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9 Reasons Norv Turner Should Be Fired

by: Howard Cosmell On  Friday, November 18, 2011

With the Chargers sitting at 4-5 right now, they are far from the dominant force in the AFC West that everyone expected them to be. And everyone is predictably placing the blame on head coach Norv Turner. He’s seemed to trend downward over his career in SD, and it’s time to pull the cord and start anew. Here are 9 reasons why.

9. He’s Trending Downward in Wins

2007
11 5 0 .688 1st in AFC West

2008
8 8 0 .500 1st in AFC West

2009
13 3 0 .786 1st in AFC West

2010
9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC West

2011
4 5 0 .444

He was handed the keys and had an 11-5 start. He’s now 4-5 with comparable players. Either the Chargers are getting worse, or everyone else is getting better. Either way, they need and deserve a coach that can keep up.

8. He Marginalized LT

In fairness, Tomlinson had lost a step, but the fact that Turner was so gung-ho to adopt a passing game with one of the elite running backs shows how short sighted he was. He sat on a huge weapon to assemble a marginal aerial attack. The twilight of LT’s prime was squandered and he faded away to the Jets, having never realized what could have come in those two later seasons.

7. He’s a Boring Playcaller

Sure, this might be sound from a strategic standpoint. Turner is, after all, an experienced and proven offensive guru (save for the points on this list, of course), but I would rather have an exciting risky team in my hometown than a team that executes the fundamentals. These guys have proven to be, time and again, the Tim Duncan of the NFL. He’s got a number of weapons. If he could use them in a surprising fashion, he might get more mileage.

6. He Doesn’t Seem to Care

Granted, he’s not Wade Phillips “deer in the headlights” lost out there, but he seems to lack fire. Maybe it’s in there, maybe it’s not. But if the players can’t see it, they probably can’t feel it. He doesn’t need to put the fear of God in them or anything, but it’s football. A little emotion is required to rise above the din in your typical game, never mind the important ones.

5. This Season’s Done

Better to start the transition now than later. Most of the Chargers’ remaining games are against teams with winning records. They’re not going to see the playoffs this year, and if Turner’s still around, they probably won’t see them next year either. Turner can’t light a fire under Rivers, so let’s call it a wash and get on with the healing/growing process, shall we?

4. Speaking of Which, The Rivers Thing Hasn’t Worked Out

Turner was hired to turn Rivers into a Super Bowl-caliber leader. It hasn’t happened after five years. I’m not saying this is entirely Turner’s fault, but the fact remains that there has to be some accountability here, and Rivers hasn’t developed into a leader. And, let’s face it, it’s easier to fire Turner and get Rivers involved in a different system than it is to bring in a new QB. Rivers has more talent than he’s showing. Someone needs to get it out of him.

3. GM AJ Smith Is on the Block As Well

I’m sure the general manager of the team would sooner throw his coach under the bus than shoulder the blame himself, and right now, a move needs to be made to show that Smith is being proactive, even if it isn’t the right one. Fortunately for Smith, this move is the right one. The only thing holding up the process is the fact that Turner’s under contract until 2013, so the Chargers would likely be paying two coaches for at least some period of time, which isn’t terribly financially advantageous.

2. Turner Might Want To Leave, Too

No one wants to be fired, obviously, and with Turner under contract, he would be in breach should he quit. However, if he’s to be let go, he could hopefully find the quarterback of his dreams with a new middling team, rather than be the reason the Chargers fail to live up to their expectations. Norv’s never had trouble getting work in the past, and I’m sure that getting canned by the Bolts wouldn’t change that.

1. He (They) Can’t Finish

He lacks a killer instinct, which means that his team does as well. He couldn’t close against the Jets, and it’s becoming a problem endemic to his teams. See above about his lack of emotion, but his inability to close also falls to some basic strategy failures that he should be able to address right now. That combined with a lack of urgency from the sidelines means the Chargers have gone soft. And there’s only one way to get them hard again.

Wait. That doesn’t sound good




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