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Norv Turner: Chargers are far from being a playoff team

Many people consider the San Diego Chargers to be a team with talent that would be easy for a new coach to turn around. Norv Turner disagrees.

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.

Helmet smack to The Red Zone

Norv Turner, A.J. Smith reportedly will be fired after season

San Diego Chargers fans will finally have their wish. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Chargers will fire head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith at the end of the season.

Acee says Chargers President Dean Spanos began thinking about a month ago that Turner’s time as head coach was ending. In the past, Norv was able to hang onto his job after the team rallied late in the season. This season they have lost four in a row and are now 4-8.

Many people have similarly called for AJ Smith aka the “Lord of No Rings” to lose his job for years. Smith infamously sparred with the Manning family and took a hard-lined stance against franchise legend LaDainian Tomlinson. He had a great eye for drafting talent, but his abrasive personality has long been a source of controversy.

Current Chargers Director of Player Personnel Jimmy Raye is expected to take over as the team’s GM. There is no word on who might become the team’s next head coach.

Acee reports that the team is keeping Turner for the rest of the season because of the minuscule chance they can still make the playoffs.

Turner has long been criticized for constantly underachieving in San Diego. In 2010, Tony Dungy said Turner was responsible for some of the team’s problems. In 2011, Rex Ryan said he would have won Super Bowls with the talent the team possessed.

Though he is a great offensive mind, we never felt Turner should have been hired as the team’s head coach. He should have been fired a long time ago, and it seems silly for the Chargers to keep him for the next four games if they’re planning to fire him after the season.

Turner has coached three different teams and is 111-121 in his career. He is much better suited as an offensive coordinator. It’s about time the Chargers came to their senses.

Fire Norv Turner trends nationally on Twitter after Chargers loss

The San Diego Chargers dropped to a game under .500 after losing to the Cleveland Browns 7-6 on the road Sunday, and many fans are not happy with the team.

Minutes after the Chargers lost, the hashtag “#FireNorv” was trending nationally on Twitter. The names of football players, coaches, and teams frequently trend during NFL Sundays, but it likely took thousands of tweets with the “FireNorv” hashtag to get the term trending.

Norv Turner is in his sixth season as head coach of the Chargers, and many have felt for years that the team has underachieved during his tenure. The Chargers went 9-7 two years ago, 8-8 a season ago, and are now 3-4. They haven’t made the postseason since 2009, and the calls for Turner to lose his job have been going on longer than that.

San Diego blew a 24-0 lead against the Denver Broncos on “Monday Night Football” and had the bye week to prepare for their Week 8 game in Cleveland. They only managed six points against a team that had been 1-6 entering the game and ranked 23rd in points allowed. The poor performance was inexcusable, and it’s quite understandable why Chargers fans would have been fed up with the team after Sunday’s loss.

We’ve felt that Norv Turner never should have been hired by San Diego in the first place, and therefore that he should have been canned years ago. Hopefully Chargers ownership will realize that and can Turner — and possibly GM A.J. Smith — before much longer.

Norv Turner would rather have seen Peyton Manning sign with the 49ers

When reports first indicated Peyton Manning was considering the Broncos in free agency, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers brashly stated he hoped Peyton would choose his division rival. It’s safe to say Norv Turner doesn’t share his enthusiasm.

“You know, I thought he would have looked great in a 49er uniform,” Turner told Darren Smith on XX1090 in San Diego. “It would have been fun to watch him in the NFC.”

Turner recognizes that Manning’s comeback will be intriguing.

“He went through a tough year this year,” Turner said. “It was very difficult on him not to play, and it will be interesting to see how he can progress and come back.”

When asked if he thought Peyton Manning could return to the form he displayed five years ago, Turner compared the situation to when the Chiefs got Joe Montana, saying it was a great addition for the team.

“I would expect that he’ll be physically alright and ready to play. He’s going to be a good player. I don’t know if you can project if he’s going to be as good as he was in Indianapolis. We’re going to see.”

Turner thinks the Broncos’ addition of Peyton Manning will mean the Chargers fly under the radar, which he considers a good thing. But make no mistake: unlike Philip Rivers, you can tell Norv was nervous about the Broncos getting Peyton Manning.

Philip Rivers Backs Norv Turner: ‘It would be Crazy’ if He Were Fired

The Chargers are coming alive late in the season like usual. They have won three in a row and are now 7-7. The win streak comes after a disastrous six-game losing streak that featured a botched exchange leading to a loss against the Chiefs. A few weeks ago, it was a near certainty that head coach Norv Turner would be fired. It was likely GM A.J. Smith was going with him. Now that the team is rallying late in the year, quarterback Philip Rivers is trying to end the fire Norv talk.

“Regardless of what happens the next two weeks,” Rivers said after Sunday’s game, “it would be crazy for Norv to not be here. We’ve won 48 games in five years. Norv can’t make every throw. Norv didn’t fumble. You can’t go, ‘Gee, Norv, why did you throw that pass?’”

I understand Rivers’ point, and you can make the same argument when any coach gets fired: he’s not the one screwing up on the field. But the issue is a coach is supposed to give his team the best chance to win. Does Norv do that? On a weekly basis, he does not, and it’s been that way for a while.

It is time for a new head coach in San Diego, regardless of what Rivers says. It would be great to retain Norv as the offensive coordinator, but I doubt he would be willing to do that. He’s still a good offensive coach.

Helmet knock to Eye on Football

Rex Ryan: I Would Have Won Super Bowls with Chargers. Norv Turner Unamused.

Rex Ryan interviewed for the Chargers head coaching job in 2007 after the team fired Marty Schottenheimer. G.M. A.J. Smith decided to hire Norv Turner instead. During a conference call with the San Diego media Wednesday, Ryan said the Chargers made the wrong move.

“Well, I think I would have had a couple rings,” Ryan said when asked about how things would have unfolded if he were hired by the Chargers. “I’m telling you, those teams were loaded.”

Rex called Norv to clarify his comments. A Jets spokesman said Ryan’s comments were meant more as a compliment to what the Chargers have built. Unsurprisingly, Norv was unamused.

“I was wondering if he’s had the rings with the team he’s been guaranteeing,” Norv reportedly told reporters Wednesday, in response to Rex’s comments. Marty Caswell of Double X Sports in San Diego adds that Turner was not pleased with Rex’s remarks.

Why would he be? Rex just said that he would have done more with the Chargers if he were their head coach.

It’s hard to argue with him.

San Diego has had tons of talent. They reached the AFC title game in Norv’s first year but lost to the Patriots. In 2009, Ryan’s Jets beat Turner’s Chargers to reach the AFC Championship Game. Rex may have come up short on his Super Bowl predictions, but I believe his teams have overachieved with him as coach. The contrary is true for the Chargers.

Norv Turner Fires Back at Tony Dungy

Tony Dungy has been known to get under people’s skin with his remarks as a commentator on NBC. His words inspired the Cowboys against the Saints last year, and he also upset Rex Ryan saying he wouldn’t ever hire the man. Now he’s pissed off Chargers coach Norv Turner.

Apparently Dungy must have said on Football Night in America that Norv Turner shoulders some of the blame for San Diego’s struggles this year. I was watching the show and don’t recall Dungy saying anything inflammatory, and that comment certainly doesn’t qualify. 99% of unbiased people would agree with what Dungy said, particularly considering the way the special teams problems have cost the Chargers three games.

Someone from the San Diego media took Dungy’s comments to Norv on Monday and served him up a softball. Let’s just say Norvell knocked it out of the park.

“You make a comment and see a team from (afar),” Turner said. “I can relate to him. It’s probably how he felt when his players let Darren sproles return a punt and a kick for a touchdown here on a Sunday night game or when Peyton (Manning) threw six interceptions against us. I understand we have work to do. It’s like any head coach would feel after a game like that.”

Damn, that was a pretty strong comeback from Norv. I can understand why he would be upset, but Dungy’s comments were completely fair. Then again, if you’re 2-3 and being questioned by a coach whom your team owned head-to-head, you’d probably be upset too. Keep it coming Norv, I love it.