Norv Turner: Chargers Need Coaching Change to Start Reaching Expectations

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 15:  San Diego Chargers Norv Turner looks on against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium on October 15, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers have had one of the most talented rosters in the NFL since Norv Turner took control in 2007, but haven't won a championship or even made it to the Super Bowl, so it's time for a coaching change.

Monday night's collapse was the latest example of Turner failing to connect with his team. Not only did the Chargers let a 24-0 halftime lead slip away, but the Denver Broncos made the miraculous comeback look like a walk in the park.

It makes you wonder what, if anything, he said in the locker room during the break. How does a team that looked so good in the first half suddenly look so terrible in the second? It's not something that should happen to a perceived top team.

The frustration Chargers fans felt when they woke up on Tuesday morning wasn't unique. It's a feeling they've had a lot since Turner became head coach.

They were able to live with it when the team was winning on a consistent basis. San Diego won the AFC West in each of the first three years of Turner's tenure and even made it to the conference championship game in his first season after taking over for Marty Schottenheimer.

The fans haven't been as forgiving now that the playoff appearances have stopped and the disappointing results are on the rise, and it reached boiling point after the debacle on Monday night.

All told, Turner has won 61 percent of his games with the Chargers, which is probably why the team is giving him more leeway than the fanbase. That number is deceiving, though.

Since the Chargers were such a talented team when he arrived, it didn't exactly take an amazing coaching effort for them to compete for playoff berths. It safe to say San Diego won a lot of games despite Turner, not because of him.

His overall winning percentage as a head coach, including stints with the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, is 49 percent. That's a better indicator of his coaching ability.

Since the start of the 2010 season, the Chargers are 20-18. The team has lost some key players over those years, there's no doubt about that. However, Turner isn't the type of coach who can overcome those losses and get his team to win anyway.

Sure, if the front office provides him with a stacked roster he can take a laissez-faire approach and guide the team to a winning record, but so could any number of coaches.

What makes a head coach great is getting his players to maximize their ability not only as individuals, but as a team. Jim Harbaugh, Tom Coughlin and, bounty mess aside, Sean Payton are the type of coaches who can do that. Turner has proven he can't.

Thus, it's time for the Chargers to make a change. Turner has been given ample time, hasn't produced the desired results and now the team is trending in the wrong direction.

He's no longer the right man for the job.