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Crosby's Job Still Strongly Intact

Turner vows no more punt blocks

By Michael Gehlken
|  Tuesday, Nov 9, 2010  |  Updated 12:21 PM PDT
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of the San Diego Chargers of the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 10, 2010 in Oakland, California.

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There is job security, and then there is whatever Chargers special teams coordinator Steve Crosby has.

On Sunday, the Chargers allowed a punt deflection that led to a touchdown on the next play, adding the miscue to a laundry list that already includes two punt blocks for a safety, a punt block recovered for a touchdown, another punt block, a field goal block, a botched extra point attempt, a punt return for touchdown, and two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same game  — all in nine weeks of football. 

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And that's not including the many missed tackles on returns that have swayed field position in the Chargers' disfavor.

The unit has turned to its fifth long snapper, a second kicker, and nearly lost its punter Sunday after he was left writhing on the field in pain following Sunday's first-quarter deflection. The only unwavering piece to this enigmatic puzzle has been Crosby's place at the helm.

On Monday, Turner vehemently defended the 2007 Special Teams Coach of the Year, placing the accountability on his players before his coach when asked if the team's bye week would be a better time than any to fire Crosby if the move was to ever be made.

"There’s about five guys I’d let go before him, and that’d be the five guys that have had mental errors and given up blocked punts," Turner said. "He’s not out there doing it. He gets them ready to play. When I can put a tape on Friday of a guy doing it right and not doing it right on Sunday, that’s not Steve Crosby."

Turner has defended Crosby from the beginning, only progressively becoming more emotional and adamant.

While faulting "two or three" of the mental miscues on players playing special teams "because of an injury (who) haven’t handled it very well," Turner went a step further this time.

"Over the next five days we’re going to fix the issues we have in the punting game," Turner said. "We will not have another punt blocked for the rest of the season.

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