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Relationship with Rivers may have saved Norv Turner

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Leading up to San Diego’s final game of the season, quarterback Philip Rivers passionately spoke up for his coach Norv Turner.

After the game, Rivers defended Turner even more vocally to the media. And then he took the message directly to owner Dean Spanos.

Rivers and “several other Chargers” went directly to owner Dean Spanos to make the case to keep Turner, according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora. It’s not a stretch to say Rivers’ words and actions may have saved Turner’s gig.

“Philip has a great relationship with one of the best coaches he could possibly have,” Spanos said. “You can build your whole team around that relationship.”

We still don’t understand the decision, even after Spanos’ interview with Florio Tuesday. San Diego’s great play at the end of the season just proved how the team underachieved this season. Just like they did last year. If their six-game losing streak came later in the year, Turner would almost certainly be gone.

But all the losses should count equally, no matter when they happen. The team badly underachieved again.

Turner does work with Rivers very well. But Rivers is talented enough to work with a lot of good coaches. His loyalty is admirable, but it could cost him a chance to win big in 2012.

Rivers is talented enough and passionate enough to possibly have saved Turner’s job.

“If I knew [I saved Turner’s job], I wouldn’t tell you,” Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “If I believe in something, I wouldn’t feel good if I didn’t [say it]. I didn’t do it to just defend the coach.”

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28 Responses to “Relationship with Rivers may have saved Norv Turner”
  1. regelswritings says: Jan 4, 2012 9:33 AM

    Just to get this straight, a horrible quarterback is the reason the team kept their horrible coach?

  2. Chris Fiorentino says: Jan 4, 2012 9:37 AM

    “If their six-game losing streak came later in the year, Turner would almost certainly be gone.”

    The exact same thing could be said about Andy Reid…if the Eagles had gone from 8-4 to 8-8, he almost certainly be gone too.

  3. plastics017 says: Jan 4, 2012 9:40 AM

    Welcome to another year of mediocrity and underachieving, Philip and the Chargers.

  4. llsinning says: Jan 4, 2012 9:41 AM

    I can’t help but recognize the uncanny resemblance between the chargers and the cowboys. Two teams filled with talent that should be in the play offs every year but continue to disappoint and lose to lesser opponents.

  5. rj88888 says: Jan 4, 2012 9:44 AM

    Players are hired to play. When they are involved in team management they make bias decisions and coaches stay with the team when most outsiders wonder why?

  6. duanethomas says: Jan 4, 2012 9:47 AM

    2 Loses next year.

    Denver Tebows will wipe the floor with these two.

    2012 AFC West Champs. Tebow and the Broncos!

  7. joetoronto says: Jan 4, 2012 9:52 AM

    BFF’s?

  8. bspurloc says: Jan 4, 2012 9:59 AM

    .
    or maybe the fact the colts were losing because rivers couldnt complete passes to his un-injured low quality receivers….
    but then again whoever let sproles go needs to be talked too

  9. garyman1 says: Jan 4, 2012 10:02 AM

    Benjamin Franklin once said that the definition of an idiot is someone who does the exact same thing time after time…. and expects a different result.

  10. polapea says: Jan 4, 2012 10:07 AM

    So what’s the excuse for keeping AJ Smith

    Schottenheimer 14-2 = fired
    Turner 8-8 = another year

    All because AJ Smith is an egomaniacal jackass.

  11. luckynumberlucas says: Jan 4, 2012 10:13 AM

    I can live with Turner, he is a good playcaller, I can understand that Rivers likes him, the offense had success with him when Rivers played up to his standards.

    But Smith?

    He may be THE worst GM in the league, should’ve fired him when he let Schotty go…

  12. mikeyhigs says: Jan 4, 2012 10:15 AM

    Spanos waited until Jeff Lurie decided to keep Andy Reid before deciding on Norv and AJ. Now Spanos is rooting for Andy to fail next year so he can hire him.

  13. phillyphever says: Jan 4, 2012 10:17 AM

    There’s also something else that might have saved Turner’s ass from being fired: there was a report from Mike Francesa yesterday that said Lurie called the Chargers and said “stay away from my coach (Reid)”. So to the Charger fans out there: I’m sorry my team’s stupidity caused your owner to do something stupid.

  14. broncosaddict says: Jan 4, 2012 10:20 AM

    @duanethomas

    While I hope your right, I seriously doubt it.

    Unless he greatly improves his passing ability (without staring at his target), we will be going no where…..
    on the bright side we should have a real good chance at having next years number one draft pick….possibly joining the lions in a perfect 0-16 season…

  15. martylaughlin says: Jan 4, 2012 10:27 AM

    I feel your pain San Diego. As a Bears fan, losing Jerry Angelo was Christmas come late. Hope you guys get your wish next season

  16. yamchargers says: Jan 4, 2012 10:33 AM

    This team didnt necessarily underachieve. It lacks talent. And thats not Norvs fault.

    Sure Rivers is a good QB that had a bad season, but other than that the team is really not that good.

  17. themackstrong says: Jan 4, 2012 10:52 AM

    Norv Turner is an awesome play caller. The schemes he puts out there to get big plays in screen and vertical game. Sometimes he’s can be conservative but I think the problem is how many defensive draft picks worked out for them. Besides Phillips where has the pass rush come from? I don’t follow them enough to know who their coordinator on D is now but they lost a pretty good one that’s coaching in Carolina. AJ Smith is the man that had to go.

  18. mrnick66 says: Jan 4, 2012 11:08 AM

    so a bad coach saves his job by being friends with a regressing qb ok

  19. nineroutsider says: Jan 4, 2012 11:33 AM

    I am probably the only one on here who will defend the Chargers, but I think they made the right move…it seemed to me that the players are the ones to blame for their failures. I thought that the coaching was good enough if the players could go out and execute and capitalize but they couldn’t. It is a theme with these players whether it’s Marty or Norv…

    I do have questions for the GM Smith though as the talent on the defensive side of the ball isn’t good enough. Also, we had Manusky in SF for a few years and I couldn’t stand him. The secondary was never well prepared. That is probably on Norv, but maybe Smith?

  20. jasleach says: Jan 4, 2012 11:36 AM

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Archie would have steered Eli AWAY from this franchise!

  21. Derty Ernie says: Jan 4, 2012 11:55 AM

    I cannot beleive in my wildest NFL dreams that SD would keep Turner. He doesn’t play to win as much as he plays not to lose. He was lucky the team had the record it did this year. He sucks big time.
    Obviously the owner is in love with the guy and he is the only vote that counts.

  22. unclehilroy says: Jan 4, 2012 12:48 PM

    Well, it certainly wasn’t his coaching ability that saved his job.

  23. 3menandablog says: Jan 4, 2012 1:03 PM

    Thanks Rivers. You ruined this season and next.

  24. patsfiend says: Jan 4, 2012 1:13 PM

    Spanos is just paying out the contracts to Turner and Smith, and riding it out in as low-cost mediocre way possible until he can pull the trigger on the L.A. move.

    Minnesota is not going to let the Vikings go anywhere, and it looks more likely the Jags are staying where they are… L.A. Chargers has a nice ring to it. They are getting nowhere with a stadium deal here in San Diego. The fans are mostly sick of this team…

    I’m sad for the Chargers fans, as this really bites, but I think they are headed to L.A. for the big bucks.

  25. waxedagain says: Jan 4, 2012 1:43 PM

    Being friends with Peyton Manning didn’t save Bill Polian’s job. In fact, the Colts owner didn’t even bother to tell Manning that he was firing his buddy Polian. Spanos is just too cheap to upgrade the quality of coaching and management of his team by 1.) eating the contracts of Turner and Smith and 2.) probably paying more to the men who replace them. Fisher would probably ask for twice the $3M they are paying Turner.

  26. JSpicoli says: Jan 4, 2012 2:11 PM

    Aint nothing wrong with a little relations.

  27. krebzy1 says: Jan 4, 2012 2:53 PM

    “If their six-game losing streak came later in the year, Turner would almost certainly be gone.” Perhaps Spanos was smart enough to consider that during that six game losing streak the
    Chargers offensive line was full of third stringers, and guys compromised by injury. Just maybe there is some correlation between the wins at the end of the season and an O line being healthier.

  28. commandercornpone says: Jan 4, 2012 4:59 PM

    smith is more interested in putting one over on players and agents than he is in building a champion.

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