Norv Turner is entering his sixth season as head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Turner is 49-31 in five seasons as San Diego’s head coach, but is just 17-15 over the last two seasons. Turner’s 49-31 record is a monumental improvement from his 49-59-1 record with the Washington Redskins and his 9-23 record as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. In nine seasons with Washington and Oakland, Turner had a .414 winning percentage, which made the hiring of him by A.J. Smith a questionable one to say the least.
Turner made Smith look like a genius in 2007 as San Diego made it to the AFC Championship game a year after they finished 14-2 and lost their only playoff game during the 2006 season under Marty Schottenheimer. Philip Rivers had 556 yards with four touchdowns, two interceptions and completed 67 percent of his passes in two playoff victories during the 2007 season. Rivers tore his ACL before the AFC title game against the New England Patriots. He completed 51 percent of his passes with no touchdowns and two interceptions despite his miraculous effort. Tom Brady completed 67 percent of his passes in that game, but also threw two touchdowns and three interceptions. San Diego fell 21-12 to the 17-0 Patriots, and one has to wonder how different things could have been with a healthy Rivers and a healthy LaDainian Tomlinson.
San Diego is 1-2 under Turner in the playoffs since the 2007 season and has not made it past the second round during this time frame. If San Diego wins multiple playoff games in 2012, it would definitely be steps in the right direction considering they did not make the playoffs in 2010 or 2011. This may not be enough to save Turner’s job unless they get a bye week during round one of the postseason and win multiple games, which would mean a Super Bowl appearance. When a coach comes in no matter the sport, his or her job is to improve with the players he or she is given and or help the team reach new heights. Turner did that in his first season, and will need to do it again if he is going to be San Diego’s head coach in 2013.