Chargers deny report of Turner, Smith firings

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos reportedly has decided to fire coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith after the season.
Spanos decided as long as a month ago to fire Turner, and that Smith cannot be kept either in the current culture that has left a respectable franchise listing, U-T San Diego reported, citing sources.
However, the Chargers said late Thursday that no decisions have been made on the future of Turner and Smith.
"There is only one person in this organization who will make those decisions and that's me, and I haven't shared my thoughts with anyone," Spanos said in a statement. "I will make my evaluations at the end of the season. Anything coming out now -- from sources or otherwise -- is pure speculation."
The Chargers, who have not made the playoffs since they went 13-3 in 2009, are 4-8 this season after Spanos gave Turner and Smith one more season to turn the team around. Many players made the request after San Diego won four of its last five games in 2011. The Chargers have lost seven of their past eight games.
Spanos won't make the announcement until after the season because of the Chargers' slim playoff chances, U-T San Diego said.
Turner has a 53-39 record since taking over for Marty Schottenheimer in 2007. He got the Chargers to the AFC Championship Game in his first season. However, the Chargers have become known as underachieving franchise since then.
In 2008, the Chargers won their last four games to finish 8-8. They advanced to the AFC divisional playoffs.
The newspaper said Spanos does not have a replacement in mind for Turner, but director of player personnel Jimmy Raye is expected to replace Smith. He is expected to groom Spanos' son, director of college scouting John Spanos, as well.
Turner is owed $3 million for the year left on his contract, while Smith has $4 million and two years left on his deal.

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