The San Diego Chargers did two things Sunday to which they've been unaccustomed in 2010: They beat a good team, and they only shot themselves in one foot, not both. The result? A hard-earned come-from-behind win against a good Titans team.
How'd it happen? What finally drew the passion, fire and potential out of these impressionable young men?
Why, the red-hot raw emotion of Norv Turner, of course. Just look at him. You can see the raw, unrelenting rage smoldering underneath the surface of his cool facade. His calm, grandfather-like demeanor belies the untamed rancorous beast within, seething with energy, passion and a tremendous élan usually reserved only for those on drugs they purchased from a guy with glow sticks. You can see it in his gaze.
What's that? You don't see it? You see a man who looks like he's had oat bran and lithium for breakfast every day for the last 40 years?
Yeah, me too. But it happened, though. The Chargers are crediting an emotional halftime speech from Norv for their inspired performance Sunday. Some quotes, via Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
“What he said was spot on,” said quarterback Philip Rivers(notes), who judged it Turner’s best halftime speech in his four seasons as head coach. ““It was felt from the first player to the equipment guys. It was dead-on perfect. That’s not to say he hasn’t been dead-on in the past. But it was the timing and emotion and the way it hit.” [...]
“When you see someone reach deep down and when your soul is in everything you’re doing … you can just see it in what he had to say and his emotion,” Antonio Gates(notes) said. “I think that was the turning point in the game.”
And one more, via the AP:
"He really put his heart and soul into it and really said some words that you can never really forget," safety Eric Weddle(notes) said of Turner's halftime speech. "We tried to take that emotion and energy into the second half and we did."
Yeah, Norv went Rockne on everybody. I'm still not entirely sold on the idea that halftime speeches can win games, but it seems like pretty much every Charger across the board appreciated Norv's fire Sunday.