It might seem silly to even suggest that the Chargers should fire Norval Eugene Turner, given that he led the team to an 11-5 record last season, and was able to accomplish something Mary Schottenheimer never could in his five years on the job: a playoff win. And Norv did it twice in seven days. Not too shabby.
Of course, Schottenheimer lost his job after a 14-win campaign, and Turner was staring at 1-3 one month into the gig. Now, the Chargers are 4-6, the playoffs are virtually out of reach, the defense is in shambles, LaDainian Tomlinson's next breakout game will be his first, and the fans are getting restless.
"I'm committed to him," team president Dean Spanos told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Wednesday morning. "I believe in him. It's ridiculous to think he's not going to be back." ...
"He's coming back," General Manager A.J. Smith said "... We are extremely happy with the first year with the man we hired and where we're heading. "We're disappointed with the win-loss record (this season) but not in the coach."
To be fair, the Chargers have had a fluke-filled season. There was the last-second loss to the Panthers to open the season, and then Ed Hochuli in Denver happened. Ralph Wilson Stadium lost power during the Buffalo game (which may not have had an effect on the outcome but it's still weird), and last Sunday was the mess in Pittsburgh. Oh, and Shawne Merriman's on injured reserve.
This isn't to make excuses for Turner, just to point out that some of what's transpired in the last 11 weeks is out of his control. Feel better, Chargers fans? No? Okay, just think back to those heady Mike Riley days. And know this: despite the slow start, San Diego is still just two games behind Denver in the AFC West. It could be worse.
Despite 4-6 Record, Chargers Plan to Bring Norv Turner Back for '09 originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Wed, 19 Nov 2008 17:05:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.