AJ and Norv Back For '11, Need to Learn From Mistakes

SAN DIEGO - MAY 03: Head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith of the San Diego Chargers watch practice during minicamp at the Chargers training facility on May 3, 2009 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Terrell/Getty Images)

Source: YardBarker.com

The San Diego Chargers will have AJ Smith and Norv Turner running the show again in 2011. The rest of the AFC West gave each other a high-5 after that announcement.

“The easiest thing in the world is to start over. Who the hell do I go hire? Blow the whole thing up? We’re a pretty good team but we have to make the right moves. We’ve fallen. It could have been our draft picks or our free-agent moves. But we have a good core, and I don’t care what anybody says. I’m not afraid to make changes. If I thought it was warranted, I would do it. We have a good foundation here.” – Dean Spanos

I don’t know many Chargers’ fans that like the idea of this, but it is something that we have to deal with. Hopefully both AJ and Norv have learned from their mistakes.

Let’s see a few of the things that Norv and AJ need to improve for next season:

Norv Turner
His slow start to the season finally cost him. Norv will need to get out of the starting gates quickly next season in order to keep the restless fans quiet. The Chargers fans are quick to pull the “Fire Norv” card out and any misstep early in the season will have the gang SCREAMING. A quick start will give the team confidence to run through the season.

The Chargers are 2-5 on the road this season and 4 of those losses are to teams with a record less than .500 right now. The Chargers came out flat for a lot of those games and just look unprepared. Norv will need to properly prepare his team for the crowd and the travel.

The Chargers are 7-0 when Philip Rivers throws less than 30 passes. Norv needs to trust his running backs and play some smash mouth football. The passing game gains chunks of yards, but running the ball beats down the opponent and rests the defense. It will set up the play action and Philip won’t be hit as much.

The team is 2-3 against the AFC West this year. The early season loss to KC catapulted the Chiefs to the top and getting swept by the Raiders slowed the Chargers’ momentum at the end of the season. The AFC West is getting better and the Chargers can’t rely on a weak division to allow them easy access to the playoffs anymore.

AJ Smith
The troubles started in the off-season when AJ battled his players, Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill, in a contract dispute. Both players are All-Pro level talents and were watching from home while the Chargers struggled to open the season. These players need to be brought into training camp and made available to play a whole season. AJ needs to keep his attitude and ego in check.

There are a lot of Chargers that are going to enter the season as a free agent, and we need to bring back the key veterans. Last season, we let go of players like Ladainian Tomlinson, Kassim Osgood and Jamal Williams. These players provided a lot of leadership to the team and were key losses in the locker room. Players like Stephen Cooper, Kevin Burnett and Vincent Jackson need to be brought back for next season.

His drafts the last couple of years have been sub par and he needs to find people that can contribute to the system. His first round picks need to make plays, instead of sitting on the sideline with injuries. He needs to bring more winning attitudes and leadership to the team.

Make a play on some free agents or make some trades this off-season. AJ does a good job of bringing in players, but he just does not do it often enough. He brought in Kevin Burnett a couple of seasons ago and this last season he brought in Donald Strickland and Patrick Crayton. He also does great bringing in undrafted free agents, but he needs to bring in some talent that is more seasoned. This team has a lot of great players on it and an impact free agent can carry the team into the playoffs and give them a good opportunity.

We let Osgood join the Jacksonville Jaguars in the off-season and lost other key contributors in special teams and as a result, had the worst special teams in league history! AJ needs to make sure that this team is solid from the start of the season and we are not searching for players all season long to make it work.

Last, but not least…. FIRE NORV TURNER!

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Tags: A.J. Smith Dean Spanos Norv Turner

  • DisgruntledCHFan

    I posted this on October 18th (see below)- basically, that there was some logic to keeping Norv through the rest of this season, but if the Bolts did not make the playoffs he should be fired. AJ should be fired no matter what. So pathetic that Spanos is lost in oblivion.

    p.s. Sports is a fickle business, and if you try to run it long-term and keep people around who are not producing results, you will lose. This is Spanos’ biggest problem; he likes these guys personally and he won’t fire them because of it. Btw, did he address AT ALL the fact that he fired Marty a couple years ago after a 14-2 season? No. He is just dumbing down his thinking and hoping he will get away with it. Pathetic!

    ChargersFan007 says:
    October 18, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I myself have watched the Chargers play for several seasons, and it is clear that some things fans do not fully understand. First, Norv DOES seem to motivate the team to play hard and well when it counts. Last season PROVED THAT, so you have to turn to other people in the front office first. If Norv hadn’t turned them around last season, then I would still be saying he should be fired- I mean, how many times can you run Sproles up the middle when you have Matthews waiting?
    Second, the problems start with Spanos and AJ Smith. Spanos backs Smith, and at the end of the day, when an organization makes high profile fall on your face bad decisions you have to give lay the blame at the head guy. It is like the QB in football; Spanos is the QB of the organization and right now he’s playing like a washed up Vinny Testaverde or something.
    Third, AJ Smith needs to go. You do NOT battle your players over contracts the way this guy does. If you want to be greedy and not pay your players, then you trade good players for high round draft picks and focus on improving the potential of the players you draft. You do NOT make your best OL sit out the beginning of the season just to prove that you have the power to do so. If you were going to sign players other than MacNeil or VJ then, sure, do it. But, treating 2 of your best players in such a way sends the WRONG MESSAGE TO THE OTHER PLAYERS. If I was Spanos, I would fire Smith. Since I am not, I say we need to fire them both somehow.

    Or, at the very least, campaign against whatever Spanos has in store for us now.

    • http://boltbeat.com Ernie Padaon

      the whole front office is a mess. norv is not a good coach.. aj has lost his magic touch and has let his ego get in the way of his personnel decisions.

      both players should be on the hot seat for the upcoming season. let’s see if they are able to step up their performances and get this team winning again

  • jdcharger14

    When the chargers move to lA will the name and uniforms stay in San Diego like it was with the Cleveland browns? Or will they become the LA chargers with San Diego chargers and uni’s waiting for a franchise or failed operation like Buffalo?

    • http://boltbeat.com Ernie Padaon

      most likely they would take the name and the colors with them. they have been promoting themselves in LA already, so it would make sense that they would keep the name and the colors out there.