After yet another loss for the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, the 2012 season seems to be heading the same way the previous two years have; nowhere fast.
The Bolts haven’t been this far out of the race before Thanksgiving in quite some time. 2003 was the last time that this team was eliminated from contention prior to Turkey Day and that spring the team held the number one overall draft pick which General Manager A.J. Smith used to completely rebuild the club.
That draft ultimately led to Philip Rivers coming to San Diego and while his first few years were super-productive, his recent seasons have been trending in the wrong direction. Head Coach Norv Turner is a so-called quarterback guru and has been a mentor for Rivers since arriving in 2007.
While neither Turner nor Smith nor Rivers is solely to blame for the Bolts recent difficulties, all three bear at least some of the blame.
Clearly Turner is merely a puppet in the Chargers’ organization and has no ground to stand on as a decision maker. His motivational skills are basically non-existent and the team seems to have no fight left for him.
Smith is well-known for being a shrewd negotiator and sometimes to a fault. His tenure as GM has seen the team wave goodbye to Pro Bowlers like Drew Brees, Michael Turner, Darren Sproles, and Vincent Jackson. While he made his name as a tremendous scout able to find hidden gems in the draft and build a successful team grassroots style, his recent draft blunders in Craig Davis and Larry English raise some serious questions.
As for Rivers, his turnover epidemic has just been unthinkable. In the game this past Sunday with the Denver Broncos which ultimately put the dagger in the Bolts’ season, Rivers threw two more inceptions and fumbled the ball on three separate occasions. His lack of discretion with the pigskin has been a primary contributor to the team’s lack of success in recent years.
After all of that, what does this ultimately mean for the franchise moving forward? It likely means a tremendous amount of change is forthcoming for the Chargers organization. Turner and Smith are both expected to be fired and Rivers’ job status as starter will have to be seriously reexamined. 2012 might be a lost cause for the Bolts already, but the amount of turmoil is only expected to increase from here.
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