While almost everyone thinks the Chargers should fire Norv Turner this week, no one has written anything beyond 140 characters about it or stood up and publically say what we all know is the right thing to do. Phil Rivers is saying all the right things, as he should as the face of the franchise. The San Diego Union Tribune is continuing its chicken shit coverage of the Chargers, with articles like this and this, that play both sides towards the middle to avoid upsetting anyone in the Chargers organization that could cause their “country club access” to be revoked. Dean Spanos’ insistence that his decision on Turner will take days and that he “still has a lot to evaluate” has made me realize that no one has made it clear to him how every Charger fan who has watched every game over the past five seasons and has lived and died with this team feels:
There is no fucking reason why Norv Turner should be brought back as head coach of the Chargers next season.
Turner took over a team five years ago that was on a cusp of a Championship. He took a hard-nosed, exciting team and turned it into one that is known for slow starts, undisciplined play and lack of focus . In other words, under Turner, the Chargers have become the biggest frauds in the NFL.
Let’s take a macro-level look at the past five seasons under Norv Turner.
In 2007, his first year as coach, Turner took the Chargers to the AFC Championship game but not before his team had to overcome a 1-3 start and an embarrassing Week 9 performance against the Vikings where Adrian Peterson set the single-game rushing record.
The Chargers opened 2008 (after that promising showing in the AFC Championship Game) by going 4-8, barely sneeking into the playoffs. Had the Chargers played in a division other than the AFC West they would have missed the playoffs that season. The win over the Colts in the Wild Card game seemed to make everyone feel better at the time, but little did we know this would be the last playoff game the Chargers would win under Norv Turner.
The 13-3 season in 2009 was the best regular season Turner was able to put together and the only season under Turner where the Chargers were able to avoid their dreaded “slow start” syndrome. However, the greatness of that regular season was erased when the Chargers were embarrassed at home in their opening playoff game against the Jets.
It was all downhill from there. 2010 was low-lighted by week after week debacles on Special Teams that Turner could not correct. Their bungles on Special teams led to a 4-5 start and eventually cost the Chargers a division title and spot in the playoffs. It was more of the same this past season, however this time, turnovers at inopportune moments and poor game management during the second half of key losses fueled a six game losing streak that led to the Chargers missing the playoffs for the second straight year.
So if you’re keeping score at home, the recurring themes of the past five seasons have been:
- Lack of preparation and focus early in the season which resulted in slow starts.
- Embarrassing losses where the Chargers show up not ready to play and are defeated by an inferior opponent.
- Undisciplined play which resulted in turnovers and mistakes at key points in games.
- Poor game management which allows opponents to remain competitive in games the Chargers are dominating.
The way a team prepares and ultimately performs during a game is reflective of its coach and there is nothing you could say that would convince me otherwise. In five seasons (and in the subpar AFC West no less) Norv Turner’s resume includes the following: 3 playoff wins, none after the first two seasons; only two seasons of 10 or more wins; two 8-8 seasons; head coach of the team that had the worst Special Teams unit in the history of the NFL. Kevin Acee and the Union-Tribune can bullshit us all they want about the injuries and personnel and how Turner is “doing the best with what he has” but there is no way in hell this team should have missed the playoffs these past two seasons. The Chargers have greatly underacheived and their coach must be held accountable.
I’m tired of the Chargers looking like world beaters one week and drunks playing football on the street the next. There has been enough bone headed decisions and lackluster play over these past five seasons for Dean Spanos to base his evaluation on and to make his decision a simple one. In order to shed their label as underachieving losers and build a team that is disciplined, consistent, and actually overachieves, the Chargers have to FIRE NORV TURNER!
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