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Norv Turner: Jared Gaither should have taken himself out on Sunday

San Diego Chargers v Chicago Bears Getty Images

Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither gave up the game-sealing sack at the end of Sunday night’s loss to the Saints, and Chargers coach Norv Turner says Gaither shouldn’t have been on the field.

Turner said on Wednesday that Gaither strained his groin a couple plays before giving up that sack and was hurting to such an extent that he had no business continuing to play. According to Turner, it was Gaither’s responsibility to signal to the sideline that he needed to come out, rather than try to tough it out.

He should have taken himself out,” Turner said, via U-T San Diego. “It was two plays. Something like that, you raise your hand and come out.”

NBC’s Cris Collinsworth said while calling the game that it was clear Gaither was hurting, and that he needed to either go to the sideline or — at the very least — make sure everyone knew he couldn’t get out of his stance quickly enough to stop the Saints’ Martez Wilson from speed rushing past him, so that the Chargers could line up a tight end or running back on the left side to help Gaither out.

Unfortunately, while Collinsworth noticed it, none of the Chargers’ coaches did.

“I heard that Cris Collinsworth said that, but he was looking down from up above,” Turner said. “In the third to last play [Gaither] strained his groin a little bit and I would rather have him come out in that situation. He got back in the huddle. Obviously there was no way that you could see it. I think that Cris [Collinsworth] saw it on the next play where Philip [Rivers] had to throw the ball away and the next play was a sack. You would like Jared to come out of the game and we could have put [Mike] Harris in. It would have helped us. I think that Jared is trying to fight through it and he felt that he could play. It wasn’t brought to my attention.”

If Collinsworth could see it from above, one of the coaches in the Chargers’ box should have seen it from above, too. But they didn’t. And with the Chargers driving down the field and trying to tie the game in the closing seconds, Wilson rushed right past Gaither, stripped the ball from Rivers, recovered the fumble, and ended the game.

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53 Responses to “Norv Turner: Jared Gaither should have taken himself out on Sunday”
  1. tatatoothy says: Oct 11, 2012 10:47 AM

    Anyone else hear those nails getting hammered into Norv’s head coaching coffin?

  2. billyboehemian says: Oct 11, 2012 10:49 AM

    “Norv should have taken himself out as head coach years ago.”

    - AJ Smith

  3. joetoronto says: Oct 11, 2012 10:50 AM

    How typical is this of Norval?

    You’re paid to coach the team, coach the friggin team!

    SMH.

  4. robgilman says: Oct 11, 2012 10:50 AM

    Typical Chargers, making excuses.

  5. gochargersgo says: Oct 11, 2012 10:51 AM

    So lets get this straight. This guy refuses to play for us at less than 100% all year long. Then, when he is actually IS hurt to the extent that he shouldnt play, he decides to stay in??? Awesome.

  6. dowhatifeellike says: Oct 11, 2012 10:53 AM

    Um, isn’t it the responsibility of the team doctors and coaches to decide if he’s too hurt to play?

  7. shaner329 says: Oct 11, 2012 10:55 AM

    Even as a chargers fan, I silently wish that they don’t do well this year just to get rid of Norv Turner. What coach places the blame on his player to come out of a game? If you see he’s hurt, pull him out. If you didn’t see he was hurt, tell your coaches to pay more attention to the game

  8. jcusa514 says: Oct 11, 2012 10:55 AM

    how does norv still have a job? the guys hasn’t accomplished anything since he was a coordinator for the cowboys back in the early 1990s

  9. Chris Fiorentino says: Oct 11, 2012 10:55 AM

    If the coaches above are as incompetant as Turner down below, then they wouldn’t have noticed anyway. Turner is the worst head coach in football. He has been blessed with so much talent and hasn’t done squat with it. Him and Wanndstadt were great coordinators for JJ, but sucked as head coaches. Period.

  10. prosourcetalk says: Oct 11, 2012 10:56 AM

    Coaches & Gaither deserve equal blame.

  11. Stiller43 says: Oct 11, 2012 10:56 AM

    I dont understand why anyone would sign gaither long term with his injury history.

  12. dragus84 says: Oct 11, 2012 10:57 AM

    Norv continues to show that he doesn’t have a clue.

    I’m a couch coach and I understand that, but this was obvious and should have been spotted by atleast one of the ten or more coaches on the chargers.

    It’s almost as bad as not noticing that you’re force feeding the ball to two guys who can barely get back to the line of scrimmage while you have a guy on the bench who gets nearly 10 yards every time he touches the ball.

    Norv needs to go.

    Signed,
    non-bias NFC fan

  13. lightcleric says: Oct 11, 2012 10:58 AM

    Chargers fans: Norv Turn should have taken himself out of coaching years ago.

  14. fground says: Oct 11, 2012 10:58 AM

    well he’s already made it to most games coached with an overall losing record so he’s achieved all that he could ever have hoped for with his abilities.

  15. schmitty2 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:03 AM

    “I heard that Cris Collinsworth said that, but he was looking down from up above,” Turner said.

    Geez Norm, no coach could spot a 6’9 340 lb man limping around badly from 75 feet away?

  16. jjackwagon says: Oct 11, 2012 11:04 AM

    Dear Norv,

    Please stay in San Diego as long as they will have you. We love you there.

    Sincerely,
    The rest of the AFC West.

  17. really2011 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:04 AM

    This is why a good SD team continues to struggle. It’s all in between the earpads of the headset.

  18. icanspeel says: Oct 11, 2012 11:05 AM

    Someone on his coaching staff should have seen Gaither ailing, but one has to wonder with all the bad calls from the refs if it would have even mattered.

  19. wolfpack152 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:05 AM

    The coaches high in the booth were probably distracted by the vultures circling around Norm.

  20. blackandbluedivision says: Oct 11, 2012 11:07 AM

    dowhatifeellike says: Oct 11, 2012 10:53 AM

    Um, isn’t it the responsibility of the team doctors and coaches to decide if he’s too hurt to play?
    ________________

    Yea when the players reveals that he’s hurt. The doctors are a little busy on the sideline working on other players. They can’t watch every play and determine who is hurt and who isn’t.

  21. unbreakable02215 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:09 AM

    This is what I was alluding to the other day
    on how the Chargers got had by the Refs. He’s
    your Left Tackle, your watching your QB and you
    see that he is getting sacked. Twice. Very quickly in THE key drive of the game. You mean to tell me you can’t see him dragging his leg ?

    I feel for you Charger fans, I really do.

  22. mrlaloosh says: Oct 11, 2012 11:10 AM

    Maybe the Saints had a bounty on Gaithers groin. It’s possible. Call Goodell!

  23. blackandbluedivision says: Oct 11, 2012 11:12 AM

    I think that Cris [Collinsworth] saw it on the next play where Philip [Rivers] had to throw the ball away and the next play was a sack. You would like Jared to come out of the game and we could have put [Mike] Harris in
    ___________________________

    You don’t notice the same guy coming off the same edge twice in a row and disrupting the play in the backfield?! Nobody figured something was up? Up until that drive Wilson only had 1 sack in his career. The guy just didn’t become Julius Peppers, in his prime, in the final drive of this game.

  24. humb0lt says: Oct 11, 2012 11:20 AM

    Norv Turner doesn’t care what you losers think about him. All he cares about is winning the Lombardi, which the Chargers will do this season.

  25. aequitas83 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:23 AM

    As a coach, I completely disagree that the coaches in the box should have noticed he was hurt. They had one-two plays to diagnose his injury while having roughly 5 seconds to diagnose defensive schemes and call plays. They have about 1000 considerations and decisions to make that a commentator in the booth does not. Could they have noticed? Sure, but you cannot begin to put injury identification on coaches. That’s a big can of worms that no one should open.

    The commentator’s sole job is to break down what happened in a play with about 20 camera angles and several producers speaking in his ear to help him (and they still do it poorly). Coaches don’t have that luxury and are not allowed to review film that is not broadcast via a live transmission.

  26. iamthefootballjerk says: Oct 11, 2012 11:30 AM

    From someone that has followed the Ravens since their inception and the Redskins for three decades, I say congrats San Diego on your Norv/Gaither combo.

  27. wikidpissah says: Oct 11, 2012 11:33 AM

    In the past 5-7 years no team has done less with the talent they have than the Chargers.

    They should have kept Marty. As a Pats fan I was, and remain very happy with their choice of Turner.

  28. realitypolice says: Oct 11, 2012 11:34 AM

    I am no Norv Turner fan. I think he should have been fired long ago.

    But criticizing him for this is ridiculous. How in the world is he supposed to pick out one guy limping amongst everything else going on on the field?

    That’s why players raise their hand when they need to come out. Every team does it and has always done it that way.

    The coaching staff has a hundred more important things to worry about than to scrutinize the gait of every OL between every play.

    And for the guy talking about the team doctors, I’m pretty sure that’s not what their paid to do, either. They are paid to take care of the guys who come to the sidelines hurt, not ones that hide injuries and go back to the huddle.

    It’s one thing to not like the guy, it’s quite another to knee jerk and automatically side against him on every issue.

  29. mrgroovesd says: Oct 11, 2012 11:34 AM

    I place blame on both Gaithers and the coaches. How many coaches are on the sideline and up top looking down can’t see him moving around gingerly? If I noticed it before Collinsworth said anything than it’s bad. Gaithers is also on the hook for this for making a bad decision (go figure with his “mysterious” injury during the first part of the season) to stay in if he couldn’t go full speed. Just bad on all parts for the Bolts. C’mon MAN!

  30. theralph2012 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:42 AM

    Each team has a training staff which are trained to specifically watch the lower bodies of players on the line every play. This one isn’t on Norv, its not up to him to determine who has a strained groin.

  31. mogogo1 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:54 AM

    Watching the game, I doubt anybody other than Gaither himself could have known how bad it was. It wasn’t like he’d given up 3 sacks in-a-row and been laying on the ground between plays. It looked like he was alright until the play before. From the time Collinsworth noticed it to the next snap was just a few seconds. In a situation like that it’s on the player to take himself out.

  32. hor2012 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:59 AM

    I coached football at the playground level. And, I’m not comparing that to the NFL. But, there is one thing I think is a part of coaching at any level. As a head coach you cannot get so emotionally invested in a game that you lose awarness of what’s happening on the field. Because, I played football in highschool I know that in the heat of the moment you don’t think in terms of pulling yourself out of a game, especially during critical moments of a game. So, it becomes the coaches responsiblity to be aware of what’s happening. Now, understand that I’m a Saints fan. So, for the sake of argument let’s say the PI call on gates was wrong. Once the call was made you have to move on. Norv Turner was still arguing about the call long after the yards had been marched off. Then, the holding call happened and he went off again. If he had been focused on what was happening on the field instead of debating calls that weren’t going to be changed anyway then he would have noticed the player was hurt. Now, in the end result I don’t think it’s going to hurt the charges except in seeding for the playoffs. I think they’re going to be the 2nd seed now. But, they’re built to go to Houston and win there. So, in a few months this probably will be a side note anyway. But, at the moment I think the blame lies with the coaches

  33. RUAHORNH8R says: Oct 11, 2012 12:10 PM

    Norv is an elite football mind, what I don’t understand is why coaches who are horrible game managers , clock, etc. don’t hire someone to help in those situations. Inexcusable somebody didn’t catch that before the play. Of course the Head Coach has million other responsibilities during the game, but a 20 yr old intern would love the chance to look for those things during a game. Just don’t get it

  34. idriveamoped says: Oct 11, 2012 12:13 PM

    Hey A.J I bet Marty is looking like a great coach now isnt he? He might “choke” in big playoff games, but at least he gave you the shot to get you to the big dance.

  35. dumbolt says: Oct 11, 2012 12:37 PM

    humb0lt says:
    Oct 11, 2012 11:20 AM
    Norv Turner doesn’t care what you losers think about him. All he cares about is winning the Lombardi, which the Chargers will do this season.
    ——————————————–
    spot on , you called it..right after the chargers beat the jags on a road game in the playoffs, and after chargers beat the browns in cleavland in the afc championship game… choo choo super bowl express!

  36. ambitoos says: Oct 11, 2012 12:41 PM

    Norv Turner. Could have, should have, would have. That’s been his coaching history. This is just another 8 and 8 team.

  37. blackandbluedivision says: Oct 11, 2012 12:53 PM

    theralph2012 says:
    Oct 11, 2012 11:42 AM
    Each team has a training staff which are trained to specifically watch the lower bodies of players on the line every play. This one isn’t on Norv, its not up to him to determine who has a strained groin.
    _______________________

    I’m calling BS on this. There is a really people who are going to look at all 11 players on the field, during a play (full speed where there lower bodies are going to intertwined, visually, with other players lower bodies), and see if their “lower bodies” are hurt. Not only “hurt” but hurt enough to pull them out of the game in a crucial 2 minute drill. Gaither wasn’t grabbing his groin, nor was he noticably limping. He intentionally played it off to stay on the field. You can’t make that call. Even if there is a said training staff that can spot an injury.

  38. aljack88 says: Oct 11, 2012 1:03 PM

    hor2012 – “….in the heat of the moment you don’t think in terms of pulling yourself out of a game, especially during critical moments of a game….”

    So true. How often does one hear about atheletes, especially pros, not wanting to take themselves out of play; and until recently, not even thinking twice about playing with a concussion?

  39. wikidpissah says: Oct 11, 2012 1:06 PM

    realitypolice says: Oct 11, 2012 11:34 AM

    I am no Norv Turner fan. I think he should have been fired long ago.

    But criticizing him for this is ridiculous. How in the world is he supposed to pick out one guy limping amongst everything else going on on the field?
    ==================================

    You’re partly correct. The people criticizing Turner for not seeing the injury status of every player on the field are off base.

    The bigger issue is that Turner feels the need to blame the player and make excuses for his coaching staff. Gaither should have let the coaching staff know he couldn’t play at full strength, and someone in the Chargers’ booth should have seen it as well. Turner should have given the press a Belichickean answer and addressed it in house.

  40. wikidpissah says: Oct 11, 2012 1:08 PM

    hor2012 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:59 AM

    I don’t think it’s going to hurt the charges except in seeding for the playoffs. I think they’re going to be the 2nd seed now. But, they’re built to go to Houston and win there. So, in a few months this probably will be a side note anyway. But, at the moment I think the blame lies with the coaches
    =================================

    I’ll have what he’s having.

  41. fmwarner says: Oct 11, 2012 1:10 PM

    Players aren’t going to take themselves out. They just don’t. Maybe it’s right, maybe it’s not, but it means that other people have to get them out of there. Maybe the coaches couldn’t see it, but I’m pretty sure the other players in the huddle all knew, especially Rivers. One of them should have signaled to the coaches that Gaither couldn’t go.

  42. chargerdillon says: Oct 11, 2012 1:21 PM

    According to Norv, Norv should’ve pulled himself out as the coach of the Chargers last year after hobbling the team with bad play calling and zero leadership.

    Per Norv’s own words, he should’ve resigned last year.

    But I guess Norv will always throw somebody else under the bus just as long as it’s not him

  43. nathanbetz91 says: Oct 11, 2012 1:27 PM

    Seriously? Sounds more like a coaches job to me. when your left tackle can’t even stand straight up, maybe he’s in pain. Damn I should have norvs job

  44. jbaxt says: Oct 11, 2012 2:24 PM

    The best part was listening to that 1diot Collinsworth rave about how wonderful Gaither is.

  45. orakpocalypse says: Oct 11, 2012 2:58 PM

    I think the blame really has to fall on Rivers before Norv. I know Rivers is busy out there, but he’s supposed to be the leader and notice this kind of thing and handle it.

  46. eventhorizon04 says: Oct 11, 2012 4:03 PM

    And of course, if he had taken himself out of the play, he would have been criticized for lacking “toughness” and “heart.”

  47. sandiegosportswire says: Oct 11, 2012 4:08 PM

    And everyone wonders why SD doesn’t sell out games anymore! Norv Norv Norvelle & AJ! Get rid if these honks already and I’ll be first in line for season tickets again! FU Norv! Everyone in the stadium knew it and we were in the nosebleeds!

  48. jcdavey2011 says: Oct 11, 2012 4:13 PM

    ingram deserves more for this loss than norv

    norv had the players in position to win

    poor execution has plagued the chargers since 1963!

    true story!

  49. eslamm11 says: Oct 11, 2012 4:31 PM

    I’m almost as shocked that Collinsworth was right about something for once.

  50. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Oct 11, 2012 4:52 PM

    Nice Norv. Throw your guy under the bus.

  51. jmota222 says: Oct 11, 2012 5:16 PM

    Maybe norv turner should add Chris collinsworth to his staff!!!!! Or get his current staff some eye testing

  52. raiderapologist says: Oct 11, 2012 7:17 PM

    humb0lt says: Oct 11, 2012 11:20 AM

    Norv Turner doesn’t care what you losers think about him. All he cares about is winning the Lombardi, which the Chargers will do this season.
    ——–

    You should get that tattooed on your forehead.

    San Diego Chargers
    Super Bowl XLVII Champions!

    Do it today.

  53. nmrdr795 says: Oct 11, 2012 10:17 PM

    The chargers remind me of the browns. No one really fears them or gives a crap aboushould. They should move the chargers to london so fanscould watch them

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