While the blame game has been San Diego Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner’s modus operandi since taking over the gig, it appears he is finally owning up to some of the Bolts’ issues from Monday night’s collapse. Just when it seemed impossible for Turner to realize that this team is doomed with him at the helm and it appeared his blinders were reigned in even tighter than ever before, perhaps the coach is coming around to his own shortcomings.
This may just be an aberration, but week after week we hear coaches say following game ‘this one is on me, not on the team’. That has been the opposite from Turner for most of his time in San Diego, but this time he actually said: “If you want to make this about somebody, it’s not about one of the guys in there. Make it about me.” He continued: “Yes, we are going to limit some things we’re doing, and I’ve got to do a better job and make sure we put things in there, and then we’re calling things that have less risk. They may not have as big of a reward. We may not be quite the same big-play team, but we’re not going to turn the ball over.”
If you are wondering what took so long, join the crowd, but the old cliche says better late than never, right? Turner finally realizes that this is not the team with Vincent Jackson where you can stretch the field vertically and throw jump balls all night long. He apparently also sees that Eddie Royal is not the west coast version of Wes Welker and designing plays for him in that fashion is just as futile. Asking quarterback Philip Rivers to try and use his current assembly of talent like the groups he has had in years past is sheer lunacy.
Where this club’s bread is buttered is running the football with Ryan Mathews to set up play-action passes to Antonio Gates. It’s really not that complicated. The first half was filled with success using that philosophy and inexplicably, just because the Denver Broncos scored a touchdown to open the second half, the Bolts completed discarded that game plan.
More than anything, this bye week needs to be about establishing this team’s offensive identity and understanding what works and what doesn’t with this personnel. If Turner can come to terms with the fact that he doesn’t have to be a genius every snap and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, then perhaps there is still hope. And if not, well, expect some serious change in San Diego this off-season.
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