It’s no secret that around these parts we’re not exactly huge fans of Norv Turner. I’ve never really accepted the fact that Norv coaches my beloved San Diego Chargers, and I don’t know if I could ever get on board with the idea. Watching his emotionless face on the sidelines every week is torture. In fact, I imagine being water-boarded would be far more pleasant than seeing the Chargers slowly collapse down the stretch of another tight game.
Well, thanks to this report from The San Diego Union-Tribune, we now know the Chargers plan on bringing Norv back in 2009. God, I know you’re up there, what did I ever do to deserve this?
A season after coming one game from the Super Bowl – in spite of Norv’s attempts at sabotage – the Chargers sit at 4-6, two games out of first place in the AFC West. The six losses have come by a combined 25 points and three came in the final 30 seconds. That may make it sound like the team is thiiiis close to being good, but one of the marks of a great coach is the ability to win close games. Norv hasn’t proved he can do that.
But Chargers ownership and management seem to think Turner is doing a bang-up job. Chargers’ General Manager A.J. Smith had this to say: “He’s coming back. We are extremely happy with the first year with the man we hired and where we’re heading. We’re disappointed with the win-loss record (this season) but not in the coach.” He later claimed it was “foolish” to think a coaching change should be made. Please excuse me while I prepare a noose to hang myself with.
Look, Norv seems like a decent guy but he’s given no evidence that the players actually want to play for him. He’s a thinker, not a fire up and rally the troops kind of guy. Without the injured Shawne Merriman around, the Chargers don’t seem to have any life on the field. I’ve seen Norv celebrate once, in the opening round of last year’s playoffs after the Chargers had clinched a win. He whooped it up and celebrated with his team, but that’s the only time I’ve seen him show any real emotion on the field. He looks constantly lost and confused on the sidelines. Seriously, next to Norv, Gary Busey looks like he’s got it together. In short, Norv is suited to be a coordinator, not a head coach.
One thing that’s come out of this is that we’ve finally had a question answered for us. This offseason, a buddy told me that even an idiot could win with this Chargers roster. Turns out he was wrong.