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Norv Turner: We have to find a way to slow down Darren Sproles

New Orleans Saints v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

After coaching Darren Sproles for four years in San Diego, Norv Turner will coach against him for the first time on Sunday night when the Chargers play the Saints. And Turner says preparing for Sproles is among the most important parts of the Chargers’ preparation this week.

Sproles left the Chargers in free agency last year and set a new NFL record for total yards in a season by gaining 2,696 yards in 2011 with the Saints — a record he’s on pace to break this season. Turner says he’s been impressed watching Sproles, but he also didn’t see anything from Sproles in New Orleans that Turner didn’t already know he could do.

It was different last year watching him play on TV,” Turner told U-T San Diego. “I think people who have been around me know how I feel about Darren as a person and a player. We have to find a way to slow him down, stop him and get the ball away from him. We have to do whatever we can do to give ourselves a chance to win the game.”

Turner said the Chargers know what worked against Sproles when he played for them, so that should help in preparing to play against him.

“I think what you do is take from what people did to us,” Turner said. “You look at the games where people were effective against him and see how they managed it, how they handled it. You know he’s going to get his plays, but we’ll try to keep him from getting the ball out in space where he makes big plays.”

We’ll see on Sunday whether the Chargers have the right game plan to keep Sproles in check. But the best way for the Chargers to stop Sproles from beating them would have been not letting him leave in free agency, and making other teams worry about how to stop him.

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29 Responses to “Norv Turner: We have to find a way to slow down Darren Sproles”
  1. radrntn says: Oct 5, 2012 2:30 PM

    maybe should have never got rid of brees or sproles, it’s karma….it’s going to come back and bite you in the —

  2. papasbasement says: Oct 5, 2012 2:36 PM

    “The operation was called ‘hobbling’, Paul.”

  3. r4cbass says: Oct 5, 2012 2:39 PM

    Perhaps the best way would have been to keep him

  4. panamon says: Oct 5, 2012 2:44 PM

    Norv wanted to keep Sproles, attention people Norv doesn’t make contract decisions.

  5. Max says: Oct 5, 2012 2:47 PM

    Norv, just keeping him on your bench… oh wait.

  6. knackstermyea says: Oct 5, 2012 2:49 PM

    Monday’s Headline…. “Sproles Rolls thru Bolts D”

  7. KIR says: Oct 5, 2012 2:50 PM

    Your GM AJ Smith should have thought about that before trying to nickle and dime Sproles. He’s a good drafter and talent evaluator but that’s about it. They should let Smith draft and then have absolutely no contact with the players. When it’s time to negotiate a new contract. He has to be the worst GM in the league at retaining and pissing off talented players. The name Kingofnorings is well deserved.

  8. ambitoos says: Oct 5, 2012 2:57 PM

    If I remember right the Chargers offered more than the Saints but Sproles wanted to play with Brees again. Can’t blame him the Chargers O’line couldn’t make a hole with a jack hammer.

  9. sdfootballfan says: Oct 5, 2012 2:57 PM

    Norv wanted to keep him. It was the GM that let him walk.

  10. broncosnative says: Oct 5, 2012 3:02 PM

    How about figuring out a way to sell out tickets

  11. carlsbadboltfan says: Oct 5, 2012 3:04 PM

    radrntn says: Oct 5, 2012 2:30 PM

    maybe should have never got rid of brees or sproles, it’s karma….it’s going to come back and bite you in the —
    —————————————————————
    A raider fan talking about charma? Now THAT’S funny.

  12. nflhof says: Oct 5, 2012 3:06 PM

    So does this story mean the Chargers will be moving to LA?

  13. vysethelegend says: Oct 5, 2012 3:06 PM

    The best strategy is to fire Norv, and let somebody who knows what they’re doing to handle it.

  14. 7swag7 says: Oct 5, 2012 3:14 PM

    You can’t stop Darren Sproles; you can only hope to contain him.

  15. totallyuselessme says: Oct 5, 2012 3:34 PM

    Maybe you could stop him with a ball-control offense focused around keeping the game on the ground instead of throwing wild deep passes on 9 out of 10 plays.

    Maybe having Darren Sproles on your team woulda helped that too, since nobody on your team can carry the ball 3 yards without fumbling or getting clobbered behind the line of scrimmage.

    Maybe you could tell the Lord of No Rings, AJ Smith, to stop being a cheapskate and build your team an offensive line or resign some of the talent he constantly trades or lets walk…

    Y’know, like Sproles. If this team were willing to pay all the strong young talent they draft, or if AJ hadn’t fired Schottenheimer after he led the team to a season with double-digit wins, they’d have collected 3-4 rings in the LaDainian Tomlinson era, and they’d still be in position to collect some more today.

    What a waste. San Diego fans deserve better.

  16. asus313 says: Oct 5, 2012 3:43 PM

    lots of clueless or haters posting today. Sproles made $6-7 mil per year two years in a row as a franchised RB in his last 2 years in SD. AJ paid the man more than fair market value for a 3rd down back. He’s making less now in New Orleans (half?) than he ever did in SD. At some point his salary isnt good for the team’s salary cap and so he moved on. Get a clue people.

  17. JSpicoli says: Oct 5, 2012 4:12 PM

    Maybe the should have ponied up the dough for him when they had the chance instead of trusting a rookie who is a 6 on a scale of one to ten.

  18. nomoreseasontix says: Oct 5, 2012 4:20 PM

    Yeah… The best plan would have been to keep him in their huddle….
    Bummer….

  19. nomoreseasontix says: Oct 5, 2012 4:21 PM

    As Raider fan, I can only wish I was reading about teams worrying about stopping McFadden.
    But…. Greg Knapp is taking care of that…..

  20. lurkerkerker says: Oct 5, 2012 4:27 PM

    Let it go, folks. Drew Brees was a gutsy Chad Pennington in San Diego. Dude couldn’t throw 30 yards. Credit to him for re-habbing what all but the Saints (he failed his physical in Miami) thought was a career-ending injury. He came baqck way stronger. Brees is a good guy, and I’m happy for his success, but let’s not pretend the guy that left San Diego is the same guy that showed up in New Orleans. Rivers has been twice the QB for the Bolts that Brees was.

    Sproles is my favorite player, but his absence is not why the Chargers missed the playoffs in the last two seasons. Production out of the backfield was fine.

    As far as “The Lord of No Rings:” how many GMs have rings? Not many. AJ’s not perfect, but he’s by far the best general manager the Chargers have ever had.

  21. Slackmo says: Oct 5, 2012 5:04 PM

    If you ever see a live game, Sproles makes everyone else on the field look like they are moving in slow motion. He showed that in San Diego and was under-utilized there. He’s the quickest player in the NFL.

  22. joetoronto says: Oct 5, 2012 5:32 PM

    AJ Smith and Norval Turner, two big time losers that are perfect for the ringless Chargers.

    Just move, baby.

  23. rooneyruleblues says: Oct 5, 2012 6:22 PM

    There he goes again, the lonely Joe Toronto. Raiderfan extraordinaire! How are those Raiders doing Joe? How many head coaches in the past 10 years Joe? Can you name all of em?

  24. harryglyphics says: Oct 5, 2012 7:22 PM

    As a Saints fan, I can only say: I would rather have NO head coach than Norv.

  25. vanmorrissey says: Oct 5, 2012 8:08 PM

    Bunch of idiot know it alls but lurkerkerker got it completely correct. Brees was going nowhere under Schottenheimer so duh, they drafted and eventually had to play Rivers. In that time Brees did nothing so letting him go was a no brainer. Sproles had a couple good years then the year before he left he did NOTHING, look it up geniuses. NO success can be placed on Payton, Brees came in at the right time, when Payton became coach. Under Payton the Saints took off, not before. So is Sproles the reason they’re 0-4 this year? Can’t have it both ways MDS, Sproles is fine, but you can’t win with their defense, don’t see that in your headlines, do we? For how good he is no wins is no wins, scoreboard.

  26. scottmeyer4988 says: Oct 5, 2012 8:22 PM

    KIR i dont know how u can say aj smith is a good “drafter”. ill give him the melvin ingram pick but that was just kinda luck for him to fall to them, he would have been shot in the face if he didnt. look at all the players he has drafted… o ya they arnt playing!

  27. dougydougdoug says: Oct 6, 2012 10:34 AM

    joetoronto: Championships which last were won DECADES ago, are simply of no relevance any longer. Look at the Yets. They won a single Superbowl, before there was color TV, a space age, or women’s voting rights.

    Your pitiful Raiders are, arguably, the worst “professional” sports franchise on the planet. That team has been a joke, longer than we’ve all been using the Internet, had HDTV, or any other modern contrivance. The rules of the game have changed so dramatically since the last time the Raiders had a victory in February, that it simply isn’t worth talking about those old games any longer.

    The only thing that tired, old, laughable Raiders’ fanatics like yourself can do, is drum up the past glory. Even if the Chargers never win a Superbowl, they will still have more redeemable value than not only the Raiders, but ALL of the Raiders’ fans. Do you know why? For the simple fact that the Raiders represent the filthiest, and least desirable elements of society, and people hold their fans in low-regard.

    With the spawn of the Crypt Keeper now running the Raiders, you can be assured of at least a decade or two more losing seasons, without the slightest hope for change.

    Enjoy your Bud Light…er…Molson Light, and perhaps you should find another sport to follow.

  28. ripseau says: Oct 6, 2012 10:39 AM

    Doesn’t it seem like our oline makes great players look average. Hmm. Maybe we should fix that

  29. williambrasky says: Oct 6, 2012 12:34 PM

    I think A bigger issue for Norv should be stopping J Graham and M Colston.

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