Former Chargers GM A.J. Smith is an “irascible son of a gun,” according to Kevin Acee of the Union Tribune. Acee interviewed Smith, who is now working for the Washington Redskins organization after being fired, along with Norv Turner, at the end of last season. Smith (aka, the “Lord of No Rings”) ruled as GM in San Diego for over a decade, butting heads with Archie Manning early in his tenure, firing Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season, and letting Drew Brees go to New Orleans. The Chargers failed to make the playoffs in each of the last three years, after going to the postseason in 5 of 6 seasons starting in 2004.
When Smith was asked about why the drafts were not as good late in his tenure, A.J. Smith had a quick response. “I should have never stopped making our picks from Mel Kiper’s Big Board.” Pretty sure that is a shot at Kiper, even though using that would have been a better option for San Diego. He was also asked to sum up what happened to the Chargers in missing the last three playoffs. “Looking back, I would say we needed ‘More Cowbell.’ ” I assume Cowbell is a code word for people skills.
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[photo via USA Today Sports Images]