San Diego Chargers’ Head Coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith have to be feeling the burn as the temperature of their seats continues to rise with every loss. Although the team helped ease that searing momentarily with a win last week, this week’s game is all that the fan base cares about. A loss on Sunday would again revive the calls for Turner’s job and greatly accelerate his progress toward the unemployment line.
What is most troubling about the way the Chargers have struggled this season is that has been markedly similar to their difficulties in seasons past. One would think that a coach who has experienced back to back seasons without a playoff berth would focus in on what prevented the team from making the postseason and rectify those issues. It seems as if Turner is intent on blaming bad luck or forces beyond his control rather than addressing the problem.
Back when Turner first came to San Diego, many pegged the Bolts as the most talented team in the league assembled by GM Smith and thought that a new voice would be just what the club needed to take that next step. While his tenure did commence with a run to the divisional round of the playoffs, it has been all downhill from there. The team’s win total has dwindled along with the confidence of the fans that this will ever truly get turned around.
At least early in Turner’s tenure with the Bolts, the team seemed to thrive with their backs against the wall. In 2007 (Turner’s first year) they ripped off 13 straight wins en route to that divisional playoff run. Again in 2008 the team needed four consecutive victories to win the division and make the postseason in which they won their first game. Those teams seemed inspired and at least responded when faced with adversity.
Now the stale vibe around the Chargers doesn’t instill any confidence that this team has a remote chance to make a playoff run this season or any other year for that matter. It seems more than just possible that Turner’s influence on this locker room has turned into a malaise of doom and gloom which perpetuates a victim of circumstance attitude.
While this week’s game likely won’t be the end of Turner’s reign over the Bolts just yet, but it could pave the way for his firing not too far down the road. It really seems like fans have turned on the power regime in San Diego and that is a slippery slope for team management.
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