June 19, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith watches during minicamp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

A.J. Smith Off The Hot Seat?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Do you know what is significant about April 22nd, 2003? Anybody? BoogaP probably knows.

That’s the day A.J. Smith took over the reigns of the Chargers GM after his close friend and long time associate, John Butler passed away.
I have to admit, I was one that wanted Smith’s head on a platter after last season, but really, one has to think about it for a moment.

Since Smith took over, the Chargers have won 91 games and 5 AFC West Championships.The Chargers made five playoff appearances from 2004-09. In the Spanos family’s nearly three decades of ownership, the Chargers have been to the postseason just three other times. From 1996-2003, the Chargers were only one game better than the Cincinnati Bengals.

Remember how pathetic they were?

Smith is 3rd in winning percentage in the league among GMs (.611) behind Kevin Colbert of Pittsburgh and Bill Belichick of New England. Before Smith was named general manager, the Chargers had not been to the playoffs or had a winning record for seven consecutive seasons.

After a lot of thought, I had to ask myself, why is Smith so despised? Is it because he doesn’t take crap from players agents? I kind of like that trait about him. No, I think it’s because we tend to view him as kind of an ass. A no nonsense kind of guy. Isn’t that kind of what you would want in a GM? Especially when, in this day and age, some of these players and their agents (I said some) are prima-donnas and ask for the moon when all they deserve is fair market value.

Yeah, this team had a rough couple of years. Who doesn’t? So we lost a couple of good players. Who doesn’t? Time to get over it and move on.

After last season, A.J. and Norv got sent to the principal’s office. Whether Dean Spanos gave them a good paddling or not I don’t know. Whatever happened, it seemed to have worked. At least for Smith. With Norv it’s a wait-and-see.

A.J. Smith is the second winningest GM in Chargers history second only to Sid Gilman.
As much as some might hate to acknowledge, Smith DID in bring this team out of the depths of hell and turned it into a winning franchise.

How soon we forget.

I pose to you these questions:

What if the Chargers go 9-7 and barely make the playoffs?

What if the Chargers go 10-6 but miss the playoffs?

What if the Chargers make the playoffs and go one and done?

Should someone still get fired? Smith? Turner? Both?

Or do they both get another chance?

What If Smith does get fired? Do you really think we could find a better GM?

Be careful what you wish for.

I’m kind of siding with logic here.

A.J. Smith should stay.

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Tags: A.J. Smith

  • AndreHascall

    I’d let aj stay but if we go one and none in the playoffs i think we need a new coach.

  • r_mainwaring

    @BoogaP Thanks buddy!

    • BoogaP

      @r_mainwaring U know it! Good job bro. I like it!

  • BoogaP

    People have short term memory when it comes to remembering “Life before AJ.” 
    He, of course, has made some seriously questionable draft selections.  BUT, he has also made some great choices as well.

  • Brennan Ault

    no not off the hot seat if they dont make the playoffs Aj and norv should be gone. I thought they were both gone this year

  • Vicente Ward

    So, a non-business minded person would think he will be around? A slow start this season and second place hmmm?

  • Bolts_NFL_music

    Actually I think for a GM it´s hardly possible that everybody likes you. They often have to make decisions which are unpopular. And as I don´t have the knowledge who will be better for this job and considering that he (in my opinion) made a good job on this year´s draft, I would say let´s go on with him.

  • Caleb Rose

    He’ll no him and Norv AKA Bert and Ernie need to go

  • biggsybolt

    Nice work Randy! You are absolutely right most fans, mainly Nancy, only dwell on his few bad draft picks and firing of Marty. They forget he built the that made the playoffs for consecutive years and has had more epic drafts than bad ones. To those of you that down AJ with every waking breath…. if you could do better, you would be but, you can’t, you aren’t, you need to shut your pie hole!

  • Nick in PB

    It’s much easier, at this time of the year, to look at things objectively. In my opinion, I think AJ has done a very good job. When you think about it, most of his early round draft failures have been due to injury and not due to poor performance. That’s just bad luck. That happens to every GM. Yes, there were some questionable reaches. Drafting players ahead of where most thought they would go. Again, that happens a lot too. I know it bothers many that his free agent acquisitions rarely make a splash, but usually, they are solid players at a fair price. Again, those are good decisions. People forget that going after a Mario Williams, although a great player, tends to leave other areas quite bare. If I have one beef with Mr. Smith, it was his hiring of Norv Turner. I understand the reasoning behind it. At the time, we were very close and he felt that hiring Norv was a good way to move forward without having to start from scratch… pick up where we left off. I just don’t think that Norv is a good leader, nor one that can lead us to a SB Victory. Of course, I hope I am wrong. I agree with what you say Randy… if the Chargers don’t make the playoffs, Norv should go. AJ, can stay.

  • JustinBrinsfield

    AJ Smith made it possible for Charger fans to hold their heads up again.  We were in the trenches for so long, just a horrible team.  We’ve been the butt of jokes for too long.  We’re still the butt of jokes, but for not doing MORE, not for just plain sucking.  His big mistakes i think were in the past few years, when we’ve been close, but haven’t made it, he’s sort of sat on the sidelines building through the draft and not making siginificant moves to improve the roster in free agency.  His first couple of years he made big moves and transactions to build a strong team.  It was fun to watch, and gave hope for the upcoming season.  Then for a couple years, he sort of just sat back and built through the draft.  “Hey, we didn’t get too far with the team we currently have, maybe a few shake ups could help?”  But after last season, he got placed on the hot seat again, and BAM, some fun Free agency moves have been made!  This kind of off season stuff from him gives me hope for the upcoming season.  When we have our lack luster seasons and are content to stick with who we have and bring in rookies, it gets frustrating.  Keep giving me this AJ and i’d keep him.  But lose Turner if he doesn’t get it done this year.  Don’t let him waste the last years of our QB and talented team…too much time has been wasted already.