So why would a coach with a 3-4 record and a history of finishing strong believe he’s coaching on a week-to-week basis?
Because if he doesn’t get to the postseason, the pink slips will go one level higher.
Ordinarily, Norv Turner wouldn’t be in danger of being fired until the Chargers were mathematically or as a practical matter eliminated from playoff contention. With a bunch of teams clustered around 4-3 and 3-4, it’ll still be a while until the Chargers are out of it.
But if the Chargers are out of it, Turner and G.M. A.J. Smith likely will be out of jobs. So just as Eagles coach Andy Reid may change quarterbacks in order to save his job, Smith could change coaches in an effort to salvage his.
Possible midseason, in-house replacements include assistant head coach/special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia and defensive coordinator John Pagano. Bisaccia (pictured) has some league-wide supporters for a crack at being a head coach. The fact that special-teams coaches deal with players from both sides of the ball is a bonus. Pagano, in his first year as coordinator, has been with the Chargers for a decade.
Regardless of who’d get the job, don’t be surprised if Smith decides to throw a Hail Mary pass by sending Norv packing, if Smith concludes that someone other than Norv is best suited to save the team’s season, and in turn Smith’s job.