Three weeks ago, reports out of San Diego said Chargers owner Dean Spanos was almost certain to fire both General Manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner. But a lot has changed in three weeks.
The Chargers haven’t just won their last three games, they’ve blown out all three opponents and suddenly looked like one of the best teams in football. And all of a sudden the reports out of San Diego are saying that Spanos is having a change of heart.
Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Spanos has been heartened by the fact that the roster Smith has put together is talented enough to be playing great football late in a tough season, and that the team clearly hasn’t tuned Turner out. And that may be enough for Spanos to give the coach and the G.M. another year.
Spanos was also worried that Chargers fans had given up on the team, but he now believes that the fan base is excited about a late-season surge that has the Chargers in playoff contention.
If the Chargers’ late-season surge continues at Detroit on Sunday and then in the season finale against the Raiders, they can finish 9-7 and — if they get some help — make the playoffs. That sounded farfetched three weeks ago, but it now looks entirely possible. And if that’s what happens, Smith and Turner are likely to return in 2012.