Less than two years after the San Diego Chargers jettisoned the man who had taken the team to a 14-2 record, the organization says that his successor won’t be suffering a similar fate.
Or, maybe, ever.
G.M. A.J. Smith made it clear on Wednesday that coach Norv Turner isn’t in trouble. 
He’s coming back,” Smith said.
Team president Dean Spanos agrees.  “I’m committed to [Turner],” Spanos said. “I believe in him.  It’s ridiculous to think he’s not going to be back.”
Yeah, almost as ridiculous as it would have been to predict Marty Schottenheimer’s ouster in February, after all the then-hot candidates had been spoken for.
“I think it’s foolish,” Smith said regarding the suggestion of a possible coaching change.  (Yeah, almost as foolish as . . . hell, you get the picture.)  “It’s not even been discussed.  There are lots of things we’re going to discuss.  But we hired a coach I believe in, someone I can work with.  We’re in this for the long haul.”
The key is the “someone I can work with” thing.  Schottenheimer and Smith were the NFL equivalent of cobra and mongoose.  Eventually, Spanos had to clunk their heads together and tell them to play nice, or else.
When the “or else” finally came, it was Marty who got the pink slip.  And Smith hired a guy who was so happy to get another shot at being a head coach that he’ll never try to undermine the boss.
It might be great for achieving in-house harmony.  Whether it translates into a Super Bowl appearance remains to be seen.   Barring an unexpected turnaround, the answer for Year Two of Norv is “no.”

48 responses to “TURNER NOT IN TROUBLE

  1. AJ Smith’s word is not worth the toilet paper its written on.
    Just a few weeks ago when asked if he would fire Ted Cottrell mid-season he said, “NO, I do not make any coaching changes in the middle of the season. I wait and do all the evaluations when the season is over.”
    2 weeks later — Cottrell was fired.
    AJ is full of it. He is panicking like the rest of that organization. Stinking it up so people’s jobs are on the line.

  2. How can the upper management of the Chargers not adopt a “wait-and-see” approach with Turner regarding this season? The guy has one of thwe most talented teams in the league, but they have severely underachieved. To state, unequivacolly, that Turner will be back makes no sense whatsoever.

  3. Why wouldn’t you keep Norv? He’s had such great success everywhere he’s been. In his 11 years as a head coach, he’s 20 games under .500, made the playoffs twice, and took a team that was 14-2 and has them 15-11 since…oh wait, never mind. Yeah, good coaching change AJ.
    By the way, has anyone ever thought of who the hell names their kid Norv? (his real first name is Norval…what the hell is that?)

  4. There will come a day that AJ Smith will be held accountable for one crappy
    decision after another. The Dolts, errrr, Bolts might still make the playoffs, who
    knows? But are you telling me they scare anyone? A weak AFC West won’t
    help them in the Tourney? The Giants would roll over them and God knows,
    they’re not getting any home games deep into the playoffs.
    Marty did have a problem with the post season, there’s no denying it. But Marty@
    13-3 or Norv anytime/any year? You tell me AJ Smith has done a fine job. Go
    ahead. I dare ya. I double-dog dare ya. Only in the Spanos’ world.

  5. “He’s coming back,” Smith said. Famous last words…

  6. norv isn’t the problem
    lack of merriman is the problem, and the fact that LT’s past his prime and declining rapidly
    norv’s produced the 2nd best qb in the nfl right now, and a very good offense, the defense being the worst in the nfl isn’t his fault, he’s not a D guy, you can blame merriman and AJ for the D.

  7. oh and to add …..norv = 2-1 in the playoffs as sd’s HC, marty = 0-2
    obviously norv is higher on the san diego chargers head coaching success list than the playoff cancer aka marty schottenheimer
    now if you are going to replace norv, at least make it someone who doesn’t panic in the playoffs like that bitch marty

  8. I am betting that the rest of the AFC hopes AJ stays true to his word. I hear that the Broncos are already ready to vote Turner their MVP if and when they win the division.

  9. As a Charger fan two things:
    1)If A.J. doesn’t make coaching decisions in the middle of the season why is he endorsing Norv now in the middle of the season.
    2)So what you are saying is that we ain’t going to the playoffs next year either?

  10. Is Norv Turner covered in teflon? Seriously how is this guy still a head coach?
    I am being completely honest here… I would take CHILLY!! over Norv Turner.

  11. AJ has backed himself into a corner. He wants the world to believe he is the best GM so firing his handpicked HC would “not look good on his resume”. Add that to his belief Tucker will be another Merriman. I will be the first to admit he has built a good team. Now it is aging.

  12. Last year, Norv did something Marty never could, win a playoff game your not supposed to.
    That alone usually buys you an extra year or two…

  13. married to an aging superstar rb. bad idea, and likely smith’s call anyway. they should have promoted rivera last season. lovie is a fool.
    that team wouldnt be 4-6 looking at 4-7 with marty.
    broncos need to thank hochuli not turner.
    chargers COULD win a playoff game. broncos cant.

  14. This is awesome. Norv is a terrible coach everywhere he goes. Glad to see the one idiot that believes in him at least a little bit is turning the pretenders the Chargers have been into the most disappointing team in the league
    Success often breeds separation. Gruden succeeded in Oakland and was traded to Tampa Bay for wanting more of a voice. Schottenheimer was canned after a nifty 14-2 campaign. If owners weren’t so stubborn and stuck in the “old boys network” I think the league would be a lot more balanced if the owners didn’t hold so much power.

  15. Everyone wondered how long it would take for Norv Turner to ruin this team. I think we have our answer. This team was poised to be a Super Bowl contender for several years running, now, they could miss the playoffs in the AFC West of all places. How Norv still has an opportunity to be a head coach in this league is beyond explanation.

  16. “oh and to add …..norv = 2-1 in the playoffs as sd’s HC, marty = 0-2”
    The good news for Chargers fans, Turner’s success record for getting to the playoffs as a head coach is abismal and looks to stay on track. The Chargers can go undefeated in the playoffs the rest of Norv’s tenure. If the Chargers don’t play anymore playoff games, how can they lose them. Marty might have choked every time in the playoffs, but Norv rather make sure he can’t choke in the playoffs by choking in the regular season.
    To think this team went from the elite of the league to a team who doesn’t even look to get to .500 just because they lost Merriman, it just doesn’t pass the smell test. This team won despite Turner last year and is crapping the bed because of him this year.
    The Pats are playing far better without Tom Brady and a ton of other injuries (Adalius Thomas, Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, LaMont Jordan, Stephen Neal, Rodney Harrison) in a far tougher division. The Colts have survived with Manning far less than 100% and a whole rash of injuries (Bob Sanders, Jeff Saturday, Marlin Jackson, Kelvin Hayden, Tony Ugoh, Dallas Clark, etc.). The Giants are either the best or second best team in the league even after losing Strahan and Osi before the season started. Good coaches can overcome the loss of one or two marquee players, bad coaches can’t. Where does everyone think Turner fits in that equation?

  17. The solution is simple. wait for Wade Phillips to be fired in Dallas and bring him back as DC, then bring back Cameron from Baltimore and let him be the OC. Then fire Turner and let Cameron and Wade flip a coin to decide who gets to be HC on condition the other keeps out of the others side of the ball.

  18. The ownership needs to get rid of A.J. Smith… Firing Marty was a mistake, letting go of Michael Turner was a mistake, Getting rid of Drew Brees was a big mistake (not to mention that Brees was a leader of that team, but they didn’t get anything in return for him). Yes Smith has made some good decisions, but some of his moves have shaken a lot of team unity. Hiring Norv Turner was a huge mistake. First off, You don’t fire Marty after a 14-2 record and only a 3 point loss to a team that is the caliber of the Pats. But then to hire Norv…Seriously? Look at his Washington Redskins record. This guy cannot build teams and neither can Smith without the help of someone. After the childish complaining after the Broncos game, I really don’t think Norv deserves to be the coach of an NFL team.

  19. Yea, ok,
    So the “offensive genius” is not in trouble?
    One call from Bill Cowher would put this idiot on the next flight out of San Diego.

  20. Norv is a nice man. His best chance to win was immediately after Marty got the boot when the novelty of a “player’s coach” was still fresh. In year 2, it’s fully worn off and there’s no one to give that team a kick in the pants when they need it.
    I hope they keep him because he’s a good guy. But they’re not going to be an elite team.

  21. JCDavey ???
    The loss of Merriman is the reason the Chargers are one of the most disappointing teams this season? And how can you possibly consider Rivers the 2nd best QB in the NFL.I do agree that Phillip Rivers may be the 2nd best QB in the AFC West.Maybe?

  22. And yet…neither the Pats or the Colts have won seven games. The Pats have also had an easier schedule…and they were 16-0 last year and have already lost 4 games. You might as well say “The Titans lost Vince Young, and they are 10-0” as your point of comparison. It’s true that both those teams are in the WC hunt and the Chargers aren’t, but there isn’t much difference between 6-4 and 4-6. Also, you might look at the Chargers defensive statistics….they aren’t particularly good.
    But yes, the team’s got personnel issues at both lines and MLB, the kind of things you’d expect after four seasons contending for the playoffs.

  23. What has Shawne Merriman ever done in the NFL? Seriously? Your team sucks because he’s hurt? Are you for real?
    57, 62, 68, 2
    Those are the number of tackles he was a part of each of his four seasons in the NFL. I wouldn’t call that impressive. He had a good number of sacks but any LB who you send on the blitz a lot is going to get sacks. The guy is overrated and if you think his injury is why the Chargers suck, you’re delusional.
    Their coach and GM are the main reasons they’re a mess this year.

  24. In Norv’s defense, the offense hasn’t been the problem. Rivers is having a great year despite LT and Gates struggling early.
    The hiring of of Ted Cottrell was this team’s albatross. He has got to rank up there with the worst DC’s, ever.

  25. chargers fans beware!!!!!!!!! this guy was in dc for a few years and led my skins to mediocrity for years.

  26. As a Vikings fan, this is a good move. It is one less vacancy to have to compete with during the upcoming offseason.

  27. ampats, check out nfl stats
    rivers is the 2nd best qb in the nfl, just going by the stats
    he’s flubbed a couple endings, but if he had last years D we’d be 8-2 right now, or better
    it’s just a fact, when you’ve got the worst ranked D in the nfl, and a great offense, you’re just not going to win, and as close as they’ve come in all games, it’s incredible they don’t have a worse record

  28. I can’t stand Norv, but in his defense, Marty had one of the all-time greats as a RB. Now, LT wouldn’t even start if he was on the Giants. How does a guy with that much talent fall so fast?

  29. As Bill Cowher crosses of his first choice for his possible return he laments the differences in the climates of San Diego versus Cleveland, Chicago and Minnesota.

  30. The Redskins kept good old Norv way too long (6 or 7 losing seasons). Hopefully the Chargers wont do the same. I think he’s a great offensive coordinator but a terrible head coach. The good head coaches light a fire under their team, his teams always seem to be lacking that.

  31. dungy won a superbowl and that guy is even less firey than norv lol
    he’s like an emotionless starved looking head coach roaming indy’s sideline

  32. Raider fans KNEW what Norval would do to the bolts. It’s hard to believe anyone would hire that retread.
    Unfortunately we couldn’t capitalize ‘cuz we still have Al.

  33. $10 says the Chargers still win the division and makes the playoffs. Broncs are horrible and the Chiefs and Raiders are freaking jokes.

  34. Bill Cowher will never coach the Chargers. He and Marty are very good friends, going back to the days when Marty hired Cowher for his FIRST NFL coaching gig with the Cleveland Browns. Also, I doubt he would pick up and move to the opposite coast of where he is now. When you can hand pick your job, why would you work for a guy like AJ Smith and a spineless buffoon like Spanos?

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