Turner was fired by the Chargers on Monday after six seasons on the job. Though the team made the playoffs his first three seasons, they went 24-24 and failed to reach the postseason over his final three seasons. He doesn’t think the team is as close to returning to the playoffs as many others do.
“Someone wrote a few weeks ago that this team is not that far away from the playoffs,” Turner said Monday, per Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. “I would disagree. I know the things that would have to get done for that to happen. If this team comes next year and they get some things done to help them get better and are able to make the playoffs, I would hope it would be a surprise to all the Chargers fans, and they would be excited about it.
“I would hope it would not be the expectation starting in August because I think you need to give whoever the guy who comes in here and the group he brings in some time to get back this thing back to where it was.”
Turner apparently said he felt the Chargers were the most talented team in the AFC West his first three seasons on the job, but not his last three. He seemed to pin that problem on GM A.J. Smith.
“We’ve had too many changes,” Turner said. “We’ve lost too many people.”
The Chargers lost players like Mike Tolbert, Vincent Jackson, and Kevin Burnett in recent years, but they’ve also retained cornerstones like Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Eric Weddle and Shaun Phillips. The team has been in a very winnable division and simply has not played well. That, to me, is on Turner. It would be a surprise if a new coach did not perform better than Turner.
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