TURNER NOT IN TROUBLE
Posted by Mike Florio on November 20, 2008, 2:20 p.m. EST
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.”