Norv Turner Isn't the Whole Problem with the San Diego Chargers

Jon TriebelContributor IDecember 8, 2008

Norv Turner is an easy mark when it comes to placing blame for the problems that this year's edition of the San Diego Chargers are having. But, just like being a head coach, the decisions about his team and future are over his head.

Turner, who is considered an offensive genius, was a failure in his two previous stints as an NFL head coach and is failing in the second year of his Charger’s tenure. He makes a great No. 2, but he should never be considered as the main man or the leader of a group of talented men.

Turner is not a motivator, his team is usually ill-prepared, and he is often out coached on Sundays. However, you have to look over Turner's head to see what many feel is the team's biggest problem—General Manager A.J. Smith's ego.

Many fans point directly to Smith as the egotistical architect of a talented, but underachieving team. His questionable decision to put Turner in charge of a team with Super Bowl potential has lessened his credibility and put him on a short leash with the local fandom.

Sure, the win over the Raiders was nice and showed the true capabilities of the team, but the collar around Smith's neck is tightening on a daily basis.

The decision he makes on the future leadership of the team will be the biggest of his career, but his ego may cloud his judgment. If Smith dismisses Turner, he will have to admit his failure in choosing him in the first place.

He seems to fear owning up to his mistakes, but he could win back a majority of the fans by making a good decision and bringing in a new hard-nosed, experienced and winning head coach. But, that seems like a long shot at the moment and fans realize this.

Fans can tout many candidates as the perfect solution to replacing Turner. The usual suspects come to mind including Brian Billick, Pete Carroll, Bill Cowher, and even bringing "MartyBall" back to town.

However, two candidates that are located in right here in the 92110 zip code should be considered. One is a potential rising star and the other, well let's just say, "He isn't who you thought it would be!" 

Current defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who seems to have the ear of his players, should be considered a strong candidate. He has been involved with successful teams and brings intensity that the Chargers are lacking at the moment. Having been with the team over the past year, gives him a head start on any other candidate.

Former NFL head coach Dennis Green would make an interesting choice. He is available, experienced and was successful over the course of several seasons with good talent in Minnesota.

He would lead with a stronger mentality than Turner and may be the kick in the pants that the players need. Despite his successes, since he was not successful in Arizona with a definite lack of talent, the concern would be that the team is following the same path by hiring a recycled coach.

The "Turner Experiment" has become this town's embarrassment. As stated before, he lacks many things as a head coach and should be let go at the end of the season. Smith knows that the window of opportunity to win a championship is closing rapidly, but can he let go of his ego to make the right decision for the team.

Hopefully the answer is not over his head.