Despite having missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, the San Diego Chargers are bringing back both head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith for another year.
I'm going to type that again, because my therapist says it's healthy to face the things that bring you pain. The San Diego Chargers are bringing back both head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith for another year.
Here's a portion of the statement released by Chargers president Dean Spanos, via Chargers.com:
"Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs," Spanos said. "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.
"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.
"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."
The biggest quirks and faults of A.J. Smith and Norv Turner have been an inability to win the number of football games that they should.
You know, it's not even bringing Norv Turner back that makes me unhappy. What makes me unhappy is that the Chargers can have two consecutive mediocre years where they finish well below where their talent dictates they should, and they don't change anything. Not the coach, not the GM.
Evidently, it was a 4-1 run to end the season that saved the jobs of Turner and Smith, despite the six-game losing streak that preceded it. Turner also had the endorsement of several Chargers players, most notably quarterback Philip Rivers, who adores him. Those things are great and all, but results are results, and those haven't been there.
But the Chargers have made their choices. The players have the coach they want, and ownership has the GM and coach it wants. In 2012, they'll either finally go get the results they want, or they'll end up wondering why doing the same thing over and over again continues to produce the same result.