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Report: Spanos will “almost certainly” fire both Smith and Turner

Norv Turner AP

Both Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith and head coach Norv Turner are near-locks to be fired at the end of the season, according to a report in San Diego.

Chargers President Dean Spanos feels he has “no choice” to fire Turner, and Spanos will “almost certainly” fire Smith as well, sources told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune.

Spanos appears to be particularly worried that the fans have tuned the Chargers out, and it may take new leadership to change that.

It’s easy to see why the fans have tuned the Chargers out: Barring something shocking happening in December, the Chargers are going to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season, despite playing in an AFC West that should be very winnable. Someone has to take the fall for that.

It has already been widely reported that that “someone” would be Turner, who in November reportedly needed a drastic turnaround to keep his job. But the “someone” may also be Smith, even though his contract runs through the 2014 season.

That contract requires Spanos to pay Smith $6 million over the next three years. But things have gotten so bad in San Diego that Spanos may decide that’s the cost of turning his team around.

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63 Responses to “Report: Spanos will “almost certainly” fire both Smith and Turner”
  1. patcheatiots says: Dec 3, 2011 8:44 AM

    Norv Jets New OC 2012…
    Marty Ball Jr. Must Go

  2. trollhammer20 says: Dec 3, 2011 8:47 AM

    What took so long?

  3. jc1958cool says: Dec 3, 2011 8:49 AM

    5 yrs too late for smith! what an idiot, keep tomlinson let turner go, keep the mouth rivers let brees go. spanos can’t be too bright either

  4. tombrookshire says: Dec 3, 2011 8:50 AM

    Holy crap! I’m here in Philly reading this and thinking how refreshing it is that an owner actually cares what the fans think.

  5. mcjon22 says: Dec 3, 2011 8:51 AM

    Somewhere, LT is laughing and Eli Manning is nodding his head

  6. tomsd1 says: Dec 3, 2011 8:52 AM

    Holy media uproar? Maybe the http://www.xxsportsradio.com continued “review” on the airwaves of the Lord of NO Rings (GM AJ Smith) and of coach Norbert the Dull has caused Spanos the Younger to actually come off the golf course and think about making a decision?

    Good work laddies.

  7. skoobyfl says: Dec 3, 2011 8:53 AM

    LT is injured & laughing on a worse off team.

  8. swampymux12 says: Dec 3, 2011 8:53 AM

    Time to go… it’s been said for a long time that Turner is a great coordinator, but a not so good HC. The fact that in the last decade that the Chargers have not won a super bowl as the most (or at least one of the most) talented teams in the AFC is beyond me. The fact that Smith let this team become so “untalented” in basically a two year span, is his ticket out of town as well.

  9. buzmeg says: Dec 3, 2011 8:54 AM

    Then some team will then hire Norv as their OC. Some folks are just not cut out to be “the guy in charge.” Norv is one of them.

  10. jeffw says: Dec 3, 2011 8:57 AM

    If Spanos “cares about the fans” that would be news to all of us. They basically have mostly given an FYOU to the fans and our opinions.

    As for AJ, he is a victim of his own arrogance. You can be as arrogant and condescending as you want when you’re winning. But now he needs support from the very people he has been pissing on for years, the fans and media and as you might expect, we’d like to collectively tell him to GF himself.

    Norv is just a case study in the Peter Principle. He will go back to being a good coordinator somewhere, ala Wade Phillips.

  11. konichiwabtches says: Dec 3, 2011 9:00 AM

    They would both be gone already except there’s no coordinator here that they want to interim so spanos won’t make a move on either untill after the season.
    Everyone in SD is rooting for them to loose out, so that there’s no chance in hell either one of them stays.
    Looks like its gonna be a happy new year in SD.

  12. raider23mike says: Dec 3, 2011 9:03 AM

    And the Oakland Raiders Era is born

    Why is it we always make a Superbowl run early every decade and the run only lasts about 3-4 yrs then it’s rebuild for 9 yrs.. Or until the other decade arrives?

  13. r81ders says: Dec 3, 2011 9:06 AM

    Marty ball is done Norv look so good with the set up Marty left him, now that da raidas rebuilt looks like SD has a few years to catch up good job Norv LMAO

  14. nysaysbringit says: Dec 3, 2011 9:14 AM

    SD Chargers team and entire staff is overrated now …and has been for the last 7yrs. End of story.

  15. hmpennypacker says: Dec 3, 2011 9:15 AM

    Full house clean? Cowher anyone?

  16. igster1 says: Dec 3, 2011 9:17 AM

    norv oc for americas team

  17. eaglesnoles05 says: Dec 3, 2011 9:18 AM

    I don’t know if they would’ve won a title with Schottenheimer, but they wouldve had more 13-3 seasons at least.

    Norv sucks.

  18. phillyphever says: Dec 3, 2011 9:19 AM

    Dear Jeffery Lurie,

    Take a page from Spanos and fire the three stooges (Reid, Roseman and Banner) when the season’s over.

    Signed,

    Eagles fans everywhere.

  19. geniusesq says: Dec 3, 2011 9:34 AM

    I guess Mr. Manning was right.

  20. babar61 says: Dec 3, 2011 9:34 AM

    The chargers are now fully “Norved”. Good luck, it will be years before they recover.

  21. chetwynnr says: Dec 3, 2011 9:35 AM

    Hey Charger fans! Be careful what you wish for, Matt Millen is still available.

  22. sjayski says: Dec 3, 2011 9:36 AM

    Andy Reid is going to resign in Philly and will be coaching in San Diego next season. It’s a perfect fit for Andy, and he’ll have a field day with Rivers.

  23. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Dec 3, 2011 9:36 AM

    Good move. It seems that nearly half the head coaches in the league will be out.

  24. konichiwabtches says: Dec 3, 2011 9:38 AM

    And the Oakland Raiders Era is born

    Why is it we always make a Superbowl run early every decade and the run only lasts about 3-4 yrs then it’s rebuild for 9 yrs.. Or until the other decade arrives?

     Word IS that aj will get picked up by oakland when he’s fired.
    So the jokes on you pal!!

  25. anhdazman says: Dec 3, 2011 9:42 AM

    Waiting to hear from all the Charger fans about how great of a December team you are….any time now…..
    Where’s all the Turner supporters now?
    AJ Smith and his ego blew so many chances. I mean SD had some incredible teams with talent both on defense and offense, but they choked every single post season. Just couldn’t get it done. Start all over again…

  26. wtfchiefs says: Dec 3, 2011 9:44 AM

    “Spanos appears to be particularly worried that the fans have tuned the Chargers out”
    ================================
    When have the Chargers fans ever “tuned in” That stadium is always 50/50 in the stands.

  27. Keyser Söze says: Dec 3, 2011 9:47 AM

    NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Long live AJ and Norv.

  28. chmba says: Dec 3, 2011 9:47 AM

    SD fans probably shouldn’t get their hopes up. Any owner dumb enough to keep A J Smith around this long and give him extensions and/or to hire Norv with his resume probably isn’t going to suddenly get smart!

  29. jimmysimpson55 says: Dec 3, 2011 9:50 AM

    AJ Smith is the worst GM in football.

    Got rid of Eli Manning
    Got rid of Drew Brees
    Got rid of LT
    Got rid of Michael Turner
    Got rid of Marty after 14-2 season
    Had the professionalism of a child
    Hated by all the players

  30. gdeli says: Dec 3, 2011 9:54 AM

    long overdue. right into crap after marty left. Why get rid of darren sproles? bad mgmt.

  31. dlmcc1010 says: Dec 3, 2011 10:13 AM

    If you really take a look at A.J. Smith’s track record there, its mind boggling how he held on this long. Lets also hope the Norv Turner HC idea can finally be put to rest so he could go back to being the really good offensive coordinator he is.

    Letting Drew Brees go to keep Philip Rivers was a disaster. The drafts, the signings have all been horrific the past 5 years or so. This team should have easily been built to dominate that horrible division for a decade. Missed opportunity and the G.M needs to take responsibility for that

  32. blackrebeldog09 says: Dec 3, 2011 10:13 AM

    Dont forget the biggest blunder of all, Darren Sproles, the MVP of the Saints was run out by these clowns.

  33. seatownballers says: Dec 3, 2011 10:18 AM

    Aj smith is the worst. Examples arent in draft class which is typically a guess anyways, but letting quality guys go. Brees, turner, sproles…
    Ya gotta keep the talent

  34. TheDPR says: Dec 3, 2011 10:25 AM

    Smith has been absolutely horrible.

    Former Chargers are contributing to wins across the league while current Chargers can’t seem to get out of their own way.

    At just the RB position alone they’ve gone from Turner/Tomlinson/Sproles to Ryan “Boo Boo McFumblepuss” Matthews and Mike “slowpoke” Tolbert.

    At QB, Drew Brees v. Philip Rivers.

    And how are Smith’s draft picks working out?

  35. nfl fan says: Dec 3, 2011 10:26 AM

    So at the end of the day, the Giants have Eli, a Lombardi Trophy, and a sold out new stadium, and the Chargers will have Rivers, empty seats and nothing to show for those draft picks.

    Rivers is very good, but the Chargers lost on that deal.

  36. Derty Ernie says: Dec 3, 2011 10:36 AM

    Dr Mr Spanos, its well known in business that if one is planning firings and layoffs its best to do it way before Christmas so said individuals are aware to not go out and get in debt buying gifts.
    If I were you I would just do the deed now before its too late. Besided it isn’t like either of them will be turning the team around soon. As the song says “turn out the lights, the partys over” and yours is for this year.

    PS, Norv I wouldn’t be buying any boxes for your wife that have the Lexus music playing if you know what I mean.

  37. j0esixpack says: Dec 3, 2011 10:49 AM

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict what will happen.

    Spanos will have a change of heart and stick with Turner and Smith.

    Then in mid February, once all the best coach and GM candidates have been hired by other teams, Spanos will have another change of heart and fire Turner and Smith.

    Left without many options, Spanos will hire Marty Shottenheimer as Head Coach and GM.

  38. blawrence95 says: Dec 3, 2011 10:53 AM

    Norv to TB and Cowher to SD!

  39. tomsd1 says: Dec 3, 2011 11:09 AM

    LOL Joesix: The only other thing is the Bolts will be making the announcements from their new home in LA.

  40. Rob Murphy says: Dec 3, 2011 11:18 AM

    When AJ fired Marty and said a 14-2 season was meaningless and there was no outcry from season ticket holders when they were being told that the significant investment they were making in the team also didn’t matter, AJ was still riding on the rep that Butler built and the drafts that Nix masterminded. He has managed to evaporate all that. Little things like having Chargers’ park closed to the fans – not by policy but by simple maintenance issues – and AJ saying that fan access wasn’t important didn’t help. Letting talent walk away from San Diego without any benefit is a fine tradition upheld by both the Padres and the Chargers. Some cities are stagnant for sports, and the once rising tide of fan appreciation in San Diego has more than a little green tint to it; it’s an algae bloom that requires emptying and starting over. Too bad.

  41. pacificnw7722 says: Dec 3, 2011 11:37 AM

    Chargers President Dean Spano needs to get a QUALITY coach like Cowher or Jeff Fisher. Stay away from the wanna bees.

  42. sixfootsunday says: Dec 3, 2011 12:04 PM

    As a long suffer Chargers fan, all I can say is about time. I just hope Spanos has the balls to follow through with it.

  43. nosaintsfan79 says: Dec 3, 2011 12:15 PM

    As a New Orleans Saints fan I think AJ Smith should be inducted to the Saints Hall of Fame for all he has given to our franchise

  44. joetoronto says: Dec 3, 2011 12:24 PM

    NO!

    They’re both doing an awesome job, Mr Spanos and besides, why waste all that money it’s going to costs to get out of their contracts?

    Norval will do it next year. Remember, you guys are the perennial preseason Super Bowl Champs!

  45. keeponhating says: Dec 3, 2011 12:40 PM

    What a bummer………. For KC Oakland and Denver

  46. icanspeel says: Dec 3, 2011 12:59 PM

    It’s definitely time for AJ and Norv to go, but you can’t 100% hate their past since AJ helped turn the Chargers from a team with the #1 pick in 2004 to being competitive and division winners. And Norv did what Marty never did.. win a few playoff games.

    But it comes down to “What have you done for me lately?” and neither have done anything positive the last 2 years so it is time to go.

  47. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 3, 2011 1:17 PM

    Cowher is a better fit in San Diego. Tired of people linking him to the Giants.

    The Bolts run a 3-4 and although their DC will probably get fired along with Norv, that’s more conducive to Cowher’s style, IF he comes back to coach at all. Honestly he’s nothing without Dick LeBeau.

    Norv will be the Giants next OC.

  48. huskersrock1 says: Dec 3, 2011 1:20 PM

    Norval should have never been hired in the first place, the GM deserves to be fired for wasting all of that talent.

  49. The Prophet says: Dec 3, 2011 1:21 PM

    Smart move for a team that’s been on an “above average” treadmill for years handicapped by 1-2 dumb moves every season and coaches incapable of getting over a hump.

    Firing the coach definitely wouldn’t be enough, as AJ Smith is the guy who sent Drew Brees packing for Phillip Rivers while the Chargers window was closing, so by the time Rivers was ready the rest of the team was already finished.

  50. 4evrnyt says: Dec 3, 2011 2:34 PM

    Unfortunately for Chargers fans this news comes two seasons to late.

    Sad to think that the Chargers for the past 5 seasons now have probably been the second or third most talented team in the NFL but yet achieved so little during that window. This can only be attributed to the coach and general manager and again it’s only to bad that this hasn’t happened sooner. The window of talent on this team is already slamming shut. It’s quite possible that they’ve completely worn out and ruined Rivers and if that’s the case then they are truly headed for the bottom of the division, again.

  51. alqj24 says: Dec 3, 2011 3:17 PM

    All of you guys saying “kept Rivers let go of Brees, LT gone” etc, you have to keep in mind that Brees was coming off a shoulder(not too sure) injury that was serious, and LT just wasn’t the same anymore. Michael Turner wanted to go because he wanted a starting job. Since they had LT, he wouldn’t stay. Sproles is a decision I did hate. He was the little reliable man who can get you a first down. I thought that he wanted to leave bc he wanted to get more run, but ended up in NOLA(kinda the same situation). The draft picks have been questionable at best. The FA policy has been very bad. No impact guys coming in when we need the help. The arrogance from AJ Smith is horrible. Norv Turner better not get a HC job… Ever. He is good OC but we need new mentality on offense so bye bye. SD needs a defensive minded coach to have our D be on top of their game, and a solid OC to take care of our offense. And all this opinions are coming from a AJ Smith/Norv hater…. But when you judge, you need all the facts in front of you.

  52. chris6523 says: Dec 3, 2011 3:26 PM

    Without a dog in the hunt, my take is that these moves are about three years overdue. If I were a Charger fan, I’d be pissed about the last 5 years.

  53. judgejuday says: Dec 3, 2011 3:38 PM

    Derty Ernie says:
    Dec 3, 2011 10:36 AM
    Dr Mr Spanos, its well known in business that if one is planning firings and layoffs its best to do it way before Christmas so said individuals are aware to not go out and get in debt buying gifts.
    If I were you I would just do the deed now before its too late. Besided it isn’t like either of them will be turning the team around soon. As the song says “turn out the lights, the partys over” and yours is for this year.

    PS, Norv I wouldn’t be buying any boxes for your wife that have the Lexus music playing if you know what I mean.

    —————————–

    Ernie.,
    AJ and Norv will be paid close to 10 mil combined, fired or employed…

    Affording Christmas gifts is the least of their worries.

    Get educated

  54. souldogdave says: Dec 3, 2011 4:03 PM

    Well, we all knew this was coming. The skill players got old and beat-up. The team has been on a downward spiral for a couple of years now, and the Raiders own them. The indignity of losing is taking it’s toll. They had a couple of good drafts back when, but it’s all over now. Norv is the kiss of death, and the Chargers have inherited the AFC West curse.

  55. vanmorrissey says: Dec 3, 2011 4:11 PM

    Spanos needs to fire both and make a ballsy call since funding for a new stadium would be on the ballot next year and a losing team does not bode well for a positive vote. He needs to make a big hiring splash whether it’s both GM and HC, or a HC willing to put up with AJ’s BS. Watch for a big name hire who might finally be able to instill some discipline and toughness in a soft, disinterested team. While they’ve not been blown out in any game and haven’t given hope they surely also have not performed up to expectations the last two years. No excuses, every team has injuries.

  56. dempsey63 says: Dec 3, 2011 5:01 PM

    The NFL will forgive any cheering in the press box.

  57. bengaldiplomat says: Dec 3, 2011 8:15 PM

    Guess signing the free agent defensive centerpiece with the playoff record (Takeo Spikes) was a foretelling of events.

  58. zonedogz says: Dec 3, 2011 10:04 PM

    AJ Smith rode John Butler’s coat tails all the way from Buffalo and got way to much credit for the success there and early on with Butler in San Diego. It was all Butler in both places and his firing is long overdue.

  59. steelerchicken says: Dec 3, 2011 10:21 PM

    The Cowher to SD will have legs since he wanted to draft Rivers ahead of Big Ben!

    Are we blaming Tebow for another coach being fired?

  60. ljtola says: Dec 4, 2011 3:26 AM

    almost certainly? as in positively might?

    get rid of AJ, the shrewd GM who drafted two Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks?

  61. ljtola says: Dec 4, 2011 3:43 AM

    alqj24 says:
    Dec 3, 2011 3:17 PM
    All of you guys saying “kept Rivers let go of Brees, LT gone” etc, you have to keep in mind that Brees was coming off a shoulder(not too sure) injury that was serious…

    it was common knowledge at the time that they were going to let Brees walk even before the shoulder injury at the end of the season

  62. tomsd1 says: Dec 4, 2011 6:56 AM

    Some of the best comments I have read on one of these blogs. Way to bring it. Too bad the Bolts can’t match this.

  63. tomsd1 says: Dec 4, 2011 8:30 AM

    The problem is the Lord of NO Rings let a number of players walk without getting anything in return. The former PE teacher, John Butler’s asst – has been in way over his head since he was promoted after kissing Spanos the Younger’s backside.

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