The Chargers made history today: they lost the first 11-10 scoring game ever in the annals of the NFL. 11-10? Needless to say, the defense under Ron Rivera played superbly, even recording multiple sacks for the first time in far-too long.
But that vaunted San Diego offense decided not to show up. I am utterly convinced now that Norv Turner must, without question, be kicked to the curb.
For the first time since Dan Fouts flew Air Coryell, the Charger offense is absolutely stacked with frequent fliers.
There is LaDainian Tomlinson, who, despite an injury, remains an All-Pro running back. There is absolutely no reason he should be in danger of not reaching the 1140-yard benchmark. But, at the rate San Diego is pounding the ball, Tomlinson will be lucky to reach 1000 yards rushing. Yes, Michael Turner and Lorenzo Neal are gone and are sorely missed, but the dynamic Darren Sproles and the "more than a blocker" Mike Tolbert should theoretically offer enough upside to alleviate the loss of Turner and Neal.
There is Antonio Gates, arguably the best tight end in football since, well, Kellen Winslow.
There is, for the first time in decades, more than one competent wide receiver. Chris Chambers, Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, and even Legedu Naanee. Simply put, Rivers can throw anywhere with confidence.
Oh, yeah, and then there's Rivers. Competent, and possibly great, though prone to stupid interceptions when attempting to channel his inner Favre.
Regardless, the offense should rock. And Norv Turner is supposedly an offensive genius, no? Sure, I'll admit that he is, but a head coach he is not. Marty Schottenheimer was better for this team. He provided discipline. Norv couldn't discipline a morgue.
And poor Marty. Unjustly fired (albeit likely on purpose) for taking a team that was absolute garbage and fielding them into an elite unit. And all he wanted to do was hire his brother as defensive coordinator. Given what we saw with Ted Cottrell, can anybody honestly say that would've been worse?
But, no, A.J. Smith, in all his supposed wisdom, didn't want another Schottenheimer to deal with. Two Schottenheimers would have threatened his dictatorial desires he has for the team. Turner, Smith knew, is a pushover.
So, wait? Nepotism is the reason Marty is no longer in San Diego? Is this the same team owned by Alex Spanos? The same team whose President/CEO is Alex's son, Dean Spanos? Whose "Executive Officer" is A.G. Spanos? Whose Executive VP is Michael Spanos? Whose Director of College Scouting is John Spanos?
Yeah, sure looks like they take a hard line against nepotism, doesn't it?
Worse, Marty's original quarterbacks coach was Brian Schottenheimer, under whom Drew Brees enjoyed his resurgence. Accident? Maybe, but the New York Jets thought enough of Brian to give him a job as offensive coordinator.
A.J. Smith's "genius" is in question. The Chargers front office is full of hypocrites.
They need to fess up and admit their mistakes before it's too late. Unless, of course, this is all part of the plan to move the Chargers back to Los Angeles.
* This is the first part of what will hopefully be a nine-part entry in the River of Mnemosyne challenge that's happening over at The ...
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