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Norv Turner goes out meekly

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On Sunday in San Diego, with Norv Turner’s team and coaching tenure on the brink, Turner played it safe.

Turner coached not to lose, just like Marty Schottenheimer before him. That inevitably led to a loss.

Turner didn’t trust his veteran quarterback to try to make a few plays at the end of regulation to win the game before overtime. He was happy to let the clock sadly run out while the Chargers had the ball.

“I don’t look at it in terms of playing scared,” Turner said via Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I was more concerned about Philip taking a big hit. I think we did the right thing.”

Turner thinks they did the right thing because he doesn’t think his team is very good.

“No one threw in the towel,” Norv said. “We were sitting there and Philip [Rivers] was having a tough time getting into the end zone, No. 1. No. 2, I don’t think we would have protected and gotten it off.”

We’re sure the offensive line appreciates Turner not giving them the chance in regulation.  In overtime, the Chargers advanced the ball to Denver’s 35-yard line. The next three calls: Run, run, run for a total of zero yards.

That set up Nick Novak’s 52-yard missed field goal.

The playcalling was incredibly reminiscent of Schottenheimer’s playcalling against the Jets in the Wild Card game after the 2004 season. Marty called three straight runs in that game for no yards to set up a Nate Kaeding field goal attempt, instead of letting his quarterback (Drew Brees) advance the ball.  Kaeding missed from 40 yards out, and the Chargers lost.

With his head coaching career on the line, Turner had many chances on Sunday to swing for the fences. He could let his team try to win instead of hoping it happened.

Turner bunted.

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85 Responses to “Norv Turner goes out meekly”
  1. govtminion says: Nov 28, 2011 10:37 AM

    For a moment I thought the article title meant he’d been fired… after reading the article, I’m left wondering why that wasn’t the case after all.

  2. chc4 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:38 AM

    He’s a bad coach so this shouldn’t be a surprise. He wasted superior talent the last few years and now that they aren’t as talented he really gets exposed.

  3. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Nov 28, 2011 10:39 AM

    How many chances is this guy going to get as a head coach? Terrrrrible.

  4. norseyapper says: Nov 28, 2011 10:40 AM

    Has any coach gotten less out of the talent on his team than this guy?

    Year after year it looks like SD has the talent on both sides of the ball to compete with anyone and year after year they are dissapointing.

  5. norcalmafia says: Nov 28, 2011 10:40 AM

    Dont understand why coaches never learn..Playing not to lose always gets you beat..Rivers had under two hundred yards passing?!!! Ever heard the saying Id rather die on my feet than to live on my knees…Goodbye Norvell…

  6. benh999 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:40 AM

    Nothing new. This is how he’s always coached.

  7. dgstan says: Nov 28, 2011 10:40 AM

    Norv Turner is not a good head coach and never has been. He will land somewhere as an OC and do alright.

    It’s a shame SD has stuck by him so long, but it is their own fault they got stuck with him at all. They handled the Marty situation so poorly, they got what they deserved.

  8. obxastronaut says: Nov 28, 2011 10:42 AM

    Bye bye Norv…

  9. failcopter says: Nov 28, 2011 10:42 AM

    He also pulled Ryan Mathews, who was having some good success for once, and put in Tolbert, who proceeded to get stuffed by Von Miller. WTF?

  10. pigskinswag says: Nov 28, 2011 10:42 AM

    So instead of “Marty Ball” we now have “Norvie Ball”?

  11. wingz101 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:43 AM

    Turner has never really impressed me as a coach. He was lucky that Rivers was his QB, but now with Rivers having a tough season – Norv is exposed. Overall the Chargers look old and slow. They need a lot of ‘refreshing.’

  12. AlanSaysYo says: Nov 28, 2011 10:43 AM

    I hate it when people talking about football use analogies involving inferior sports.

  13. trigzter says: Nov 28, 2011 10:45 AM

    should have never fired schottenheimer. turner has turned this team from perennial contenders to nothing

  14. derekjetersmansion says: Nov 28, 2011 10:45 AM

    I don’t know why people ever bought that SD was the most talented team in the league. Bad coaches can win in this league with the right talent and chemistry (Billick, Gruden, Dungy).

  15. boltschick says: Nov 28, 2011 10:46 AM

    It would help if management drafted him some players to work with!

    When was the last time the Chargers drafted an impact player without trading picks to get him. Anyone?

  16. peytonwantsaflag says: Nov 28, 2011 10:47 AM

    Not a fan of Norv at all but there’s an awful lot of second guessing in this –

    Most coaches, in OT, are not going to take a chance of an interception when you are in field goal range (and 52 yards is field goal range) ESPECIALLY when you have a QB playing the way Rivers is.

  17. Lev says: Nov 28, 2011 10:47 AM

    all while Nick Novak went wee-wee on the sideline!

  18. jamoked says: Nov 28, 2011 10:47 AM

    AJ Smith is the annoying hipster of GMs, so expect Norv to get a contract extension today.

  19. r8rsfan says: Nov 28, 2011 10:52 AM

    Just another example of the “old boy network” of NFL coaches. He’s never won anything as a HC yet seems to have no problem finding work. No passion, no cajones.

  20. jivetribe says: Nov 28, 2011 10:52 AM

    Norvel also blew it by setting on the ball their last two possessions of the first half which led to a Broncos touchdown. Then he threw the challenge flag on a play that had zero chance of being overturned and wasted a timeout late in the game. I dont know which is worse, the stupidity or the cowardice.

  21. pjcostello says: Nov 28, 2011 10:53 AM

    norseyapper says:
    Nov 28, 2011 10:40 AM
    Has any coach gotten less out of the talent on his team than this guy?
    Yes: Andy Reid.

  22. flyerfaithful says: Nov 28, 2011 10:55 AM

    Was Turner waiting for Denver to hand the game to him in overtime? The Broncos don’t beat themselves with there style. Chargers are done.

  23. buffalomyke says: Nov 28, 2011 10:57 AM

    Norv Turer and John Fox were trying to see who could be the worst coach last night. Looks like Norv wins..again!

  24. deconjonesbitchslap says: Nov 28, 2011 10:59 AM

    is it possible the media has hyped this team so high that they just were not ever that good to begin with?

  25. captainwisdom8888 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:00 AM

    Norv Turner and Andy Reid should go chill together and hit the pipe, because they sure as hell aint doing anything else productive. yea go chill out for a little guys

  26. nflofficeadmin says: Nov 28, 2011 11:04 AM

    Turner leaves San Diego, Ball-less.

  27. steelerchicken says: Nov 28, 2011 11:06 AM

    The OT thing was the confusing part. He did the same thing in the KC/Rivers fumble game. Played for a FG!

    He will work in television and come back as an OC

  28. beedubyatoo says: Nov 28, 2011 11:08 AM

    I wonder how John Harbaugh would like SD comapred to Baltimore.

  29. icanspeel says: Nov 28, 2011 11:09 AM

    Norv is as good as gone.. they will let him finish the year since there is no one really in line for the job, but he is done. The Chargers aren’t a great team, but they aren’t a terrible team either.. but play terrible under Norv

  30. 9ersurf says: Nov 28, 2011 11:10 AM

    <he will be terminated at the end of this season and will then become the cowboys OC next season – you heard it here first

  31. oside760 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:11 AM

    Colin Cowherd: “Norv Turner is the worst coach in the league… All he’s done since he was hired is run this organization into the ground…” ‘Nuff said

  32. mightyleemoon says: Nov 28, 2011 11:13 AM

    Calling a run is not giving up. Not that Norv is an old school, smash mouth guy. But, some guys will call a run because, in crunch time, they would rather punch you in the mouth than try to get fancy through the air. That’s the kind of football this league seriously lacks these days. And, part of the reason is because these loafer wearing reporters like to complain about the run game as being boring. They prefer circus act offenses as opposed to watching power run football.

  33. Nevis says: Nov 28, 2011 11:14 AM

    Been calling this a bad hire since Day 1. Turner has always been a lameduck HC and given how much talent SD had back when he was hired, I was shocked this is who AJ turned to.

    But, they made their bed…

  34. cwmorga says: Nov 28, 2011 11:15 AM

    It seems like every year the big question is “Why are the super-talented Chargers losing so many games?”. Did anyone stop to think that maybe they’re just not all that talented? Without a tailback putting up Tecmo Bowl numbers like they had until 2007, they’re just another average team…even when Rivers is playing well.

  35. rayguyreturns says: Nov 28, 2011 11:16 AM

    It’s sad when a viewer at home can predict what plays the Chargers are about to run. Those last calls by Norv in overtime before the missed field goal were telegraphed. They have Rivers out there who has more talent than almost all NFL QB’S and you don’t trust him to throw a 5 yard pass to Gates? The runs were a “prototypical Norv” call, destined to fail.
    Fear of failure will certainly result in exactly that…failure.
    Norv is toast.

  36. eagleswineagleswin says: Nov 28, 2011 11:16 AM

    Andy Reid to San Diego. Do it….please

  37. bostonhasrealhockey says: Nov 28, 2011 11:23 AM

    Bringing marty back?

  38. guybushsghost says: Nov 28, 2011 11:27 AM

    Turner and Smith need a couple of more seasons to turn this around.
    — Signed, all Raiders fans

  39. test2402 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:27 AM

    You never have to worry about Andy Reid running the ball three straight times.

  40. coldlegend says: Nov 28, 2011 11:28 AM

    This guy is turrible

  41. war27 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:29 AM

    Calling 3 runs worked well when he had the Cowboys OL and Emmitt.

    Now he has nothing and it shows. Not a great coach that is finally coaching an average team and doing an average job instead of coaching a dominate team to an average job.

  42. tovipapi says: Nov 28, 2011 11:34 AM

    DARN GREGG!!! That headline had me excited, I thought that Norv had been fired!!!

    Norv Turner has reduced this team to utter mediocrity, they were able to survive a couple of years because of talent despite Norv being the coach. I understand the talent has gone down in the last couple if years, but this team witjh a half way decent coach would be better than they are.

  43. yamchargers says: Nov 28, 2011 11:36 AM

    I thought that he had been fired!

    I only read the article to find out if A.J. went too (I think they both need to go).

    Now I am doubly disappointed.

    Reality is that the team isnt as good as the fans think and thats A.J.s fault.

    The team also isnt as bad as the record indicates and thats Phillips and Norvs fault, and Phillip isnt going anywhere.

  44. joetoronto says: Nov 28, 2011 11:38 AM

    chc4 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:38 AM

    He’s a bad coach so this shouldn’t be a surprise. He wasted superior talent the last few years and now that they aren’t as talented he really gets exposed.
    Right on the money.

    Their window of opportunity has been closed shut under Turner.

  45. armoderate says: Nov 28, 2011 11:38 AM

    Blame it on the coach? The kicker choked after the block. Get over it. You don’t think Fox didn’t play it conservative? Turner probably did have a little concern about Phillips throwing a pick (almost had 2 during the game). Do you blame him given how many Phillips has thrown?

  46. blackbug99 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:39 AM

    #2 may be the best description of his coaching! It’s crap!! #1 describes his future in SD. He’s pissed it away!!

  47. snowpea84 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:41 AM

    Guy is an awful coach who took a good team and turned it medicore with the help of the GM. Good thing their GM won that battle a few years ago. Good choice ownership.

  48. rpiotr01 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:41 AM

    I don’t think the run calls in OT were the problem. I think the problem was that with the game on the line, 3rd and 5 or so, the O-line got swamped and lost 5 yards. That particular set of play calls was fine. They need to execute and get at least a little bit of push.

    That said, Turner has clearly not installed a culture of winning and he has not been able to consistently devise winning game plans despite having an excellent QB, a stud WR and an all time great at TE. He’s just not good enough.

  49. radrntn says: Nov 28, 2011 11:42 AM

    Go Norv!

  50. boltsfan74 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:43 AM

    No excuses! This starts at the top! Start with AJ and then clean house! Go get Cower (GM/MGR)! and let him pick his coaches! I think he’d like the weather out here!

  51. dasmol says: Nov 28, 2011 11:46 AM

    As long as he goes

  52. harleyrider1973 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:53 AM

    A lot of so called experts put SD in the superbowl this year. Altough I agree they have the talent to go they dont have the coach. Now its to late at least for this year.

    Let me take out the interm HC job for the rest of the year, I couldnt do any worse.

  53. r81ders says: Nov 28, 2011 11:59 AM

    I don’t understand how SD thought this guy was good, in Oakland he did nothing with no good players. Marty was the best I was happy when they got norve and who let’s LT and sproils walk. Now that all is being wash out it shows he’s no good.

  54. julian456 says: Nov 28, 2011 12:03 PM

    San Diego needs a running back like Denver had with Davis to anchor the passing game. Once Elway and Denver had that running back it was two super bowls the relevancy was there. Same with San Diego Sproules apparently isn’t the one but could be a good backup but they need a good running back like Davis to get rhythmicly back in the game.

  55. ppc50 says: Nov 28, 2011 12:06 PM

    Turner is a class act, but, unfortunately, for him, not a very good track record as a head coach. It is time for SD to let him and Smith (GM) go. That being said, Turner would be a good fit to return to Dallas to become their OC next year. Garrett knows him and the Cowboy alumni (Aikman, Smith, Irvin, etc) respect him – it would be a wise move by Jones.

  56. skinsfaninnebraska says: Nov 28, 2011 12:13 PM

    Nobody in Washington or Oakland is surprised by this.

  57. bunjy96 says: Nov 28, 2011 12:19 PM

    9ersurf says: Nov 28, 2011 11:10 AM

    <he will be terminated at the end of this season and will then become the cowboys OC next season – you heard it here first.


    Nah. He's going to Tampa as OC.

  58. dikshuttle says: Nov 28, 2011 12:23 PM


    40 yards is a doable kick. It was the right call. Fire the kicker. Fire the STC.

    Hey – my team has Guano…erm..Gano.

    Fire Danny Smith

  59. charlutes says: Nov 28, 2011 12:30 PM

    Its like a Mafia flick and Norv put his hands on a made guy. He’s gotta go.

  60. 6thsense79 says: Nov 28, 2011 12:34 PM

    AJ Smith needs to go also or be demoted. I recognize and appreciate his ability to find and draft talent. In that regards he’s unmatched. But the way he handles contract negotiations always seems to put his team at a disadvantage. It also seems that the negotiations get personal with him which is not what you want from your GM.

  61. bradybbgoat says: Nov 28, 2011 12:42 PM

    This guys’ play-calling is so uninspired on offense.

    Has he ever heard of tendencies?

    I didn’t watch the game yesterday, I only saw the play by play online, but I can’t even remember how many times I read:

    1st down: Run, 1 or 2 yards
    2nd down: Long pass incomplete
    3rd down: Complete to RB, 6 yards
    4th down: Punt

    How about some play action, 1st down passes, 3rd down runs etc, etc!

    And, oh by the way, you need an intermediate passing game in the NFL. Look at my Pats, thats all we have! The Chargers can’t get by only throwing long and short.

    The Chargers offense has become predictable and as a result they cannot move the ball.

    Norv should be fired ASAP. IMO that job would be perfect for Cowher.

  62. The Shoeman says: Nov 28, 2011 12:46 PM

    You have just been * Norv’ed * again !

  63. jimmymfb says: Nov 28, 2011 1:04 PM

    Pat Shurmur makes Norv Turner look like Vince Lombardi, thank you very much.

  64. boltschick says: Nov 28, 2011 1:14 PM

    Cowher will never come to San Diego. He is a huge supporter of Marty. Owners burned a lot of bridges with that firing.

  65. goawayeverybody says: Nov 28, 2011 1:15 PM


  66. bloggingpoodlewalker says: Nov 28, 2011 1:17 PM

    RaiderNation. I just set you all strait.

  67. war27 says: Nov 28, 2011 1:20 PM

    3 runs would be a huge problem to me. You’ve lost 5 in a row, you’re a better team then a team that could lose 5 in a row, your hopes of any chance of going to the playoffs is on the line.

    You go for the throat, you go for the win.

    He doesn’t make the best choices but Hue Jackson took a big swing in the middle of the 4th quarter yesterday on the deep play to Murphy. That choice won him the game.

  68. usmutts says: Nov 28, 2011 1:25 PM

    Dear Chargers:

    Thanks so much for sending us Brees and Sproles. With them, our coach doesn’t go for the tie at the end of regulation.

    – the Saints

  69. rivers17rules says: Nov 28, 2011 1:29 PM

    This article claims: “Turner coached not to lose, just like Marty Schottenheimer before him. That inevitably led to a loss.”

    Yes Marty used to coach “not to lose.” the thing is, he didn’t lose many of those games. Norv Turner does actually lose much of the games. There really is no comparison between the two.

    All time Head coaching stats…

    Marty Schottenheimer: W=200 / L=126

    Norv Turner: W=103 / L=111

    Are there any questions who the Chargers would be better off with today?

  70. skullraider says: Nov 28, 2011 1:46 PM

    Hey where’s humbolt?????

  71. bwisnasky says: Nov 28, 2011 2:05 PM

    Hey.. But Norv won a playoff game or two… that’s what Marty couldn’t do..At least that’s what I heard from Charger fans after Norv won those couple of playoff games with Marty’s roster….I completely understood why SD got rid of a guy that went 14-2 to hire a guy who had a losing record as a head coach… oh wait.. no I didn’t. That said, at Wash and in Oakland, Norv didn’t have ANY talent on the roster… at least in SD he had a few years with some talent, that eventually got old, or was punted to the side of the road… and AJ sure hasn’t done him any favors by replacing said talent…. Things are slowly turning back they way they should be in the AFC West.. with the SD (or should I say LA) Chargers looking at their Big Brother up in Oaktown wishing they knew what it felt like to hold a Superbowl trophy.

  72. kehnn says: Nov 28, 2011 2:12 PM

    It’s not really fair to compare him to Schottenheimer. A 40 yard field goal is much higher percentage-wise than a 52 yarder. I am pretty sure that most coaches get cautious when they are in overtime and get to what they consider a safe kicking zone.
    And then, of course, Schottenheimer was a really good coach while Norv Turner- not so much.

  73. bearsstillsuck says: Nov 28, 2011 2:13 PM

    losing to tebow is a fate worse than.death. right after that game, he should of quit.

  74. tndiver says: Nov 28, 2011 2:17 PM

    I didn’t see the game, but I am more surprised that they ran the ball for ZERO yards!!! Personally, I would be more upset about that as it would have given the kicker a better chance. If I were the O-line, I would hang my head in shame.

  75. bearsstillsuck says: Nov 28, 2011 2:22 PM

    if only it’d been Rex Ryan instead of turner…

  76. robertallen1958 says: Nov 28, 2011 2:37 PM

    Norv is not afraid to throw the ball at crunch time, remember he called alot of pass plays in his day, but the nfl has a problem now with its players, nowadays you have diva wideouts that can only run go patterns and know nothing of a precise ran offense, hell they don’t even know the playbook, you have Dez in Dallas, the guy in Philly, Vincent Jackson, these guy are all about themselves and don’t know a thing about team play, maybe just maybe he just didn’t have faith in his receivers to put them self in a position to make a play….just sayin

  77. tropicpurple says: Nov 28, 2011 2:55 PM

    norseyapper says:Nov 28, 2011 10:40 AM

    Has any coach gotten less out of the talent on his team than this guy?


    Leslie Frazier

  78. comeonnowguys says: Nov 28, 2011 2:59 PM

    norseyapper says:Nov 28, 2011 10:40 AM

    Has any coach gotten less out of the talent on his team than this guy?


    Leslie Frazier

    Also, positionally speaking, Mike Tice.

  79. bsizemore68 says: Nov 28, 2011 3:05 PM

    You had me wondering if you made a mistake, I just thought you were talking about the Miami Dolphins head coach, Turner should hire him as the OC, perhaps at the college level next year. Bill

  80. dflyn003 says: Nov 28, 2011 7:56 PM

    norv is one of the worst head coaches ever

    norv needs to go look up norved on urban dictionary and get the whole picture on a inept coach who is predictable, unprepared, afraid, a loser 103-112-1 record, and of course is a clown

  81. drsongs says: Nov 28, 2011 8:06 PM

    r81ders says:
    Nov 28, 2011 11:59 AM
    “who let’s LT and sproils walk”

    It wasn’t letting LT go that was the wrong move it was letting him go a year late! Don’t get me wrong I love LT and appreciate what he did for the team throught the years but they let Micheal Turner go and then got rid of LT the next year anyway!!
    So now back to the subject at hand – How do you let Marty go after a 14 & 2 season and bring in Norv Turner? Good Grief. I have nothing against the man he’s just not the coach the Chargers need. From day one I’ve been irritated with that move unfortunately A.J. is “family” so fat chance of getting him outta there. The thing is he’s made some good moves but unfortunately the bad moves couldn’t be overcome…

  82. jaybchrgrfantrublu says: Nov 28, 2011 9:55 PM

    what i can’t beleive, is with the game on the line in the 4th qtr, Denver 3rd and long . And Norv or his defense coach continue with a 3 man rush! They could have put the game away by putting pressure on Tebow!!! N orv T urner needs to grow a sack, he’ s the Eunich coach of the NFL!

  83. jaybchrgrfantrublu says: Nov 28, 2011 10:04 PM

    Norv Turner once again,is the Eunich of NFL coaches!

  84. jaybchrgrfantrublu says: Nov 28, 2011 10:07 PM

    Correction “Eunuch” Turner Nonads Norv!

  85. mystereo says: Nov 28, 2011 11:57 PM

    Five years of Norv after inheriting 14-2 roster:
    2007 playoffs: 2-1
    2008 playoffs: 1-1
    2009 playoffs: 0-1
    2010 season: Does not qualify.
    2011 season: Losing record.

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