Is Norv Turner The Reason For The Chargers Slow Starts?

Talent clearly hasn’t been an issue with the Chargers since 2005 when the team had officially stockpiled enough top tier players to be relevant again on the NFL landscape. After mediocre flops in the postseason following dynamite regular season campaigns in both 2005 and 2006, General Manager A.J. Smith had always been in turmoil with then Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. Those flameouts gave Smith the necessary ammunition to put Marty on the chopping block and clear the way for a newfound hope in San Diego with a much anticipated new coaching regime.

Fans only found it more befuddling when the team chose to replace an average coach with an even more mediocre name in Norv Turner. Having inherited all of the same talent that Schottenheimer had at his disposal, the expectations were high for Turner even in his first season with the Bolts. After a series of early playoff exits under Marty, Turner’s two postseason victories in his inaugural season with the team gave fans hope with their first playoff win since Bobby Ross led the Bolts to the Super Bowl in 1995 that things were looking up for their Bolts.

Fast forward to now where the Chargers playoff progression has been waning since that opening season and Turner is beginning to look an awful lot like his predecessor. The one thing about Turner that has always been troubling in his tenure with the Bolts is the team’s propensity to get off to a slow start in September. His 6-8 September record since being hired in 2007 is a disgrace considering the strength of the Chargers’ opponents over those games and the fact that the team has been considered a preseason Super Bowl favorite by many over the past four seasons.

Slow starts aren’t the end of the world obviously as Turner’s teams have closed with a flourish during nearly every regular season under his navigation, but digging these early season holes will eventually catch up to the Bolts. The fan base should be wondering whether this is the year that things finally fall apart for the Chargers with Turner’s well documented lack of motivational skills. Some aspects of the game come down to simply desire and the fire within to make plays happen. Many coaches believe that special teams is the number one area where sheer ‘want-to’ and maximum effort can make plays happen as opposed to any raw skill.

Go figure that the main area of weakness on this Chargers team in 2010 has been in kick coverage. This team is motivationally bankrupt as Turner’s nonchalant attitude and lack of fire is not inspiring anyone. Just the fact that the Chargers have been on the wrong end of several sickeningly dramatic and gut wrenching finishes over the past few seasons should illustrate a lack of passion and desire in the crunch time which stems back to the man in charge.

Turner’s questionable playcalling cannot go without scrutiny either as the Bolts have been the victims of predictable red zone calls made by Turner on a regular basis. The pass first mentality of Turner often times gets the team off schedule forcing them to run on passing downs and pass on running downs. Suspect calls in the most critical of situations have been the modus operandi with Turner in charge and that all goes back to his lack of motivational skills as well. His teams just seem to lack that killer instinct that is necessary to make a deep playoff run and really feel like a threat to win it all.

There may not be a clamoring group of fans calling for Turner to be fired just yet, but if things don’t start looking different from a motivational standpoint soon, those pleas might not be too far away. This club has far too much talent not to make a deeper push into the postseason on a regular basis and championship windows don’t stay open forever. Here’s to hoping that the vibes coming out of the Bolts locker room get more positive sooner rather than later or a significant change is made by the organization regarding the man in charge.

What do the fans think, is this a matter of motivation or do the Bolts just not have the proper pieces in place to make a championship run? Is Norv Turner the right coach to win the city of San Diego a Super Bowl or do they need a more in your face coach to motivate the locker room? Will this season turn out to be just another slow start with a happy ending or will the Bolts struggle to make the playoffs in 2010? Are the issues on special teams just a matter of desire and focus or are there fundamental flaws in the Bolts approach to kick coverage? Let your voice be heard below!

October 1, 2010

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Anonymous said... Oct 1, 2010, 10:00:00 AM

i really think we are waistin valuable times with turner as our head coach, i just don loke this guy!!! he lacks of motivation skills, the worst playcaller at critical moments! i dont see him as a leader and i hate to think that maybe our best years are gone!!!

i was one of the guys that at the beginning liked AJ BUT NOT ANYMORE!!! i hate this guy!! he´s selffish and he´s losing his touch drafting good players.

i really hope that we can dig out of this hole that we re into and i would fire AJ and norv unless we get to the big game! we re losing valuable time and this guys are the one we should be pointing out!!

one more thing we cant complain the way we complain if we re not even supporting the team!!! two black outs in a row! its a shame!!!!!!
i´ll be there on sunday but the guys that have given up on our team plese dont complain if the team moves to another city in a few years

Anonymous said... Oct 1, 2010, 10:48:00 AM

We'll written post Blake. About time the people start calling out Ole Norvey and AJ. I do believe Norv is Mediocre. If you look at a couple post back I summarized Norv as "lackadaisical" You simply don't get that winner vibe from him.

One thing Marty always focused on and repeated time and time again was "Finish, Finish, Finish" You Memeber.(<-- Lopez saying)

Norv has definitely been terrible at play calling so far. EX. KC, were on the 5yd line and it's 1st and goal. first play pass. second play sproles stuffed trying to run up the middle. (what the hell!) and then the following two other plays were passes as a result we lost. Did we not draft a beast of a RB to pound the ball? Could we not have drove the ball 5yds?

Norv is a nice guy and we all know they finish last. You need that nasty mentality, me vs you, battle of survival. Either I'm going to come out on top or no one is. That's what we lack. long with many other things...

As I stated in an earlier post I welcome Bill Cowher! Hint, Hint, AJ!

Now about AJ, dude hasn't drafted anyone decent for along time. I could have smacked dude for drafting English in the middle of the 1st. AJ is definitely lacking that special touch. I do feel he manages the business side fairly well but has definitely been lack there of on the drafting side of things. Oh and I could have smacked him for bringing in Norv too.

Frustration sets in the only recipe for cure is a SB. No more 1st round byes and then we lose to the last seed. No more of this doing great at the end of the season stuff then choking in the playoffs. No more pain and suffering for Bolt fans. We have had the most talent in the past 9 years and have been able to do anything. Somethings wrong.

And we wonder why ticket sales are down.....


Anonymous said... Oct 1, 2010, 10:51:00 AM

The team showed lack of preparation, overall discipline and (of course) sloppy play on special teams. What is the only valid explanation for this? Coaching. And the buck stops with the head coach. Players prepare the way the staff requires them to prepare. Players learn - mostly - what the staff requires them to learn. Mistakes stem from poor coaching. There are plenty of examples of great coaching making a team with mediocre talent good. But we have very good talent. What if our coaches just didn't make us stink? Just a thought.

Anonymous said... Oct 1, 2010, 10:57:00 AM

like giving a Ferari to a 16 year old who's never driven a stick.

NT said... Oct 1, 2010, 11:00:00 AM

if you really think Norv is the reason we're 1-2 this year, then you haven't watched any of the games. THe play calling in KC wasn't bad in the redzone. Norv didn't know buster would slip on 3rd down, and floyd would slip on 4th, otherwise both would have been a touchdown. Good plays, bad execution. Can't blame that on norv. defensiviely and offensively we rank top 5. You don't have a top 5 defense, without fire, so there must be someone lighting a fire under them.
"here's hoping that the vibes coming out of chargers locker room get more positive..." Have you heard anything negative from the locker room? nope. they sound pretty positive. but you spend all day in their locker room so you know, right?

Anonymous said... Oct 1, 2010, 1:01:00 PM

@NT Are you Norv Turner you sour little thing you? Again you move up in the draft to get mathews and your on the 5yd line and you dont even give the kid a chance? You have sproles in there on 2nd down and you pass the other three? doesn't make sense. Also, to say you didn't know the players were going to slip shows your argument to fallacious. Didn't you not know players were slipping all game? Please stop trying to defend the very problem at which is the disease that hinders the Bolts. The first step to solving a problem is to admit you have one. Common Norv, your better than that. I know, I know, the first stage is denial, remember?


Anonymous said... Oct 1, 2010, 5:41:00 PM

You think Merriman could spend some of that $3M easy money he's getting paid while he vacations the season from the sideline and donate enough tickets for charity or the military so the game would not be blacked out.

A57moon said... Oct 2, 2010, 8:32:00 AM

would have been wonderful if the chargers would have come out of pocket and pick up Denny Green when he was available... but nooooooooo, Turner? Mr Tepid? mr. Oatmeal man? What a waste as a head coach. Sure worked well in Oakland, Washington...sigh... as an O.C. he might work well.... D.C. even.... but Head Coach?

Ya see where THAT has gotten ya. But Denny is enjoying Sacramento ( along with Zeke Moreno... remember THAT name?)

Anonymous said... Oct 2, 2010, 9:23:00 AM

Despite indifferences between Aj & Marty; Marty was a solid HC. Just think about this, Marty went 14-2 first rd. bye then lost in the playoffs. Soon to follow immediate termination the following season. What's to say Aj wouldn't do the same with Ole Norvey? I definately think if Norv doesn't take us deep into the playoffs and to the SB he'll definately be in the hot seat. All this talent and no where to go, it's as though Na2(aq) + Cl2(aq)--> 2AgCl (l)..... it just doesnt work that way. I posted this saying in another blog and I'll repeat it to help others get a grasp of the relativity. Einstein says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting to get different results. Does this not sound like ole norv? Same slow start, probably get going towards the end of the season for yet another early unwated exit? Guys, it's apparent what's going on here. Although some may claim no responsibility for the actions of their players. Isn't the CO of a ship responsible for the actions of his sailors? Next time listen to Norv and how he defaults blame.


PS To the crazzzzy guy who posted above me. Your NUTS if you think Denny Green is suit to the roll of a HC. Need I post video clips of post game AZ and the Bears... Cuz the bears are who we thought they were, thats why we took the field, we let them off the hook, if you wana crown'Em then crown'em, the bears are who we thought the bears were." LOL Your a nut if you think Ole dennis Green is the go to. LOL

Anonymous said... Oct 2, 2010, 7:10:00 PM

Hey NT; Championship teams have Champion leaders. The Spanos family, AJ and Norv are not. All the talent in the world and nobody driving the bus, looses start with leadership. Norv is the can spin the wheel of blame all he wants but it all comes back to his decisions and the calls he makes. TAR AND FEATHERS I SAY!

drowningboy said... Oct 2, 2010, 9:25:00 PM

Not to worry. Chargers Won!!!

Read all about it:

Anonymous said... Oct 5, 2010, 1:48:00 AM

I still cant figure out why Last years game against the Baltimore Ravens went down the line and with 1 more play left to get a TD from the 1 yard line to win the game Norv Turner calls for a dive play with Ray Lewis waiting on the other end that ended with sproles being tackled for a worked earlier during the year for the Raiders season opener but with Ray Freakin Lewis?? Are u kidding me??

Go boltz

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