Much of the blame for the San Diego Chargers’ inability to get over the hump in recent years has fallen onto Head Coach Norv Turner. His lackluster playoff record and history of mediocrity precede him in many ways so it is just too easy to place the fault on him. There are plenty of other reasons why Turner makes it so simple to give him the guilt trip and he only further illustrated that point earlier this week.
One of Turner’s go-to moves is to ignore the facts and simply focus on his team. He talks about their work ethic, their preparedness, and conveniently glosses over the inarguable truth that he is presented with.
Following the close, fourth quarter loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, he said:
“There are a lot of theories about our team, a lot of people talking. Break down and look at facts, and I care about facts. Not about conjuncture. We just have some areas (where) we have to improve and play a little bit better. We aren’t very far away.”
While the team continues to win less and less of the close games that well-coached teams pull out at the end, the facts in evidence continue to pile up against Turner. It has been since week nine of 2009 that the Bolts actually won a game where they needed a score on the final possession to do so. Since that point, 10 of the team’s 17 losses have been by seven points of less. In conjunction with that daunting stat, just nine of the club’s 28 wins since then have been by seven points of less.
The truth is that Turner lacks the ability to prepare a team properly. As an offensive coordinator, there are no arguments about his prowess as a man who knows offense. As a head coach however, he doesn’t have what it takes to get a team mentally ready for the rigors of the closing moments and they inevitably wilt when push comes to shove. It’s hard to hold onto hope for this team when the facts are so clearly lined up against Turner and his unwillingness to acknowledge them makes it all the more frustrating.
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