Dean Spanos doesn’t stand up for his fans and retains Norv Turner and A.J. Smith

Posted: 01/03/2012 in football
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The first hint that Dean Spanos didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to fire coach Norv Turner and/or general manager A.J. Smith was when Monday morning turned into afternoon and both men were still employed.

Another was that Turner held his Monday game follow-up press conference as if everything was business as usual.

By nightfall, it was clear that Tuesday would bring some news Chargers fans wanted no part of – Turner back as head coach and Smith remaining the team’s general manager.

And now it’s official that the two men responsible for the Chargers missing the playoffs in back-to-back years while playing in the weak AFC West are back.

Perhaps the plan is to see if they can stretch the streak to three and create even more hatred toward them in San Diego.

So much for getting the populace behind the bid for a new downtown football stadium when you continue to keep the most despised coach in Chargers history in place to mess up more game-management situations.

Of course, community outrage and fewer fans showing up for games sure will make it easier for Spanos to move the team to Los Angeles. Guarantee you that Turner would have been shown the exit if the Chargers were already located there.

They like competent powerful coaches in Los Angeles. Not insecure ones who don’t inspire.

I’ve already been asked a few times today what Spanos could possibly be thinking by letting Norv Turner stand on the Chargers’ sidelines again next year.

So what we will do here is let Spanos describe his decision to you.

“Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs,” Spanos said via the team Web site. “A.J. Smith is the best man to improve our roster, and Norv Turner is the best man to lead that roster on the field.

“Together, we have stability and experience that’s hard to find in the NFL. They’ve both been in this league a long time. I don’t think there is anything they haven’t seen or experienced. They’ve led us through some difficult situations.

“As we’ve seen throughout Norv’s tenure and particularly this past season, the players believe in him, respect him and play hard for him. When we went through that tough stretch, no one quit. The team kept playing hard, and that’s a tribute to Norv’s leadership and the respect the players have for him.

“Now we will take a hard look at everything, from player evaluation to coaching to the rash of injuries we’ve suffered in recent years. Injuries have killed us. And no one is ever perfect in this business. Player evaluation isn’t an exact science. We need to improve across the board and I’m going to make sure we do.

“We all have our quirks and faults, but I want A.J. and Norv on my side. They are the right men to help us win a championship.”

What it comes down to is that Dean Spanos wants both A.J. Smith and Norv Turner on his side. Doesn’t matter to him that few of his paying customers do.

But when he says they are the right men to help the Chargers win a championship, he’s dead wrong. They have worked in tandem together for five straight years and couldn’t do it when San Diego had the most-talented roster in the league.

Turner and Smith have ZERO chance of winning a Super Bowl crown next season with the many holes the club now has throughout the roster.

The Chargers haven’t even won a playoff game in Turner’s past three seasons and went 8-8 this season. Their star-studded offensive line is in shambles with the future of former Pro Bowlers Kris Dielman and Marcus McNeill in jeopardy to serious injuries and center Nick Hardwick also might have his played his last game.

The defense is now an ordinary unit with few playmakers and nobody that scares the opposing offenses. Cornerback Quentin Jammer has lost a step and former first-round pick Antoine Cason has been a disaster. The defensive line and linebackers are also average at best.

So Norv Turner is suddenly going to lead a team to a world championship next season when he couldn’t even win a playoff game following a 13-win campaign in 2009?

Only thing Norval will lead the league in is uttering “the biggest thing” in press conferences more than any coach in pro football history.

Poor Philip Rivers looks destined to have a career like Dan Fouts — one with no ring.

If you are a die-hard San Diego Chargers fan, you learned today where you rank.

Dean Spanos made it clear he doesn’t care about your feelings. And that winning certainly isn’t the most important thing.

So what do you suppose Dean will do when Los Angeles finally has its new football stadium ready?

He didn’t stand up for his fan base today and he won’t do so then, either.


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