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Chargers’ late surge may save the jobs of A.J. Smith and Norv Turner

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Three weeks ago, reports out of San Diego said Chargers owner Dean Spanos was almost certain to fire both General Manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner. But a lot has changed in three weeks.

The Chargers haven’t just won their last three games, they’ve blown out all three opponents and suddenly looked like one of the best teams in football. And all of a sudden the reports out of San Diego are saying that Spanos is having a change of heart.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Spanos has been heartened by the fact that the roster Smith has put together is talented enough to be playing great football late in a tough season, and that the team clearly hasn’t tuned Turner out. And that may be enough for Spanos to give the coach and the G.M. another year.

Spanos was also worried that Chargers fans had given up on the team, but he now believes that the fan base is excited about a late-season surge that has the Chargers in playoff contention.

If the Chargers’ late-season surge continues at Detroit on Sunday and then in the season finale against the Raiders, they can finish 9-7 and — if they get some help — make the playoffs. That sounded farfetched three weeks ago, but it now looks entirely possible. And if that’s what happens, Smith and Turner are likely to return in 2012.

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53 Responses to “Chargers’ late surge may save the jobs of A.J. Smith and Norv Turner”
  1. aaroncurryisbust says: Dec 23, 2011 6:45 AM

    Norv should never have been in consideration to be fired. He’s a brilliant offensive mastermind, but can only work with the garbage players that AJ “Lord of No Rings” Smith gives him to work with.

  2. deanvernonwormer says: Dec 23, 2011 6:46 AM

    Great. Chargers miraculously make it to the first round of the playoffs and then lose to the Ravens or Steelers. And you SD fans are stuck with Norv for another season. Chargers fan: GO RAIDERS!

  3. lance19 says: Dec 23, 2011 6:47 AM

    Norv is not the most lovable guy…
    but he called a game that made a
    good Raven defense look like fools.

    Not one punt (or turnover),

  4. tg1896 says: Dec 23, 2011 6:51 AM

    This is simply depressing. Are you kidding me? Norv Turner has always been a turnaround specialist. He takes playoff teams with loads of talent and makes them irrelevant.

  5. jjrs89 says: Dec 23, 2011 6:55 AM

    The only thing that should save their jobs is the super bowl. This is the same story with the chargers EVERY year

  6. worldwidebleater says: Dec 23, 2011 6:58 AM

    If Norv was so brilliant, his teams would play well in September and October. His teams in Washington did the same thing. Play a great half season and poo the bed for the other half. He just happens to have better talent in SD, so they make the playoffs regularly. Norv has been circling the drain since he got there. Its time to perform the last rites and pull the plug.

    That said, he could be my O coordinator any time. He’s just not a head coach.

  7. drednot says: Dec 23, 2011 7:13 AM

    Some men are not meant to be head coaches, period. Fantastic coordinators, yes, head coaches, no.

  8. joetoronto says: Dec 23, 2011 7:14 AM

    “Chargers’ late surge may save the jobs of A.J. Smith and Norv Turner”


  9. tbtrojan says: Dec 23, 2011 7:22 AM

    When a GM/HC combo has been together 5 years and gotten worse results each passing season it’s a sing that it’s time to blow the thing up and get new people in there…
    2007 – 2 playoffs wins
    2008 – 1 playoff win
    2009 – zero playoff wins
    2010 – 9-7, missed the playoffs.
    2011 – 8-8 (based on splitting the final 2), missed the playoffs

    It’s not like either has the best of historical track records at their job to fall back on and say “I can get results.

    Poor Charger fans, keep your heads up, it could be worse, you could be a Bucs fan like me and stuck with Morris.

  10. socaldave2011 says: Dec 23, 2011 7:23 AM

    Please let the Chargers keep Norv Turner, we all need lots of laughs!

  11. inbbwetrust12 says: Dec 23, 2011 7:30 AM

    My brother in law is a Chargers Fan and he thinks the worst thing for the Chargers is for them to keep winning this year.

    Stick a fork in them – they are done.

  12. jmo5 says: Dec 23, 2011 7:30 AM

    Ha! Norved again.

  13. seatownballers says: Dec 23, 2011 7:32 AM

    Chargers will never get a ring with those two clowns. Never ever

  14. aschwartz2011 says: Dec 23, 2011 7:34 AM

    makes you think about those Rivers hurting rumours from before. he finally looks healthy now, and he is back to his own eliteish level

  15. kmdp4 says: Dec 23, 2011 7:42 AM

    That’s a shame then because they will never deliver anymore then playoff disappointment.

  16. jjackwagon says: Dec 23, 2011 7:54 AM

    Dear Dean,

    Thank you for the wonderful Christmas present.

    The rest of the NFL

  17. footballgod87 says: Dec 23, 2011 8:02 AM

    Same time next year

  18. atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 23, 2011 8:04 AM

    It’s a Festivus miracle! The rest of the AFC West, and AFC for that matter is smiling at this news!

    Happy Festivus everyone!

  19. Keyser Söze says: Dec 23, 2011 8:11 AM

    Oh I certainly hope so.

  20. bostonhasrealhockey says: Dec 23, 2011 8:14 AM

    Bring marty back

  21. alexgohn says: Dec 23, 2011 8:20 AM

    Fans of other teams. Lets all cheer together.

  22. wtfpft says: Dec 23, 2011 8:21 AM

    Wow Chargers keep Norv, chiefs make Crennel the HC and Denver sticks with tebow, things couldn’t be better for the Raiders.

  23. icanspeel says: Dec 23, 2011 8:24 AM

    The opinions of fans and personnel has changed constantly throughout the year. Lose 6, fire them, win 3, keep them. Lose next game, fire, win next, maybe keep them if they win next game. Since they obviously aren’t getting fired this year it would make sense to evaluate it when they are done playing.

  24. joetoronto says: Dec 23, 2011 8:30 AM

    Happy Festivus.

  25. almighty1 says: Dec 23, 2011 8:33 AM

    I love it when teams make the choice to be mediocre.

  26. atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 23, 2011 8:34 AM

    wtfpft: Especially since you’ve got all those draft picks to keep reloading…oh wait! Hue Jackson isn’t a good coach, and by the looks of the Palmer trade he’s an even worse GM, what’s the saying about glass houses and throwing stones?

  27. lanzurrah says: Dec 23, 2011 8:36 AM

    Amazing what happens when your roster starts to get healthy. The Chargers have done pretty well considering they’re missing like 6 of their offensive linemen..,,and three defensive linemen.

  28. richm2256 says: Dec 23, 2011 8:36 AM

    So ….. winning 5 straight to go 9-7 is considered to be a GOOD thing, then?

  29. ticalcaldwell says: Dec 23, 2011 8:53 AM

    marvin Lewis pulls this every year….He will have a season of 6000 penalties and terrible coaching….but have great games during the final 3 games of the season….it is how he has been in cincy for so long……………as a bengals fan…..I am done with this guy

  30. brownwood26 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:07 AM

    So basically Tebow-syndrome has traveled to San Diego…”who cares if you suck for 3 quarters…as long as you show up in the 4th, we love you!”

  31. jc1958cool says: Dec 23, 2011 9:07 AM

    can’t be any worse than marvin lewis! what a joke

  32. trollhammer20 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:11 AM

    Great! Shall we pencil them if for a 1-4 start, then?

  33. riverhorsey says: Dec 23, 2011 9:12 AM

    Charger fans must be celebrating in the streets

  34. pdxbolt says: Dec 23, 2011 9:23 AM

    Sigh…..way to crap in the fans stockings Dean. AJ absolutely has to go, and Norv should be right behind him. The only thing that should save them is a deep playoff run, and once again the Chargers need help outside of their control to even get to the dance. But it’s not as if Denver hasn’t collasped before in the final weeks of the season, and the Chargers have two winnable games left.

  35. ijahru says: Dec 23, 2011 9:23 AM

    The Chargers need a change in the front office and head coach positions. How do you let Darren Sproles get away? It’s not like they had a better option. How many more years are they going to let Norv coach them to a dismal record to start the season then have to scramble to make the playoffs. The Chargers need a shakeup while they still have Phillip Rivers.

  36. pastabelly says: Dec 23, 2011 9:29 AM

    Let me get this thinking down right. So the GM should keep his job because the team is obvioulsy very talented and the coach who has them at 7-7 should keep his job because he has a coached this very talented team to a 7-7 record. Okay, got it.

  37. pastabelly says: Dec 23, 2011 9:32 AM

    wtfpft says:Dec 23, 2011 8:21 AM

    Wow Chargers keep Norv, chiefs make Crennel the HC and Denver sticks with tebow, things couldn’t be better for the Raiders.
    You forgot to add that the Raiders keep trading away their draft picks.

  38. mrplow3 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:33 AM

    Norv is the most overhated coach in the NFL.

    I’ve never understood it, with all the horrendous coaches in the NFL nobody takes as much heat as Norv it seems.

    Guys, he’s not that bad. Relax.

  39. jjackwagon says: Dec 23, 2011 9:39 AM

    I give them credit for blowing out the Ravens but the other two wins in this “winning streak” came against the Jags and Bills. Two teams that are collectively 9-19 on the season.
    Don’t get to excited Charger fan.

  40. rajbais says: Dec 23, 2011 9:39 AM

    Lions and Suh, BEAT THEM!!!

  41. raiderlyfe510 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:42 AM

    Whoa…Norvell Turner may stay with the Chargers???? Best news I heard this week.

    Guess the owner doesn’t realize that when you have a veteran team who only plays well when their back is against the wall, they have a bad head coach who lacks motivational and leadership skills..Good Job San Diego…Stay the course.

  42. xpensivewinos says: Dec 23, 2011 9:59 AM

    Maybe Spanos figures the folks in Los Angeles will be so thrilled to have a football team that it will take them awhile to realize AJ Smith and Norv Turner are brutal.

    He’ll have made a king’s ransom by then……

  43. r81ders says: Dec 23, 2011 10:05 AM

    Charger fans need to remember what did this guy do with Da Raidas not a dam thing, he only look good with the team Marty left him and now that its being wash out and he’s draft picks ain’t planning out he’s true so called skills of HC look like CRAP ..he did not a dame thing to help Oakland all credit goes to Marty for SD, Norv is just killing this charger team he came in and ran your team to the ground…good luck SD fans if u keep him. we went 7 years straight of losing know how it feels..and people say we gave up draft picks so what have u dumb asses heard of free agents and players will come to Oakland because Hue is a good guy people will play for..our records are the same with alot of teams and we have lots of free agents we pick don’t give me that u need draft picks all the time and we still can trade players for picks so look out the box raider hatters.

  44. 6ball says: Dec 23, 2011 10:07 AM


    Chargers Happy Hour : 2 for 1 Maalox.


  45. babar61 says: Dec 23, 2011 10:07 AM


    I love it!

  46. bozosforall says: Dec 23, 2011 10:17 AM

    Time for the Lord of No Rings to be fired. He is the bigger problem (and bigger idiot) in SD.

  47. hodog16 says: Dec 23, 2011 10:45 AM

    The only thing that should save their jobs is making the Divisional Round or later. Winning three games in a row after losing six doesn’t do it in my book.

  48. ahostiletakeover says: Dec 23, 2011 10:53 AM

    Wow, this may be one of the most presumptively bad articles this site has posted. I fail to see how a possible 9-7 season changes anything, the Chargers have played this season like they have the last 3. The coaching staff and players continually shoot themselves in the foot, get hot late and sometimes come down with a playoff berth and sometimes do not. The last season this team played up to its ability the entire season was 2006 and after 5 years of essentially the same story, a 3 game winning streak to get the team to .500 is gonna save Smith and Turner again? I doubt it, but then again Spanos has stuck with the mediocrity formula so maybe its not as presumptive as I thought…

  49. realitypolice says: Dec 23, 2011 11:11 AM

    You could pretty much write this headline every year.

    As some point someone has to be held accountable for the terrible starts that create these massive holes they are endlessly forced to crawl out of.

  50. kpow55 says: Dec 23, 2011 11:18 AM

    Ideal scenario….. Lions beat the Chargers to get in this year, 1st round exit.

    Norv gets fired, Chargers make in in next year and make the AFC Championship game.

    Here’s to hoping, anyway.

  51. speaktruthtopower1 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:45 PM

    Houston, you are the Roger Maris of the NFL, all *Asterik* Season, with success only because #18 was in street clothes in Week 1’s win. Your entire season just regurged on you last night, posers. Colts leveled it pretty good with y’all, even without Big Head. What does that feel like, Texan fans? Now your benching your rookie meat QB? Wow.

  52. raiders757 says: Dec 23, 2011 2:49 PM

    atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 23, 2011 8:34 AM

    wtfpft: Especially since you’ve got all those draft picks to keep reloading…oh wait! Hue Jackson isn’t a good coach, and by the looks of the Palmer trade he’s an even worse GM, what’s the saying about glass houses and throwing stones?


    The thing is, we have only had one season to judge Hue as a HC, and less then a season to form an opinion about the Palmer trade, so it’s a bit premature to make such bold assumptions. In the case of the Chargers, we’ve had decades to realize that all they’ll ever be, is mediocre.

  53. boltjolt says: Dec 23, 2011 5:33 PM

    Lol, a decade later and the Raiders still haven’t had a winning recordor finished ahead of the chargers. And the Palmer trade was awful and so is he.
    However decisions I am reading now is why Dean Spanos will never win admiring with that puss attitude. Norv must go.

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