Norv Turner has coached the most games in NFL history among coaches with a losing record. It seems that owner and President Dean Spanos has awoken from his slumber and realized maybe that is not the coach he wants, and maybe the general manager who hand picked him should also be out. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune says that sources say Spanos “feels he has no choice” but to go in a different direction at coach.
The decision at GM is not for certain, but the fan base wants change. A couple of other interesting tidbits from Acee. If Smith is out in San Diego, he could be a candidate in Oakland, and also in St. Louis, where the owner is reported to be likely to fire GM Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo.
Norv Turner has continued to get jobs, but this is likely the end of the line (one would hope). He is a pretty good offensive coordinator. His teams have seemed to continually underachieve for years. Why hasn’t he been fired yet, after a 4-7 start immediately after a disappointing 9-7 season? Probably because the GM does not want to can his man. The owner may step in for both of them.
San Diego has had 7 straight non-losing seasons, dating back to 2004. At 4-7 now, they would need another strong run to finish at 8-8. There have been 30 other teams since 1970 that had a stretch of at least six straight years without a losing season, including San Diego from 1977 to 1982. Those teams followed up that losing year with a roughly league average performance in making the playoffs (38%), but a slightly below average amount of times reaching a conference championship game in the next three seasons (10% of teams). The 1982 Redskins, 1983 Raiders, and 1991 Redskins are the only three to win a Super Bowl sometime in the the three years that followed dipping to a losing season.
The Chargers will hope to duplicate the most successful of those teams, the Redskins, who fired Jack Pardee and hired a young assistant named Joe Gibbs in 1981, after having been a pretty good team through much of the 1970’s but never winning a Super Bowl. That team, like the Chargers now, has a quarterback already in place in his early 30’s.
[photo via Getty]