his team a disservice……….and underminds that person’s creditability to the masses who watch the game.

  14. TFBuckFutter says: Oct 20, 2009 11:28 PM

    “Facts Domino says:
    October 20, 2009 10:37 PM
    Good head coach?
    Coach Pokmark sucks.
    He ruined Heath Shuler”
    Hahahaha. Could you possibly have picked a more random player?
    “charger33 says:
    October 20, 2009 10:41 PM
    LT’s YPC is crap because Norv the panicker panicks and decides to throw the ball 50 times a game. LT has shown, obviously by his career numbers, to be a 25-30 carry a game back. ”
    I don’t care what system you are in….if you aren’t averaging 4.0 YPC, you don’t belong in the NFL (Unless you’re a full back. Is LT a fullback?)…..one season, ok. Two, and you’re done.

  15. Halas` Heros says: Oct 20, 2009 11:28 PM

    Since Norv took over the 14 and 2 Chargers they have lost two more games a year. The man is as bad as his brother Ron. Both of them should have been canned years ago.

  16. RexRyan'sStressedLapband says: Oct 20, 2009 11:29 PM

    A team shouldn’t have to worry about “losing” a player because things don’t go his way. LT has proven more than once that he can’t be counted on when the going gets tough. He will simply pack it in and blame someone else for his unprofessional attitude. Get over it LT cause your career is pretty much over.

  17. TC says: Oct 20, 2009 11:40 PM

    They should have gotten rid of LT two years ago.
    The fact that LT was able to muscle the GM into giving him a new contract during the off-season signaled the end of this team IMO.
    The fact that he has continued to run his mouth off in the media just illustrates what kind of person he really is. Complaining about Jim Brown and crying to the media that he is really a better back than Adrian Peterson show what kind of mental midget LT has always been.

  18. SmackMyVickUp says: Oct 20, 2009 11:41 PM

    When Norv took over he had the league MVP returning, a rising star at QB, a solid defense and a team that went 14-2 the previous year.
    Look what he did to them.

  19. Erdie says: Oct 20, 2009 11:55 PM

    Two things:
    1. Agreed, lorenzo is a stud. Not enough credit is given to the people who block for these “star” running backs. See Alexander, Shaun and Hutchinson, Steve.
    2. Norv Turner is a bitch, him and the man who hired him should both be let go.
    3. Clearly this article means that Florio hates the Chargers.

  20. Steve-O says: Oct 20, 2009 11:56 PM

    It was Basic NFL Bad Coaching 101 aka overcoaching by one of the worst head coaches ever. As hayward said, it was 3rd down after 2 LT runs. Norv being ohhh sooooooo slick puts in Sproles to “fool” the defense into thinking its an obvious pass situation (because defenses NEVER see that). He probably thinks he’s the only coach to ever call a draw on 3rd and long too.

  21. CABroncoFan says: Oct 21, 2009 12:11 AM

    I was @ the Q last night…wow. The Broncos were in control of the game for all 60 minutes.
    The Chargers’ window has closed. Do LT a favor and ship him to a contender. Merriman’s not been the same since they took away his chemistry set and Phil’s a trainwreck. That guy made 3 of the worst throws I’ve ever seen from a QB last night.
    The team needs to be re-tooled. Get it…re-TOOLED…cause those guys are tools.

  22. Howie Handles says: Oct 21, 2009 12:26 AM

    That’s bush league imo. Sure, maybe Turner isn’t the best HC, but not laying any blame on the players is preposterous. If Turner is to blame, then he must be awesome at the end of the season as a coach, because they always finish strong.
    Lets face it, its becoming more apparent that the Chargers have been, and are, OVERRATED. Every year someone predicts that they’re either going to, or winning the SB, and most of the time they struggle to even make the playoffs.

  23. MotorCityDiddy says: Oct 21, 2009 1:19 AM

    In their 3 losses they’ve given up 31-38-34 & the Fish & Raiders easily ran on them, LT’s just the sacrificial lamb. His stats would look alot better if he got to run against his own D, but he still hasn’t shown the same jazz since he had turf toe.

  24. Opinionated Fool says: Oct 21, 2009 1:23 AM

    Enough of this L.T. bashing. He’s single-handedly carried the Chargers for many years. Even at 30% (his current capacity) he’s still a damn fine running back and he deserves respect from San Diego fans.
    Norv, however, is a different matter. He’s an offensive coordinator and a titular head coach. By design. By A.J. Smith’s design. Fire Smith. Fire Norv.
    What I would give for a Cowher or even a Gruden… Anyone who can INSPIRE men to play above and beyond their own abilities, coaches who can do more with less (as opposed to less with more, which is the fait accompli of Norv Turner, A.J. and the Chargers management in general).
    I mean — eff it! — I’m so effin’ sick of the Chargers sucking the life out of my Sundays and Mondays for the past 25 years I’m gonna become a K.C. fan… or a Steelers fan… or a fan of any other god damn team that doesn’t wear “powder blue” uniforms.
    PS: I’ll always be a fan of L.T., Lorenzo, Seau, Rodney and Antonio Gates.

  25. Opinionated Fool says: Oct 21, 2009 1:34 AM

    @Hayward Giablomi F. I. Hadadick says: “If she doesn’t want to be benched, find the end zone on your first two shots. Punk.”
    Hey Punk… L.T.’s the best damn running back of his generation. Sproles is a fine kick/punt returner, but he’s a mediocre back who’s yet to deliver on 3rd downs. Did you watch the Steelers or Ravens games? Obviously, no. I’m not bad-mouthing Mighty Mouse Sproles. He doesn’t call the plays; Norv does.

  26. Ghost2thePost says: Oct 21, 2009 2:11 AM

    LT’s lost a step or three? Another gift from Marty. When you average over 400 touches a year for six years, it’s going to take a big toll on the back end of your career. When Marty showed up in LT year 2 he did nothing to ease the load. For three straight years the second leading Chargers rusher was a QB. THe number 2 Chargers back before Norv never averaged more than 5 carries a game. Norv certainly has his issues as a coach, but he’s a good play caller and he inherited a franchise icon that was beat on like a rental car.

  27. R8R_BOB says: Oct 21, 2009 2:45 AM

    It’s hell being a running back in the NFL. Running backs have a short expiration date. L.T. is burned out. This doesn’t surprise me. Terrell Davis, Jamal Anderson, Priest Holmes, Shaun Alexander were all bad-ass running backs but their style of playing guaranteed that their would have short careers.
    LaDainian Tomlinson is 30 years old, a ripe age for burn-out. He know his days in SD are slowly coming to an end. It’s too bad because like Barry he will not get to the Super Bowl as a starting RB. Speaking of Barry, I think he knew that he could not play into his mid-30’s the way he played. He knew it was time to go. L.T. was given a hint last winter that his time was up.

  28. NashvilleSeahawk says: Oct 21, 2009 3:52 AM

    LT isn’t worth the attitude that you have to put up with. He whines way too much over the last couple of years for what he has brought to the table. And he quit on his team in the playoffs. I used to like him when he was electric, but not anymore.

  29. IsawFloriokissingBrettFavre says: Oct 21, 2009 5:03 AM

    LT was always overrated as a back. He had a good O-line and a fenomenal FB, and anyone could have performed like a monster under those conditions.
    How Norv ever got the job I’ll never know, but I do know that I’ve been bitching over the loss of him as OC in San Fran ever since. The only good offensive year we’ve had since 1864.

  30. TheDPR says: Oct 21, 2009 6:34 AM

    1. Norv is a bad head coach.
    2. Tomlinson is no longer an elite RB.
    3. Making full use of Sproles they won a couple games. Leaving Sproles primarily in special teams, they have lost.
    Week One: Sproles has 14 touches on offense and 8 on returns-win
    Week Two: Sproles has 17 touches on offense and 4 on returns-lose but score 26 points
    Week Three: Sproles has 20 touches on offense and 6 on returns-win
    Week Four: Sproles has 1 touch on offense and 6 on returns-lose (note:LT goes for a whole 15 yards in that game)
    Week Five: bye
    Week Six: Sproles has 2 touches on offense, 8 on returns-lose
    That team has to get Sproles involved in the offense like they did week one. Not for a run up the gut on the goalline, but for entire series. They have to block better for BOTH their RBs. And they have to stop playing such bad defense. Shawne Merriman is a liability, and he’s not the only one.

  31. mc says: Oct 21, 2009 7:22 AM

    Been a Redskins fan for 50 years.We feel your pain out here on the east coast. You have an arrogant GM that feels anyone can coach his players. We just have an arrogant owner with no GM. Norv Turner is a good guy but no head coach. We saw his lack of leadership first hand here in DC.
    MC

  32. leatherneck says: Oct 21, 2009 7:50 AM

    Sproles sucks as a 3rd down back. Use him to substitute for LT in the game for a few offensive series.
    Keep LT in on third down!

  33. ballhawk1 says: Oct 21, 2009 8:22 AM

    The stupidity of some people on here amaze me with things like “Find the endzone on your first 2 attempts”. If the line doesn’t block how do expect to get in??? Bottom line the line is not as good as it once was. LT has lost a step, but i would still take hom over any number of RBs in the NFL. Put him behind the Cowboys, Giants, or Miamis offensive line and let him tote the rock and all would be forgotten about lost steps and what not….Silliness and jealousy because A: your team does not have him B: He is killing you in fantasy OR C: is comments angered you! I love he gets crushed yet certain players say what they want and get a pass.

  34. aleypod says: Oct 21, 2009 8:33 AM

    as a lifelong charger fan:
    1> fire norv turner, had enough time with this team already
    2> trade chambers, guy is useless and the shortest on the team anyways
    3> trade LT for a bunch of offensive and defensive line help and draft picks….sproles is just as good, not getting all whiny and can do special teams, all for half the price
    4> dump merriman…see #3
    with a little change, this can be a top team next year.

  35. Filbertkiwi71 says: Oct 21, 2009 8:47 AM

    Making fun of someone’s looks is childish and pathetic. Got news for you Buttercup, overtime I am willing to bet that you won’t look so purdy yourself. If you want to bitch about Norv’s tenure as HC, then that is fair game.
    O’Neal wanted his release and got it. The Chargers were going in a different direction anyway, so O’Neal wasn’t being used as often. The man has hands of stone, he couldn’t catch a cold, great lead blocking FB though.
    As much of an LT fan as I was, I am sick of his garbage, unfortunately the vast majority of Charger fans want to hold onto the little whiner forever.
    Norv Turner doesn’t call defensive plays. It is pretty apparent that the defense is a major issue. If you want to hold him accountable for that, so be it.
    Elevating Rivera to DC when he has had very little experience running the 3-4, and was learning more about it under “cover who?” Cottrell wasn’t a good idea. I blame AJ for that.
    It shouldn’t be any surprise that the defense stinks.
    The one thing I do blame Norv for, is that he seems to run a short bench at the skilled positions. Why Bennett isn’t getting more opportunities to run the ball I haven’t a clue. Sproles isn’t the air-apparent to LT, so it makes no sense to put Sproles in goal line situations. That is where Bennett should be coming in. Bennett isn’t the air-apparent either, but I think he has a better chance of scoring in goal line situations than Sproles does.

  36. Filbertkiwi71 says: Oct 21, 2009 8:51 AM

    One thing that everyone needs to remember. Under Marty the Chargers made it to the playoffs and never won. Under Norv, the Chargers have made it to the playoffs and won. Granted, Norv’s regular season record has been getting worse and worse as the years go by.

  37. Will says: Oct 21, 2009 9:00 AM

    I have been a a Charger fan since the late 70’s. I have expereinced the ups and downs of the Franchise however I am still a fan!
    The Chargers have had some great offense’s over the years but not so many great defense’s. In fact an average defense during the Fout’s era would have led to a couple of Super Bowl titles.
    To point the finger at Norv Turner is the easy way out. I agree that he does not have a stellar record. Marty was doing great with the Chargers but lets remember his coaching staff – they were great and in fact Marty never called the plays – thats how great his staff was. Lets no forget the talent on the field – one of the best in history! Now that being said, it is my opinion that Norv needs to step down, Chargers Management needs to be overhauled. We need to make some trades for some existing players that are not producing, we should find a new coach, Mike Shanahan would be a great fit and he would probably take the job to whip up on Denver. Build the defense and continue to improve the offense and after Monday Night, please hire people that can tackle on Special Teams!
    I am a Charger Fan forever no matter what decisions they may make, just make more good ones than bad ones. I want a Super Bowl victory for the Chargers in my lifetime – you owe it to the fans!

  38. Wick says: Oct 21, 2009 9:19 AM

    @ IsawFloriokissingBrettFavre who said:
    How Norv ever got the job I’ll never know, but I do know that I’ve been bitching over the loss of him as OC in San Fran ever since. The only good offensive year we’ve had since 1864.
    Yes, 1864 was a fine year for the Bolts’ offense – I believe the local scribes nicknamed them “Sherman’s March Through the South” that year.

  39. Nevisyakker says: Oct 21, 2009 10:20 AM

    Isn’t this the same LT that got ticked off when Jim Brown declared Adrian Peterson the new bench mark for great backs in the NFL? Isn’t this the guy who declared he was still the best because with his all around talent he never left the field?
    It is sad when that extra spark of talent is taken by age and too many hits, while the ego and mouth still think they are 25.

  40. dcfan-1212450 says: Oct 21, 2009 10:31 AM

    @Shmush Rodriguez
    “LT has not been the same since Neal left. I think that gets overlooked. Man is a friggin beast. I could get 1500 yards running behind him.”
    _______________________________
    Finally, someone gets it. A running back is only as good as his blockers are. Shaun Alexander, top rusher in the league, records for touchdowns, considering HOF for sure. Then Steve Hutchinson leaves and he is absolute garbage. And suddenly, even before AP, the Vikings can run on anyone. Does anyone actually believe Emmit Smith was the best running back of all time? Hell, the Redskins with the hogs of the 80s ran on anyone with no name backs (Timmy Smith and Ernest Byner anyone). The blockers make can make or break the running back in todays NFL.

  41. encinitasraider says: Oct 21, 2009 10:37 AM

    Norv Turder took over a 14-2 talented team.
    1st year-11-4
    2nd year-8-8
    3rd year-? i will say 5-11.
    Both Turder and AJ are to blame. Aj hired Norv and didnt bother to draft Offensive line or D-Line in the first few rounds of the draft last year or this year. IMO i hope Norv stays so he can destroy the Chargers before they move to L.A.

  42. encinitasraider says: Oct 21, 2009 10:40 AM

    28th in rushing
    28th against the run..Enuff said…
    You have been Norvized….he doesnt know how to run the ball .

  43. Filbertkiwi71 says: Oct 21, 2009 10:57 AM

    Shanahan isn’t the solution. Denver’s defense last year was pathetic.

  44. finsbooyah says: Oct 21, 2009 11:39 AM

    “3> trade LT for a bunch of offensive and defensive line help and draft picks….”
    You are delusional my friend… The most any team will give up for LT at this stage in his career is a 4th round pick. I’m not bashing LT, I’m a big fan of his, but the fact is that his career is almost over. Chambers is pathetic. I should know as a Dolphins fan. The fact that you gave up a second round pick for him (which became Chad Henne) was a prime example of A.J. Smith at his most idiotic. Now, Merriman, you might be able to get some nice value for him.
    Step one in returning the Chargers to a serious contender – Fire the entire coaching staff along with A.J. Smith

  45. hayward giablommi says: Oct 21, 2009 12:47 PM

    @ Opinionated Fool
    Disagree on Ladynian (LT is Lawrence Taylor, btw) being the best RB of his generation- top 5, sure, I’ll give you that.
    Regardless, you missed my point, that being that Tomlinson is a selfish, me-first player who has a track record of being an immature punk when things don’t go his way. Sorry, thems the facts.

  46. bake says: Oct 21, 2009 1:12 PM

    wish i had norv turner coaching
    signed dan snyder

  47. Opinionated Fool says: Oct 21, 2009 1:41 PM

    @hayward giablommi sez: “Disagree on Ladynian (LT is Lawrence Taylor, btw) being the best RB of his generation- top 5, sure, I’ll give you that.”
    Okay, so who of LT’s generation is better? Who’s racked up more yards and TDs?

  48. texasPHINSfan says: Oct 21, 2009 2:31 PM

    norv sucks, but not because he pulled LT. they had first & goal from inside the ten, ran it twice, and couldn’t get past the 4. on 3rd and goal from the 4, when you had failed to punch it in two prior runs, and the last play got NO yards, why on EARTH would you call another running play? especially with your 5’4″ running back who weighs under 200 lbs?? you call a run up the middle?
    this has nothing to do with LT. The chargers’ o-line wasn’t dominating, and you’re at a goalline stand.
    you have rivers in the pocket, throw the damn ball. i had a huge problem with that playcall when i watched it. you don’t run on 3rd and goal from the 4. Unless you have AP or Ronnie Brown back there, you throw.

  49. KEEPITREAL says: Oct 26, 2009 1:46 AM

    HESTER is NOT a FULLBACK. Why the hell don’t they use BENNETT to block? MERRIMAN needs to go. He hasn’t made a tackle since they caught him on the juice and now he cant find the backfield. Explain why SPROLES runs over BENETT? This is something someone has to explain a reason. Face it NORV is a passive get JOHN GRUDEN bet he’d be talking all kinda crazy for the silly mistakes the offensive makes. Get L.T. a blocker to give him a push red zone fieldgoals become TOUCHDOWNS. I like RIVERS heart. He can throw the ball,he just has to learn how to step up instead of sleep in the pocket. The MOST IMPORTANT THING IS SOMEONE TELL THE CHARGERS THE PROPER WAY TO TACKLE A PERSON IS TO WRAP THEM UP,GRAB THE LEGS,OR ARMS AROUND THEM NOT THROW THEIR BODY INTO SOMEONE OR ARM TACKLE.

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