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A.J. Smith not worried about being on the hot seat

AJ Smith AP

Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith knows people are saying he’s on the hot seat after San Diego failed to make the playoffs last season. But he can laugh those comments off.

“I hear it’s hot, but in my own way, I take care of the hot seat I’m in,” Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I have a small fan under my desk that cools down my seat and makes it tolerable so I can work. I have a refrigerator right here, and if it gets really hot, I leave the door open for about 20 minutes. Between the two of ’em, I get by.”

Smith says the Chargers have plenty of room to improve, but he believes that having five picks in the first three rounds of the draft (their own picks plus the Jets’ second-rounder and the Seahawks’ third-rounder) means San Diego should be a better team by the end of next week.

“I always start off thinking we’re not good enough,” Smith said. “The Green Bay Packers won 10 games last year but were good enough. We weren’t even good enough to win our division. We didn’t go to the playoffs. It’s absolutely unacceptable. Now, what do we do about it?”

With the lockout going on, the only thing the Chargers can do about it is get better through the draft. And if the Chargers aren’t a better team when the lockout ends and the season starts, it’s going to be a lot harder for Smith to laugh off being on the hot seat.

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26 Responses to “A.J. Smith not worried about being on the hot seat”
  1. 52sackmachine says: Apr 21, 2011 12:12 PM

    This may very well be A,J Smith’s last year in southern California.

  2. snowpea84 says: Apr 21, 2011 12:17 PM

    They have a bad head coach. Period. If they want success, they need a good head coach. But I guess a good head coach can’t coexist with him.

  3. okiny says: Apr 21, 2011 12:19 PM

    I don’t worry about getting hit by a bus…that doesn’t mean if it happens, it won’t affect me. Everyone jocks #17 and #85 but until they get some serious playoff results, A.J. has reason to worry.

  4. bigbrad184 says: Apr 21, 2011 12:24 PM

    AJ Smith is a jerk and even though he appears to be a pretty good evaluator of talent, I’m glad that he isn’t in charge of my favorite team. The guy just comes off as classless and simply doesn’t take care of his own players. He just lets his ego get in the way of everything.

  5. chargerdillon says: Apr 21, 2011 12:30 PM

    As a Charger fan let me just say AJ Smith has as many bad draft picks as he does good ones.

    Luis Castillo came out of college on roids, and would play better if he picked up the habit again.

    Merriman was a distraction for far too long

    Buster Davis was a ripoff
    Larry English looks like a ripoff

    Vincent Jackson is a superstar picked late who blossomed and now the owners dont want to pay him with he’s worth and what he will get paid somewhere else.

    Pilip Rivers is keeping Norv and AJ employed right now

  6. gooboy6 says: Apr 21, 2011 12:34 PM

    AJ is such an ass, chargers don’t make playoffs in 2011 ? = AJ in unemployment line

  7. lanjoith says: Apr 21, 2011 12:37 PM

    A.J. isn’t on the hot seat. Dean Spanos’ son John is being groomed to take over for A.J. when his contract expires after the 2014 season. Dean isn’t going to pay A.J.s contract and a contract of a new GM to bridge the gap between 2012 and 2014 until John Spanos is ready. The Chiefs schedule is brutal and Denver and Oakland are nowhere near competing so the Bolts will win the west as usual. SD will have McNeill and VJ all season plus a healthy Bob Sanders.

  8. pacstud says: Apr 21, 2011 12:40 PM

    Gotta love the guy.

    As a cynic myself, he does a good job as GMs go and has the sense of humor to boot. Refreshing in the age of “political” GMs.

  9. universalcynic says: Apr 21, 2011 12:45 PM

    I loathe the Chargers, and AJ is as polarizing as they come but he knows what he’s doing. Last year they overachieved if you really look at the holes they had to fill. AJ has not overpaid players and he’s not made a complete fool out of himself on draft day.

    You can’t say that for a lot of contending teams.

    Norv is the one on the hot seat, but when isn’t Norv on the hot seat?

  10. terrellochouno says: Apr 21, 2011 12:46 PM

    Charger fans still hate Eli Manning for the 2004 draft thing, but my god, who can blame him? I wouldn’t play for this reject either.

  11. socalseahawker says: Apr 21, 2011 12:49 PM

    This guy is such a pompous prick I find it hard to like him whether he leads my team to greatness or not.

  12. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 21, 2011 12:53 PM

    “I hear it’s hot, but in my own way, I take care of the hot seat I’m in,” Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I have a small fan under my desk that cools down my seat and makes it tolerable so I can work. I have a refrigerator right here, and if it gets really hot, I leave the door open for about 20 minutes. Between the two of ’em, I get by.”

    ==============

    This quote confirms that what I read about this guy is true. He sounds like a first class certified jerk.

  13. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 21, 2011 12:55 PM

    AJ Smith=Jerry Jones without the money and bad facelift.

  14. vanderwerf says: Apr 21, 2011 12:57 PM

    A.J. Smith has been drinking his own cool-aid for too long…he better piss a perfect draft next week cuz he’s got 5 picks out of the top 85 players…get it right and get my Boltz to the Super Bowl!

  15. pixelito says: Apr 21, 2011 1:28 PM

    You gotta his Charlie Sheen-esque denial of reality.

    Yes AJ, you’ve been one of the most unsuccessful GM’s in football… Next, you can tell us about all the objects around your office you will soon be packing into a cardboard box.

  16. backindasaddle says: Apr 21, 2011 1:38 PM

    A lot of people think AJ is arrogant. I think he’s confident in his knowledge/experience/ability. I also think he knows how to draft and has an excellent track record on his drafting ability.

    The problem with the San Diego Chargers is most definitely not AJ Smith. The problem with the San Diego Chargers is Norv Turner. The sporadic performances on the field and out-of-the-box losing streaks seemingly every year since Turner started coaching the team are clear indicators of not preparing the team properly. The team has been loaded with talent and Turner has not prepared them to win consistently.

    Turner is the problem, not AJ Smith.

  17. sonvar says: Apr 21, 2011 2:03 PM

    Well the team isn’t really improved that much through the draft this year. All rookies will not getting any offseason training to learn offense, defense, or special teams. This means you’re relying on pure skill and a lot of time that is not enough.

  18. cambodianbreastmilk says: Apr 21, 2011 2:13 PM

    AJ should stand for “All Jokes” cause the guy NEVER takes anyone seriously.

    Louis Vasquez (G) might turn out to be his best draft pick, just like the trade for Rivers was no doubt his best as well but it took a couple years.

    You aren’t Buddy Nix, so stop reaching for players that YOU think will work, cause they haven’t.

    I’m way happy with Rivers, but I still don’t agree with letting Brees & Turner walk.

    Learn to respect your players, rather then forcing them to respect you.

  19. polamalurulz43 says: Apr 21, 2011 2:32 PM

    AJ is a fist. Remember the time he locked out Gates and it required him to miss a critical game at the beginning of the season where the TE on the bench dropped the winning TD pass at the end of the game, costing them a playoff birth. Remember Drew Brees not good enough. Remember him being a douche to LT.

    He can evaluate talent almost as well as he can alienate it.

  20. souldogdave says: Apr 21, 2011 2:48 PM

    Lanjoith, what have you been smoking?The Raiders swept the division, including the Dolts,ahem, I repeat, INCLUDING THE DOLTS.How can you say they won’t compete,and lump them with the Broncos?And how can you ignore the team on the rise that actually won the division?LOL dude, you are just venting steam.

  21. thefiesty1 says: Apr 21, 2011 2:59 PM

    He should have never hired his coach and running off Marty. He now has a good coordinator but not head coach. He should never have given up on LT and Rivers isn’t the answer. The ‘Bolts can’t win with a miniture RB. This is his last year for AJ, thank goodness.

  22. ezwriter69 says: Apr 21, 2011 3:02 PM

    You wanna know what’s wrong with the Chargers, AJ, just look in the bleeping mirror. You may be the only GM in sports who could have managed to keep this team from succeeding… good judge of talent, but a HORRIBLE manager of me. Simply incompetent, and not a player in the NFL wants to play for him, even with them being in San Diego… NO one wants to play for him. The contempt and derision with which he treats even the best of his players is the same way he treats everyone. Double dealing underhanded lying sneering contemptuous sleazy wannabe mobster in a three piece suit.

  23. jackhall00 says: Apr 21, 2011 3:10 PM

    Unless this guy sets up a “secret minicamp” for all his draft picks (like Bellichick is going to do) his talent will not help next year.
    The Chargers are bad and who is on their team going to give an all out effort when they know that no matter how hard they play they aren’t going to be paid? That is why they always fall short.

  24. schmitty2 says: Apr 21, 2011 3:26 PM

    Fire AJ and Turner after this season and hire Bill Cowher!

  25. 6thsense79 says: Apr 21, 2011 4:17 PM

    AJ Smith shouldn’t be on the hot seat because of last season’s record….he should be on the hot seat because he is an a**hole who puts his pride/ego above what’s best for the team.

  26. jagerbolt says: Apr 21, 2011 5:15 PM

    AJ may be a smartass sometimes but he isn’t the worst GM in the league.

    He isn’t hated by players- if that was the case FAs like Sanders wouldn’t sign there. He also treats his players well when they show their worth. He gave Rivers an amazing contract and at the time made Gates the highest paid TE in the league.

    As for his drafts he has been hit or miss lately. He’s great at finding late round/undrafted gems but he’s whiffed on a few high rounders.

    If he has a solid draft this year then the Bolts will be in great shape. If there is football, yadda yadda.

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