CBSSports The Chargers (4-8) will fire coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith at the end of the season, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The article says owner/president Dean Spanos reached his decision regarding Turner at least a month ago but recently has resigned himself that Smith also must go because of fan unrest. Spanos issued this statement on the report: “There is only one person in this organization who will make those decisions and that’s me, and I haven’t shared my thoughts with anyone. I will make my evaluations at the end of the season. Anything coming out now — from sources or otherwise — is pure speculation.” Turner took over as head coach in 2007 after Marty Schottenheimer was fired. San Diego went 14-2 in 2006 for the best regular season in franchise history, but Schottenheimer failed to win a playoff game for the second time in three years; the other was in 2004, when the team finished the regular season 12-4. The Bolts won their last six regular-season games in ’07 (11-5) and reached the AFC Championship game before losing to an undefeated Patriot team. Each year thereafter, the Chargers fell further away from the Super Bowl. They had one playoff win in 2008 following an 8-8 regular season. They lost their first playoff game in 2009 after a 13-3 regular season. They missed the playoffs in 2010 (9-7) and 2011 (8-8) and are now 4-8, just one loss away from their first losing season since 2003 (4-12). The Chargers are 21-23 since their last playoff appearance in 2009. A.J. Smith took over as GM in April of 2003.
Is the San Diego Chargers job the most desirable head coaching position that will be open during the 2012 NFL offseason? I think it will be and there are several reasons why:
1) You get to live in San Diego, the city with the most beautiful weather in the United States full time. That’s all year long, except 8 road trips per season, lots of pretty girls and golf.
2) Your quarterback is already in place. I am not the biggest Philip Rivers fan, but he has won playoff games and made Pro Bowls. This is clearly the best quarterback situation out of any of the jobs that we expect to be open. Better than Nick Foles, Matt Cassel, Carson Palmer, Kevin Kolb, never started a game before quarterback, etc.
3) Talented young players are already in place. Players like Melvin Ingram, Ryan Matthews, Vincent Brown, Corey Liuget, Eric Weddle are already on the roster, so you have some building blocks. The cupboard is not bare.
I am not saying that the new head coach won’t have work to do, the Chargers need more playmakers on both sides of the ball, a new offensive line, and depth. However for the reasons listed above, the Chargers will be the best job opening in the NFL this coming offseason, and if I was Jon Gruden I am reading this article and drooling.