Will Winning These Last 3 Games Keep AJ Around?
By Ernie Padaon
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-USA TODAY SportsSo what happens if the Chargers end the season with a 4 game winning streak and just barely miss the playoffs? We still have to fire Norv Turner right? That still seems like a no brainer, but will AJ Smith still hold the same fate? Would winning the last 4 games save AJ’s job?
AJ is getting a lot of the wrath from the fans, but most people would be satisfied by at least removing Norv Turner. AJ brought this team success after some really dismal years and Dean remembers those terrible, terrible years. And he knows who took us out of that misery.
AJ was once regarded as one of the best GMs in the league. He had magic with his selections in the draft. He had magic when picking up undrafted free agents. The team was filled with Pro Bowlers and superstars. But then, he didn’t know how to keep all the talent on the roster. He built up a powerhouse through the draft, but free agency caught up to him.
He tried to prepare for the losses of players in free agency by drafting guys like Larry English. The magic that he had in the draft seemed to fade away. We were stuck with players like Antoine Cason and Buster Davis. We let Darren Sproles and Vincent Jackson skip out of town. AJ has shown that he doesn’t know how to keep his talent in town.
Has the recent young crop shown that he might of regained the magic touch in the draft? If the youngsters on the roster lead the team to a 4-game winning streak, could AJ still be calling the shots in the offseason? Corey Liuget, Kendall Reyes, Donald Butler and Melvin Ingram could keep AJ for another year. Vincent Brown will be back next season and fans are excited to see him. If Ryan Mathews could go on a tear, then it could give AJ even more hope. Danario Alexander keeps working his tail off and is making AJ look good.
The team still has talent. The defense looks solid and has a lot of young talent. The offense has work to do in the offseason, but those fixes can be made. Most people think that another head coach would have gotten this team to the playoffs. Another head coach could have gotten the most out of the talent. Another head coach wouldn’t have blown so many fourth quarter leads.
The question Dean has to ask himself, Does AJ know how to hire that head coach? AJ has stood behind Norv all this time and that is his biggest downfall. What head coach is willing to work with AJ Smith? Can AJ bring that guy to San Diego?