Signs improving for Norv Turner and A.J. Smith


Chargers owner Dean Spanos said he needed a few days to think before making any decisions about coach Norv Turner and G.M. A.J. Smith.

That alone was a good sign for Turner. So was this quote from Spanos:

“It was really exciting,” Spanos said of Sunday’s win over the Raiders. “I’m really proud of them. I think it really shows how resilient they are, how hard they play for this coach.”

It sounds like there is a realistic chance for Turner and Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith to both stick around.’s Clark Judge has a “source a source close to the Chargers organization” that believes Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will both be retained.

Considering Spanos’ remarks last night, that’s not exactly a shock. If Turner and Smith had no chance of both returning, they would already be fired.

Turner has two years left on his contract. Smith has three years left. Despite what most Chargers fan want, both men still have a chance to fulfill the rest of their deals.

48 responses to “Signs improving for Norv Turner and A.J. Smith

  1. Did Spanos really say how exciting it was to win over the “Packers” last Sunday.
    No wonder he is willing to bring back Turner!

    Meanwhile, does that mean that the Raiders chalked up a win over the Lions?

    What a screwed up article.

  2. Good, the Chiefs won’t have to worry about SD with Norv at the Helm. If KC stays healthy they’re the favorite next year since the donks are stuck with Teblow, the faiders have no draft thus staying at 8-8 at best (since the other 3 will only get better), and the poor Chargers are still screwed for firing a 14-2 coach. They have all that talent but no direction. The bad thing is SD’s window is slowly but surely closing.

  3. AJ Smith is still one of the best talent evaluators in the league. It would be a mistake to fire him, and I guarantee another team will hire him quickly if the Chargers cut him loose.

    Norv, on the other hand, can and should be replaced with someone more capable, especially on the defensive side. Rivers can handle the offense.

  4. Turner has poorly handled many contract situations in San Diego. Norv is a good offensive mind, he would be better suited as a coordinator. After years of constant underachievement its time for a change

  5. A.J. Smith is the same guy that let Breese, Turner & Sproles go for nothing? Yeah, it makes sense to keep him.

  6. Spanos surely realises that if he doesn’t make at least one of these changes fan attendance is just going to dwindle further.

    Over/Under on 6 blackouts next season if Norv and AJ stick around?

  7. As a Colts fan, I feel your pain. This coaching staff has taken a what should be a 12-4 team, and brings them down to 8-8.

    Its sad to see that millionare owners lack the common sense knowledge that most casual fans can easily spot… Norv Turner is not a good head coach.

  8. There is no owner in the NFL more out of touch with his fanbase than Dean Spanos. All Spanos wants is mediocrity. He just doesn’t want to be the laughing stock of the league like the Bolts have been before. Get ready to lose even more season tix holders and get ready for 8 home blackouts next season. Spanos is the worst owner in NFL.

  9. SO they fire Shotty after a 14-2 season and stick with these two bozo’s after bringing this talented team to the ground? C’mon Spanos… Clean it up.

  10. @ jbaxt

    They fired Shotty after he went 14-2 because AJ couldn’t get along with him. One had to go and Spanos made the wrong choice.

  11. @ cantonbound13

    The one thing I will say about Smith is that he also drafted those guys along w/ Gates, LT, Merriman and Jackson. The guy does no talent. But it may be time for a change. At the very least, Turner has to go.

  12. “Turner has two years left on his contract. Smith has three years left. Despite what most Chargers fan want, both men still have a chance to fulfill the rest of their deals.”

    This is the key right here.

    The thought of having to pay these two while they’re no longer employed was just too much for the chronically cheap Spanos.

  13. Fans of the other 31 teams should be excited. With AJ at the helm, SD is like the KC Royals of MLB — a farm team that sends its best to franchises that are or want to be competitive. Big 3 are: Turner, Brees, Sproles. After the first part this season, one can make a case for Shawne Merriman. Add to that list Eli Manning since he was drafted by SD and has a SB ring under the Gmen.

    Where does Vincent Jackson go? Jacksonville? (No pun intended.) St. Louis?

    Actually take that back: Unlike SD, the Royals get picks in exchange for letting their star prospects go.

  14. This sickening news makes me want to stop being a Chargers fan. Wish I could be as lousy at my job and still make the kind of money A.J. & Norv are getting. Doesn’t Spanos understand that Denver, KC, and Oakland are happy about this?

  15. I don’t think they should be fired. As a motter of fuact I think that the Chiefs should go ahead and hang on to Romeo and the raiders should just keep firing coaches every year.

  16. This is suprising and I am not even a Chargers fan. A.J. Smith created the distraction last year between V-Jax and the Chargers. Norv Turner can’t seem to inspire his team to win until December. Yet, they fire a successful coach like Marty Schottenheimer because he couldn’t get along with Smith. Is the ownership in San Diego really that dumb or are fans and media outlets acting overdramatic over this?

  17. Whats to like about aj smith? Im not a charger fan, so I don’t know. He has let all the talent go. He fired a his coach out if frustration. What’s to like?

  18. Fire AJ Smith and keep Norv Turner for another season, the team does play hard for him, it’s not his fault the GM is an idiot, and refuses to give the team any back-up plan for Gates inevitable injuries.

  19. Say what you will about Dan Snyder and Al Davis, those two had the good sense to see Norv for what he is. As far as Smith goes, Charger fans can look forward to more alienation of players like Vincent Jackson and trading UP in the draft for marginal players like Ryan Matthews. Hope all you Charger fans enjoy more of the same. If the owner is impressed by a win over a fading Raider club that cannot get out of its own way, then a weak and underachieving football team will be good enough as well.

  20. Great, keep the man that let go of Drew Brees, Kassim Osgood, Michael Turner, Darren Sproles, Antonio Cromartie, drafted busts like craig david, corey liuget, Antone Cason, and larry english

  21. I really feel sorry for San Diego fans. What did you ever do to deserve this?

    AJ Smith fires a 14-2 head coach, lets his best talent walk for nothing (btw, New Orleans says thanks!), and now the head jackhole in charge and his hand-picked head coach get to stay…for what? Why?

    Can anybody give me a non-snarky reason why AJ & Norv should keep their jobs?

  22. I feel sorry for San Diego fans as well. Charger fans are being held hostage by AJ Smith and idiotic Spanos. They’re both trying to save face after stupidly firing Schottenheimer, letting Brees and Sproles go for nothing, and putting all their chips on Mr. Passer Rating MVP Phillip Rivers. The Chargers continue to be their own worst enemy, story of the last 30 years SMH

  23. Why does this not surprise anyone in San Diego that long ago realized this team will never amount to anything with the Spanos family in power. AJ Smith is a moron. Exhibit A is Darren Sproles.

  24. AJ gets to keep his job because he’s one of the best evaluators of talent in the league and there isn’t anybody to upgrade him to. He drafted two hall of famers in the same draft (Brees & LT). If you include Rivers and Eli in there, then it’s getting more and more likely that he did that twice. While nobody understood why Sproles was let go, that’s really his only glaring mistake as GM this year. He made some great midseason pickups like Gaither that helped the Chargers get back to .500.

    Granted, the Sproles decision was a ridiculous blunder.

    I don’t know why they will keep Norv, but I didn’t know why they hired him in the first place. He had a terrible record as a coach and despite having one of the most talented teams in the league has missed the playoffs two years in a row.

    Sproles being on the team would have meant a 9th win this year.

    Norv will stay because Spanos and the players support him.

  25. To bad for the city of San Diego. They deserve better. So much talent coupled with so many let downs.

  26. Amazing, i gave up my Charger season tickets years ago. Spanos simply cannot find his “stones” and make the big decision to improve the franchise. Turner is simply NOT the answer. If Spanos can’t let him go then demote his arse to offensive coordinator and bring in a Real head coach ! What a Wussy……………. :o(

  27. I lived in San Diego for 30 years, and the Chargers have always disappointed. They got to the SB once with Stan Humphries at QB and got slayed by the 49ers. If they had kept Shotty and Brees they would have gone to the SB and won it, but I do thank these idiots for what they’ve done for my Saints. GEAUX SAINTS!!!!

  28. As a Raiders fan I will be thrilled to see Norv Turner and A.J. Smith in powder blue next season

  29. AJ use to be able to evaluate talent, everyone says he is so talented name the last first rounder that he drafted in the last 5 years that is worth anything. You can’t the guy is a jerk the fans hate him and this proves that the Chargers will be on the way out of SD. Go broncos!!

  30. Hopefully Spanos is just delivering a dose of vindictive justice to these guys, by giving them some optimism before pulling the rug out from under them – just like they’ve been doing to the fanbase every year.

  31. .

    Letting Brees walk was crazy. Patriots fans remember when their 22 game consecutive win streak ended. It was when Brees put up 48 on them in their home stadium.
    Might be the worst personnel decision in recent years.


  32. Orcheon:

    John Butler drafted LT and Brees. AJ got Gates as a UFA, and Phillips late in the draft, but other than that, he hasn’t done much. Trading up to draft Hester, Weddle, and Mathews was ridiculous. Especially what we gave up to get Jacob Hester…what a joke. He took English over Clay Matthews, he took Sammy Davis over Nnambi Asomougha…you starting to get the picture? He is no longer a good or even decent evaluator of talent.

  33. jbaxt says: Jan 2, 2012 5:16 PM

    Good, the Chiefs won’t have to worry about SD with Norv at the Helm. If KC stays healthy they’re the favorite next year….

    Chiefs don’t have a QB. How are they the favorite?

  34. Are the Chargers waiting to see if the Phila. Eagles Fire Andy Ried on Tues.? The Eagles owner is having a 2:30pm press conf. tomorrow. We will see.
    Or do they announce that Spags is DC??

  35. “Chiefs don’t have a QB. How are they the favorite?”

    Cassel will be healthy next year, and other than him panicking at the slightest hint of pressure, not being able to throw a deep ball, medium ball, or screen pass, not being able to read defenses, and not being a good leader–Cassel is a solid QB.

  36. This makes me want to puke. After watching every Charger game for the last 6 years I’m seriously thinking of taking a year off. Or cheering for a new team until
    Dean grows a set. I will always have a special place for the chargers but this is getting pathetic. This team atleast deserves a shot at the playoffs and the team continues to underachieve since I’ve followed them and yet if this was any other team heads would roll (aside from when shotty went 14-2 and still got axed) The worst part is that Aj started drumming up interest for himself (even if it was from the rams and raiders) as a ‘talent evaluator’ if he knew anything about talent he would have payed Vinny last year!! SPANOS DO YOUR ENTIRE FAN BASE PROUD AND HIRE SOME NEW TALENT. AJ + NORV= NO BOWLS & DISAPPOINTMENT

  37. Sorry – I put my Charger gear in a box and threw it to the back of the garage when Norv got hired knowing this team would underachieve under his tenure. I cannot believe they would retain this milk toast of a coach for one more year! Oh well, I’ll have next year’s worth of Sundays to be productive since I won’t waste 3 – 4 hours watching the Chargers under perform

  38. How do you take a championship team and turn them into a second rate team? By firing Marty Schottenheimer (14-2) and then letting AJ Smith pick the new coach. Let’s not pretend AJ doesn’t run the whole team. No great coach is going to come to San Diego as long as AJ is in charge and you will never win as long as you let the front office coach the team. When is Spanos going to wake up? Didn’t we go through this same scenario with Bobby Ross and Bobby Beathard?

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