Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chargers To Retain A.J. Smith, Norv Turner

San Diego Chargers president Dean Spanos announced that the team will retain general manager A.J. Smith and head coach Norv Turner.

"Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs," Spanos said in a statement released by the team. "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.

"Together, we have stability and experience that’s hard to find in the NFL. They’ve both been in this league a long time. I don’t think there is anything they haven’t seen or experienced. They’ve led us through some difficult situations."

The Chargers have won 88 games and five AFC West titles during Smith's nine-year tenure as general manager. Turner was hired in 2006 and the Chargers are 49-31 in the regular season and 3-3 in the playoffs. The Chargers are 21-3 in regular season games in December and January under Turner, who had the support of his players, including quarterback Philip Rivers.

"He's had a lot to do with why we've won so many games around here," Rivers told Albert Breer of NFL.com "When we were 4-8 (in 2008), he's a reason we got out of it. He's a reason we won 11 in a row (in 2009). He's never flinched, and I know from the outside, that looks like he's laid back, but he wants to win more than anyone and he's as passionate as anyone. This all has been rough on everyone."

So while Smith and Turner will be back, Spanos made it clear that they both will be under the gun to win in 2012.

"Despite the number of wins we’ve had, the net bottom line is it doesn’t mean anything unless you win a championship," Spanos said. "That’s our goal and I am committed to winning a Super Bowl for San Diego."

source:  Mac's Football Blog
author:  Brian McIntyre

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