Posted 10/20/2009 at 02:51 AM
I'm not what one would refer to as a coach basher. Fact is, the media and fans alike are way too quick to give too much credit or pin too much blame on the coaches and managers in every sport. I guess it's just much easier to pass on delving into the real reasons a team is succeeding or failing and instead just assign praise or blame on the guy in charge. That's fine for the talking heads who have little idea of what they're talking about, and mostly just say things for effect as a substitute for actual thought.
That said, enough is enough with Norv Turner in San Diego. The Chargers had a huge game on Monday hosting Denver and they were outplayed, outhustled and outcoached. The brain trust on the Broncos side made the right adjustments as the game progressed and they were the vastly superior team at crunch time. The Chargers played uninspired football and they basically got run over in the fourth quarter as Denver scored the game's final 17 points.
Some of the San Diego play calling in this game was peculiar, to say the least. The offensive line was a sieve down the stretch. LaDainian Tomlinson was having a very strong game, but the Chargers got him only seven touches in the second half. Look, I'm not qualified to be a football coach. But I don't think you have to be Vince Lombardi to understand that when LT is having a good game, as he was here, you get him the football and let him do his thing.
Ever since Turner took over, the Chargers have gone into each season as one of the projected teams to beat. And they've gotten out of the blocks with lead weights attached to their collective feet on an annual basis. The 2009 campaign is not even at the midway point, but the Chargers are now way behind the Broncos. They're three games back of Denver in the loss column, and that basically means the Chargers are now looking at the wild card as their only realistic route to the playoffs. For a team with this much talent, that's simply not acceptable, and it's not like this is an isolated scenario. San Diego has been digging itself out of a hole since Day One of the Turner regime.
I have trouble passing judgment on coaches of teams that don't have enough talent. So while it's easy enough to hammer the coaches in charge of the weakest teams, that may not always be the proper assessment. In the case of the Chargers, however, the blame must be laid squarely on the shoulders of those making the decisions. Say what you want about his unfortunate playoff record, there's no way anyone can convince me that this franchise would not be a whole lot better off had they not fired a coach named Marty Scottenheimer. They're paying for this insane blunder now and may well continue to do so for years as the window of opportunity begins to slam shut on the Chargers.