A.J. Smith is getting upset

Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith is well known for coming off as upset, even when he’s happy.

This time around, he ain’t happy.

In the wake of Sunday night’s not-as-close-as-it-seemed 38-28 loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh, Smith sounded off about his team’s performance through the first four weeks of the season.

Absolutely embarrassing,” Smith told the media on Tuesday, via Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Everything is wrong with it right now. I’m not the
least bit happy in a lot of areas. I’ve seen us be tough and physical
to soft and bewildered.”

To his credit, Smith resisted citing a rash of injuries as an excuse — a wise move since it allows the players and the coaches to rely on injuries as an excuse, too.

“Everybody gets hurt in the National Football League,” Smith said, “if not early,
then late, or in the playoffs. You do the best you can. 
Deal with it.”

Smith also realizes that, as to the current composition of the roster, he has no choice but to “deal with it.”

“Everything bothers me right now and there’s not much we can do,” Smith said. “You can make trades or go on the street,
but all you can do is tweak in football — during the season. You can
lose your job and the players are still here.”

The first portion of his last sentence bears repeating, with a minor twist.  “You might lose your job.”

And that applies to coach Norv Turner, and to the guy who hired him.

So, basically, the most intriguing game the Chargers will be playing over the balance of the season involves Smith and Turner looking for ways to lay blame internally on each other, with Smith surely hoping that, in the end, he’ll get yet another chance to hire a head coach before ownership decides to hire a new G.M.

21 responses to “A.J. Smith is getting upset

  1. Marty made them 14-2…………………….
    As a Redskins fan, all i can say is, you get the guy you hired…………………………………………………
    Wish I had Marty back in DC about now, and I don’t miss Norv at all…

  2. Who’s he upset with ? Didn’t he put the team together and fire a coach who was 14-2 ? Smith should find a mirror and look deep into it.

  3. Three straight AFC West titles, One AFC Championship appearance, and they’ve knocked your favorite GM Bill Polian out of the playoffs two years in a row. Ask any Rams, Raiders, or Browns fan if they would like that record. A.J. Smith ain’t going anywhere.

  4. What did Smith expect? Did he think the Chargers were going to go into Pittsburgh and rip out a win? Laughable.
    When was the last time you did that San Diego? 1994 AFC Title game?

  5. Not sure the Chargers are going to be able to depend on Denver’s sorry defense to give them a division title like they did last year.
    San Diego’s players and front office do a lot of yapping for a team with zero titles and one Superbowl appearance.

  6. What did Smith expect? Did he think the Chargers were going to go into Pittsburgh and rip out a win? Laughable.
    When was the last time you did that San Diego? 1994 AFC Title game?
    True dat – Chargers are 1-15 all time in Pittsburgh.

  7. bearsrule says:
    October 7, 2009 8:37 AM
    “Who’s he upset with ? Didn’t he put the team together and fire a coach who was 14-2 ? Smith should find a mirror and look deep into it.”
    Yeah, a coach who couldn’t win a playoff game with the Chargers. I saw those Marty coached Charger playoff games. IMO, he came off as too emotional and hyper. Norv has won playoff games with the Chargers.
    The Chargers best chance to make it to the SB in recent years was 2006. I was embarrassed watching Marty on the sideline, I thought he was going to pee his pants.
    And oh yeah, wasn’t it Marty that kept Tim Dwight over Welker? Wasn’t Welker supposed to go the Charger practice squad and Welker ended up in Miami instead?
    Wasn’t Marty the one who played Brees in a season ending game where the Chargers were headed nowhere, and Brees ended up getting hurt really bad? So, much so, that there was some doubt as to whether Brees would ever play football again? Brees had no trade value after that injury. The Chargers couldn’t tag/re-sign him, because there was no guarantee that they could trade him, the only two teams that had any interest in him were the Saints and Dolphins. Didn’t he fail the Fins physical? So he signed with the Saints.
    Wasn’t it under Marty that Rodney Harrison was let go and ended up with the Pats?
    Yeah, the Chargers would have been better off keeping Marty *eyeroll*.

  8. “To his credit, Smith resisted citing a rash of injuries as an excuse — a wise move since it allows the players and the coaches to rely on injuries as an excuse, too.”
    Of course he’s not going to blame injuries… that would draw attention to the fact that as GM, he didn’t build enough depth on the team to overcome the loss of some key players. It’s much easier to blame the problem on execution and being “soft” and not being able to “complete games” because those things are considered to be the coach’s fault.
    Sounds like a classic case of getting out in front of the issue to direct the blame to someone else. And lord knows Norval is an easy enough target.

  9. He was asked directly about the coaching staff yesterday
    Q: It’s been said that the Chargers’ problems are more about execution than scheme and coaching. Is that your assessment?
    A: (AJ Smith) In player assessment, I’m not happy. At this point, I have no problem with the coaching staff with 12 games to go.
    Doesn’t exactly sound like he is blaming the coaches to me, but what do I know?

  10. Here’s all you need to know about NORVALLLL…he is widely considered a great OC, he has a bunch of talent on offense, and his team hasn’t scored on an opening drive in something like 20 games. Ludicrous.

  11. Filbert, you’re right and I’m absolutely wrong. They are better off with Norm as coach..* eyeroll.*

  12. Chargers have WON 2 Playoff games in Pittsburgh. Not the 1-15 record another person indicated. They won with Dan Fouts in the 80’s in the playoffs.
    Also, Norv is NOT the main problem. The DEFENSE is. The Offense can score, as Philip Rivers and the offense has shown in 2007, and 2008, and even this year at times. The Defense was FIRST in sacks in 2006, FIRST in Interceptions in 2007, then they just fell apart. They need a real good DC to kick their ass and get them back to where they need to be. I would keep Norv as the OC, hire a new DC, and hire Gruden. Cowher, or Holmgren would not take the job, they would want too much GM type control, Gruden, a proven winner with a SB win, was forced out by the lousy Bucs, and would be perfect in San Diego.

  13. # tombrookshire says: October 7, 2009 10:43 AM
    Would someone please explain to me how Norv Turner keeps getting head coaching gigs?
    Let’s see, Ego Smith, er, I mean AJ Smith got his panties in a wad and fired their previous head coach who has 200 career wins. As far as Marty not winning playoff games goes… They should have won that game the year he got fired. It’s not his fault that McCree is a moron and gave the ball back to the Pats.
    As far as Norv’s playoff record being better than Marty’s….
    It’s smoke and mirrors if you ask me. They won 2 playoff games in Norv’s first year. The first was against Tennessee (who wasn’t all that). Then they beat the Colts…. I’ll give them credit for that.
    However, the proof is in the pudding:
    SD 2006 14 – 2 (Marty)
    SD 2007 11 – 5 (Norv)
    SD 2008 8 – 8 (Norv)
    There’s a pattern developing. I’ve brought this up with a bunch of Chargers fans I know and none of them wants to admit it. Norv’s a bust.

  14. hahahahahah at this quote from Joe in Toronto:
    “The Chargers won yet another preseason Super Bowl.”
    This team is straight up Paper [potential] Champions. I am a pessimistic Charger fan. Yeah…they’ll never win.

  15. During the offseason, Smith let DE Olshansky go via free agency. Smith’s plan was to move DT Ryon Bingham, the backup to DT Jamal Williams, over to DE. Smith then drafted the long-term prospect DT Vaughn Martin to eventually groom as the replacement to Williams.
    Well, Bingham and Williams are now both out for the year. Martin is not NFL-ready, yet (if yet…). The d-line is now manned by never-have-beens and an undrafted rookie who may be a never-will-be.
    Meanwhile, the linebacking corps isn’t fairing much better. Merriman is still not back yet (if yet!). His backup, rookie Larry English, hasn’t done squat yet (if yet!). Kevin Burnett looks clueless out there.
    The offense might be as a talented in deep as hell, but the defense just doesn’t have it.

  16. Anyone who thinks Norv isnt a huge part of the problem is not seeing the 800 lb gorilla in the room or has chosen to close their eyes and ignore it.
    Norv has issued the same cliches over and over since 2007 about how they need to improve and how they need to get better andit hasnt gotten any better. Further, AJ smith hasnt exactly made some wise personnel decisions many players abilities have been over rated.
    its time to end the Norv experiment. Deano Spanos finally must have woken up seeing how they were “debacled” (thanks emmitt) on that field in Pittsburgh. if you ever have examined how the Spanos operate they are conscious of their image and their self worth. think that game went over well. nope.

  17. It doesn’t matter if Nutsack Turner is a bust of a coach-he is-or if Smith is polishing his resume. The Chargers just don’t win. They can pile up points when they’re down, but the defense is only dangerous when it’s juiced, and this is an off-year for enhancers like Merriman. Lights out.

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