It’s been a while since the San Diego Chargers have had LaDainian Tomlinson taking interviews and discussing the team, but in his new gig with the NFL Network, LT hasn’t been shy with his opinion on his former team. Tomlinson believes that this will be the final year for both Head Coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith in San Diego.
Most analysts just speak conjecture when discussing the idea of coaches and GMs getting the axe, but with Tomlinson, the conversation is much more personal. Especially having spent nearly a decade in the organization, LT is well-aware of how things work with the Bolts.
He was present for the most controversial firing and hiring in recent memory for the club as he recalled saying: “I think they’re going to get fired. Remember this: Marty Schottenheimer got fired after a 14-2 year simply because him and A.J. didn’t get along. Now, A.J. and Marty didn’t get along because he wasn’t his guy. The late John Butler brought Marty in. Norv Turner is the guy A.J. wanted. Now, three straight years of not making the playoffs is enough. Last year, they almost didn’t make it to this season, but Dean Spanos, the president of the Chargers, gave them one more chance to right the ship. And if they don’t make it this year, it’s the end of (their) tenure.”
As a fan, it seems that speculation would be the opposite of what this team needs to try and get this year back on track, but that may not be the case. This team has shown a propensity to defy the critics and perhaps this will act as additional motivation to spur them on. It’s no secret that quarterback Philip Rivers is a big fan of Turner and would like to see him stick around.
With that being said, the way the year has been trending is not encouraging for any sort of resurrection effort. While Turner’s dismissal has been long overdue, it would be nice to see what a real coach could produce with the personnel that GM Smith has assembled. Unfortunately it seems that the job status of both men is inexorably linked.