While my take on Norv Turner as a head coach is no secret (he’s an incompetent joke), my opinion of the general manager who hired him is another story entirely. San Diego Chargers’ General Manager A.J. Smith has been responsible for making this organization relevant again after a sustained period of absolute ineptitude during the late nineties and into the early portion of the 2000s. Smith has my gratitude for turning my favorite team from a laughing stock into a competitive club, but he needs to cut his ties with Turner if he wants maintain my respect.
What all great decision makers know is when to cut their losses and now would seem like a good time for Smith to declare the Turner experiment a failure. He said recently: “I take full responsibility for the present mess this team is in at this point in time. The construction and direction of this organization is on my watch. In the next 10 games we will either rally and see a slow, steady rise from the ashes to a division championship – or the beginning of a new era in Chargers’ football.”
That is the matter of fact nature that Smith has always spoken in. It may seem callous to speak about anyone’s employment (especially your own) with a tone of such indifference, but Smith knows no other way. He realizes that his bed has been made and the eventual success or failure of this Bolts team will most likely decide his fate with the Chargers.
It would be wise for Smith to get rid of Turner sooner rather than later, but that would be admitting he made a mistake and his pride won’t allow that. While pride shouldn’t get in the way of making the right choices, you have to respect a man who is that bound to his principles that he is willing to go down with the sinking ship. There is still time for the Bolts to right these wrongs and as Smith puts it, “rise from the ashes to a division championship”, but with Turner calling the shots, I just don’t think they have it in them.
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