After taking a couple days to digest the Chargers omission from the playoffs for the second season in a row, The Greg One is back to chime in on what went wrong and how to fix it. Losing out on the playoffs is never going to be a blessing in disguise but having this season unfold the way it has after a 4-1 start should give more than enough reason for the Spanos’ to finally give Norv Turner his pinkslip. We’ve all watched this season and have shaken our heads at odd and sometimes just terrible play calling and clock management scenarios. Other factors figure into the Chargers failure this season. There were a multitude of injuries on the offensive line. Turnovers. The defense getting long in the tooth and not registering the sack totals teams in previous season also figures in. The underlying theme is coaching. Turnovers can be prevented by coaching up players. Interceptions can be prevented by not running vanilla offenses and daring to stretch the field. A new coach is priority number one. A coach who knows how to make pressure calls, be a person that commands respect in the locker room and makes free agents want to play for him. These are the guys The Greg One wants to see leading the blue and gold back to prominence:
5. Cam Cameron. Remember him? San Diego was in the top five in points scored each of the four seasons Cameron was the offensive coordinator, including a team record 494 points in 2006. The Chargers averaged over 26 points per game under Cameron’s control and Cameron is a major reason Philip Rivers has the highest points scored per start average in the history of the NFL. Cameron has been offensive coordinator in Baltimore the last three seasons and even the Ravens are putting up points instead of letting their defense do all the work.
4. Tony Dungy. Sure, Tony looks very comfortable on the set of Football Night in America but who’s to say he wouldn’t come back for the right team? Dungy has been away from the game for a while and how can he not see some Peyton Manning in Philip Rivers? Dungy would instantly command respect and would make players accountable from the word go. With this offense, Dungy could win another ring. Granted, this is the most unlikely name in this discussion but give the man a call. Just saying…
My choice 4A will be Andy Reid. Reid will not survive the disaster that Philadelphia has become and there’s no doubt he could use a change of scenery. Reid is tough but fair, will keep guys motivated and consistently got his team to the NFC Championship even if they only made the Super Bowl once. And lost. At least it would be a man who knew how to call a game in the playoffs.
3. Jon Gruden. Chucky is the youngest coach to ever win the Super Bowl and he did it with TAMPA BAY. Bill Walsh disciple. Gruden has won everywhere he has gone, even Oakland. As we’ve seen in the pre-draft specials, Gruden is brutally frank with quarterbacks and would be a great person to take Philip Rivers game even higher. He has the charisma and the evil stare that keeps a player in line. Gruden’s teams were always dominant defensively. Like Dungy, Gruden looks happy on the Monday Night Football set, but what coach who still feels the itch to get back in the game would pass on San Diego?
2. Bill Cowher. If Cowher can turn the Steelers into a near dynasty primarily on the strength of the defense, what could he do with a high octane offense? Cowher is no-nonsense coach who gives praise AFTER you’ve earned it, speaks his mind at all times and knows how to assemble a championship squad. Don’t look now, but the rumor mill has Cowher interested in the job. Cowher gives the team instant credibility again and would excite the fan base who have a lot to loathe about the team this season.
1. Chris Petersen. Surprised? Why? Peterson runs the highest scoring program in college football at Boise State. In six seasons the man is 71-6 with two undefeated seasons and three one loss seasons, winning his conference four times. Boise State players aren’t exactly flooding the pros. Petersen is getting the job done with the boy next door, not the blue chip recruits that usually land in power conferences. Leaving Petersen at the controls in San Diego would create a scoring display like nothing the league has seen since the Greatest Show on Turf. With his prize quarterback Kellen Moore coming to the NFL this would be as good a time as any to make the move to the pros. Petersen does not have NFL experience but you can do nothing but respect a man who can take a team in IDAHO and turn them into a national powerhouse. All he does is win. Sign the man NOW!!
It is very encouraging to hear the Spanos’ have already reached out to Bill Cowher about taking over the team if in fact that is true. Of all the coaching vacancies that will arise this offseason, none will be more attractive than San Diego. The team is already loaded. There do need to be some personnel changes made on both sides of the ball but that’s to be expected each offseason. The Spanos’ see its going to take a proven head coach with a pedigree of winning big games to bring respect back to the Chargers locker room. Cowher is a man big name free agents will want to play for instead of the over-the-hill vets looking for one last payday. Cowher is reportedly interested and that will suit Charger Nation just fine. A hire like this hopefully will generate the hope and optimism among the Chargers fan base to want to do what it takes to keep the Chargers in San Diego so lets make it happen!