Norv Turner and Chargers Must Part Ways Due to Roller-Coaster Tenure

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 29, 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

With the San Diego Chargers potentially missing from the postseason for the third year in a row, now seems like the proper time for head coach Norv Turner to part ways with the organization.

It has been a roller-coaster tenure to say the least for Turner, who is in the midst of his sixth year with the franchise. Ultimately, the results haven't been as superb as expected. The Chargers continually fail to meet expectations every season, mostly due to sluggish starts.

This season started off well, but a current three-game slide has San Diego clamoring for a coaching change once again.

As U-T San Diego beat writer Michael Gehlken documented, Turner shouldered the lion's share of the blame after the Week 6 collapse to AFC West rival Denver.

A similarly somber sentiment followed the loss in Cleveland, per the Associated Press (via ESPN): "You saw it. I saw it," Turner said. We go out and trust each other and this loss is on all of us. When you have opportunities to make plays, you've got to do it.

Turner was specifically referencing a dropped touchdown pass by WR Robert Meachem in the third quarter, but the rhetoric reflected the reeling nature of the Bolts.

As senior NFL editor Nancy Gay noted on Sunday, a certain hashtag was blew up Twitter feeds in light of the San Diego's most recent disappointment:

Yes, #FireNorv is trending nationally.

— Nancy Gay (@nancygay) October 28, 2012

To say Turner's job security has been tentative over the past year or so would be a massive understatement. Yet somehow, the Chargers find a way to do just enough to keep their head coach hanging on by a thread.

That string is liable to snap soon enough due to the failure to build on the success of Turner's early years in San Diego.

The beginning of the Turner era was marked by three successive division titles, though the team never progressed past the AFC championship game that it reached in Turner's first campaign. Since going 13-3 in 2009 and losing to the New York Jets in the divisional round, the team hasn't been the same. In fact, the Chargers are only one game above .500 since that time.

As acclaimed as Turner is for his play-calling ability, his schemes may finally be running their course as well.

And Pro Bowl QB Philip Rivers has followed up his career-high 20-interception season last year with even more discouraging performances, most glaringly over the past two weeks. He's on pace to post the lowest yards per attempt of his career as a starter and has just 10 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions.

Rivers turned it over six times in Week 6, and he failed to guide his team to a touchdown for the second time in 2012 in an ugly 7-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Attributing all of Rivers' mistakes on Turner is irresponsible, but the coach should take some of the heat for the offense's lackluster production.

The roster is in good enough shape to not have to blow everything up, and the defense is a top-10 unit that Turner's background doesn't directly affect.

Regardless, these factors make now a convenient time for Turner and the Chargers to split.