The Firings of A.J. Smith and Norv Turner Were Overdue

By Kenny Gardner
A.J. Smith and Norv Turner
Stan Liu-USA Today Sports

The San Diego Chargers finished the 2009 season with a 13-3 record and went on to lose their only playoff game to the New York Jets.  San Diego has one playoff win since 2007 and missed the playoffs from 2010-2012.

San Diego’s front office finally fired general manager A.J. Smith after 10 seasons in this position and fired Norv Turner as head coach after six seasons in this position, but these firing should have happened after last season.

Smith’s most questionable move during the off-season last year was not re-signing Vincent Jackson.  Jackson finished the 2012 season with 72 receptions, 1,384 receiving yards and eight touchdown receptions.  Jackson ranked fifth in the NFL with an average of 86.5 receiving yards per game.

Jackson led San Diego in receiving yards in 2008, 2009 and 2011.  San Diego ranked sixth, eighth and 10th in receiving yards, TD receptions and yards per reception in Jackson’s last season with the team.  The Lighting Bolts ranked 22nd, 11th and 30th in these categories without Jackson this season.

If San Diego’s front office fired Smith last season, Jackson might still be on the team.

Turner made little to no sense as the choice to be San Diego’s head coach.  Turner had a .414 career winning percentage prior to being hired by Smith to be San Diego’s head coach.

There are candidates out there to replace Turner, but the best fit in my opinion is former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden.  According to CSN Chicago, Gruden plans on remaining a commentator for ESPN.

Gruden has a career .540 winning percentage and is 5-4 in the playoffs including a Super Bowl title.  Gruden would match San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers in intensity and could ignite a fire under a team in desperate need of it.

Another name that may be tossed around is former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid.

San Diego went from a 13-3 record in 2009, to a 9-7 record in 2010 to an 8-8 record in 2011 and had a 7-9 record in 2012.  These moves needed to happen and hopefully the right guys will be brought in.









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