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A.J. Smith: Chargers have lost respect and credibility

A J Smith Getty Images

Missing the playoffs two years in a row has led Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith to render a harsh verdict on his team.

Smith spoke to Peter King of SI.com for this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback column and didn’t pull any punches when King asked him about the state of his team heading into the 2012 season. Smith has no quarrel with those who have knocked his team down a peg after a 17-15 record over the past two seasons.

“We have lost our respect in the league and our credibility in the league,” Smith says. “We were an elite team. You miss one year in the playoffs? OK. You miss two? You deserve everything that’s being said about you.”

It hasn’t helped matters in San Diego that Smith’s last few drafts have been light on impactful players. That forced him to do a bit more work on the free agent front this season than he’s done in past seasons, which, along with changes to the coaching staff, has given the team a different look than it has had in past seasons.

The fact that he still has a job is evidence that Smith chasn’t lost respect or credibility with the Spanos family as a result of the last two seasons. They say that the third time is the charm, though, and Smith’s time in San Diego could run out if the Chargers keep talking about being an elite team in the past tense.

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22 Responses to “A.J. Smith: Chargers have lost respect and credibility”
  1. scoops1 says: Jul 30, 2012 9:45 AM

    Lord of No Rings has spoken!!!

  2. meytonpanning says: Jul 30, 2012 9:48 AM

    No, AJ. YOU have lost credibility and respect.

  3. southpaw2k says: Jul 30, 2012 9:58 AM

    A.J., you lost respect and credibility the moment you had hired Norv Turner as your head coach.

  4. chief67 says: Jul 30, 2012 10:01 AM

    Wait a minute , the chargers had credibility ?

  5. babar61 says: Jul 30, 2012 10:24 AM

    Was I asleep when the chargers had respect and credibility? I can’t seem to recall…

  6. Alex B says: Jul 30, 2012 10:28 AM

    The Chargers have come up short for years. Where was the credibility that they had? They never had credibility and they will not as long as AJ Smith is their GM and Norv Turner as their head coach

  7. kelmcc says: Jul 30, 2012 10:28 AM

    In that picture, AJ has that “hmmmmm…. who can I blame? who can I blame? thinking….thinking…” look on his face that he always has when he’s preparing to throw coaches and players under his wheels.

  8. stateofprosports says: Jul 30, 2012 10:42 AM

    San Diego has always been the team with great talent and not so great coaching. Even with as good a coach as Marty was, his track record spoke volumes as to where his team would end up each year.

    I’m not even a Jim Harbaugh fan, but as an example, he did more in ONE year with the 49ers than the Chargers’ last two coaches have done in the last 10!

  9. rayguyreturns says: Jul 30, 2012 11:08 AM

    They lost credibility when they fired Marty. Who fires a coach after 14-2 and then hires Norv?

  10. sequtugh says: Jul 30, 2012 11:12 AM

    That team has been going downhill since they got rid of Marty. Good job AJ!

  11. mullman7675 says: Jul 30, 2012 11:13 AM

    The chargers crumbled under the overexpectations piled on them from ESPN and most other sports media outlets. How many years in a row did Berman pick them to win the SB?

    The chargers, in reality, have yet to win a meaningful game in franchise history. That’s why charger fan cherishes their regular season wins so much- it’s all they have.

  12. gooboy6 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:29 PM

    AJ egomaniac fires Marty after a 14-2 season. THATS when you started losing respect and credibility . He wanted to keep Brees and guess who has a super bowl ring now. Too big of an ego affecting your decisions and your public comments confirm. if AJ loses that job, hard to see him getting hired by anybody else

  13. philvil41 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:29 PM

    It will be 3 years with no playoffs after they suck again this season.Please don’t fire Norv.

  14. yelix says: Jul 30, 2012 12:33 PM

    It still baffles me that they would fire a head coach after a 14-2 season. Marty has been a proven and consistent winner in this league. You certainly couldn’t say that about Norv when they hired him, and you still can’t say that about Norv now.

    Losing key players, mediocre drafts, and the inability to win games that matter will all be the lasting legacy of Norv Turner and A.J. Smith’s partnership in San Diego.

  15. nizzy2107 says: Jul 30, 2012 1:35 PM

    It baffles me that everyone says the chargers always have great talent but then they later say AJ sucks. Getting talent is what the GM does!!! AJ is a GREAT GM. Where did this egomaniac idea come from? I would love to know. I would love to know wat you guys are thinking when he is the guy who got Sproles in the 4th and Michael Turner in the 5th or even Floyd and Gates undrafted. Please respond.

  16. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Jul 30, 2012 1:42 PM

    Actually, AJ, the Chargers lost their credibility when you were elevated largely due to your proximity to an actual football genius, John Butler (read his bio).

    During the AJ tenure, the Chargers have consistently underperformed. AJ let Brees and Schottenheimer go, and has consistently let his ego sour relationships with the best players and coaches (Gates, Schottenheimer, Rivera, Jackson, etc. etc.).

    Despite playing in the weakest division in football for the past several years, AJ’s teams didn’t do what the Bills of days gone by did; take advantage of an easy invite to the dance and then advance.

    AJ also failed to take advantage of the so-called goldmine the giants gave him for eli, who incidentally, AJ, now has two rings.

    You know, the ones the winners get, AJ, unlike your four from Buffalo.

  17. ademell1 says: Jul 30, 2012 3:09 PM

    you deserve everything beiong said about you because you replaced Marty Schottenheimer with Norv Turner.

    Turner hasn’t helped the Chargers. Look at the team when Turner came ion, and look at it now.

    You call that a successful head coach? Got the best team in football handed to him..and he can’t get it done. As a Raider fan I LOVE that Turner is still around in SD for another year.

    They can postpone his firing as much as they want…but everyone in SD is still getting fired next year. And if I was a Chargers fan, I’d be livid that Turner and A.J. Smith are still running the show.

  18. raiderapologist says: Jul 30, 2012 3:10 PM

    They “were” an elite team? Elite teams win. The Chargers pile up stats, but fail to deliver. That’s not elite. That’s choke.

  19. misterdreamer119 says: Jul 30, 2012 4:54 PM

    What a joke. The San Diego Credit Cards are weak. Keep them out of my city of LA. Look at the coaches they hire. Eli wouldnt play there.

  20. thacloser86 says: Jul 30, 2012 6:03 PM

    The Spanos family suck they should sell the team. Who keeps the GM around after so much failure REALLY

  21. boltz99 says: Jul 30, 2012 10:18 PM

    What a Pity Party! I’ll keep the Chargers and you can all sit back an whine everytime they don’t get a first down or win a game. There’s onlly one trophy a year. All I want is some exciting football!

  22. yerhatinforhatinsake says: Jul 31, 2012 12:55 AM

    First off.. You all from Boston, or something? All the threads I read on here are just evil.. and I’ve seen a lot of hater threads… (sorry to the good ones).

    2nd. – AJ & Norv are dooshes. Easy targets. Chargers underperformed the last two years, and deserve the criticism….. from a fan of a team that actually wins.

    Now, let’s talk about the OTHER “Oh so awesome” teams in the AFC West.. since apparently.. some of you are still hanging onto accomplishments & rings from the dark ages.

    Denver – Only made the playoffs because every other team had a total injury meltdown last season, and literally “lost” their way into the playoffs in week 17 with an 8-8 record. That’s how bad the division was. They might be better this year, but took an expensive & risky bet on an injured Manning. Haven’t been in the ballpark of “elite” since the AFC Championship in 2006. Made the wildcard twice in 04′ & 05′, but got destroyed both times… ironically by Peyton Manning.

    KC – Haven’t made it to the playoffs since 07′ (5 years ago for you Raider fans), where they were an embarrassing 23-8 “one & done” in the wildcard round, against WHO? Peyton Manning. And, also lost to Peyton in ’04. Good luck with him this year! Heard your coach “has his #”. But, he’s never coached in the playoffs. Riiiggghhhht.

    Oakland – only real chance to make it to the playoffs was last year. Chargers took em’ out AT THEIR HOUSE in week 17 (You’re welcome, and hope it was a happy new year!). They even swept the division in 2010, and still finished 3rd! Can we say “Ready.. set… terrible”? Haven’t been relevant since Gannon.. is he still alive? REBUILD YEAR!

    San Diego – Despite not living up to expectations, have dominated the division for the better part of a decade. San Diego went to the playoffs 5 out of 8 years since 2005, and were one bad snap away from 6. Lord of no Rings, whatever. That’s what fans of loser teams say when they know they have sucked for the last decade. Truth is, none of the fans of these teams should be tootin’ their own horn, or criticizing. Maybe Denver, simply because last year is all that really counts. And, that’s the real. Thumbs down, yo!

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