Philip Rivers and Nick Hardwick are two of the San Diego Chargers who got what they wanted

By Kenny Gardner

San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner got off to a great start with the team.  Turner’s first season as San Diego’s head coach was at the start of the 2007 NFL season.  The Chargers finished that year with an 11-5 record and made it to the AFC Championship game before losing to the New England Patriots.  San Diego had a dreadful start to their 2008 season as they had a 4-8 record.  The Denver Broncos started the year at 7-5, but choked as both teams finished with an 8-8 record and San Diego won the division due to owning the tiebreaker.

The Lightning Bolts won their first playoff game in 2008 thanks to a game winning touchdown by Darren Sproles in overtime. However, they would go on to lose in the second round that year.  San Diego finished with a 13-3 record in 2009, but lost their only playoff game against the New York Jets.  San Diego did not make the playoffs in 2010 or 2011 and have lost three of their last four postseason games.

The team got off to a slow start in 2010 as they were 2-5 through their first seven games, but finished the season at 9-7.  This was too little too late as they missed the playoffs by one game.  After starting the 2011 season at 4-1, San Diego went on a six game losing streak which started with a mental collapse against New York.  The Chargers led 21-10 at halftime, but did not score in the second half and lost 27-21.  Denver and San Diego once again finished with identical 8-8 records, but Denver owned the tiebreaker in 2011 and won the AFC West.

San Diego’s franchise quarterback Philip Rivers and center Nick Hardwick have been with San Diego since the 2004 season. They were two of the Chargers who were vocal about Turner keeping his job after speculation last season.  Rivers said that Turner is the winningest coach in the history of San Diego while Hardwick said Turner did a great job keeping the team upbeat and called him a marathon man as he dealt with problems the team faced. Rivers and Hardwick need to bring their A games in 2012 because although many fans wanted a new coach, players are much more likely to have an influence on these decisions.  If San Diego fails to win multiple playoff games in 2012, Turner should be gone and fingers will be pointed at everyone who wanted him back for another season.













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