Barring an amazing comeback, and run to the Super Bowl, it looks as though Norv Turner's tenure in San Diego will be over after the end of the season.
Despite the Chargers' two-game winning streak, the six-game skid earlier in the season all but sealed the deal on Turner.
After the Chargers pathetic loss to the Broncos at home in overtime, Dean Spanos came out to the media and basically said Norv is gone after the end of the year (via NBC Sports). Finally showing the brass that an owner must have in the NFL.
It looks as of now that only a Super Bowl win could save Turner from the boot.
Here is a look at the possible candidates to take his position as head coach of the San Diego Chargers.
REMEMBER...These coaches are possibilities assuming that A.J. Smith is gone at the end of the season. If he stays, Chargers' fans can look forward to another Norv Turner (submissive, lapdog, etc.) coaching their team.
This seems like the most practical, and probable, choice at head coach for the Chargers. Jeff Fisher is a fiery head coach that constantly had an average Tennessee Titan's team in the playoff hunt.
As head coach of the Titans, Fisher posted a record of 126-97, and at one point was the longest tenured coach in the NFL before his firing after last season.
What Chargers fans would like most about Fisher is the intensity he brings to defense. Fisher, who played alongside players like Ronnie Lott, was a hard-hitting defensive back in his day and has translated that mindset over to his players during his coaching career.
You can't tell me the Chargers couldn't use someone lighting a fire under their butts.
All Chargers fans want for Christmas is some Jon Gruden.
Gruden is one of the most underrated coaches of all time. His career record (95-81) is nothing special, but he does have a Super Bowl win and five playoff appearances in only 11 seasons of coaching.
Tampa Bay gets:
- Jon Gruden
- 2002 first-round pick, 2003 first-round pick
- 2002 second-round pick, 2004 second-round pick
- $8 million in cash
That next year, Gruden won the Super Bowl...
Many of you have heard him on Monday Night Football basically predicting what is going to happen every play. He has proved to be one of the smartest football minds in the game today; shame he has to hide his talents in a broadcasting booth.
There is a chance that Gruden coaches the Chargers next season, albeit not a good one. He does love Philip Rivers as a QB and has already coached in California. Gruden, though, just signed a five-year contract with ESPN to be their announcer on MNF. It will definitely be difficult to entice Gruden away from that contract.
There have been some rumblings that Bill Cohwer is interested in coaching for the Chargers. Although, as of now, it is all hearsay. Cohwer would be a great addition to the Chargers team and would bring that nasty, Pittsburgh Steelers' ferocity to San Diego.
This seems like the most unlikely choice of the names listed so far. Cohwer has said repeatedly that he is enjoying retirement and has little interest in coaching; a variety of teams have come calling after every season since his retirement.
The knock on Cohwer, before he won a Super Bowl, was that he couldn't win the big game. Well looking at his track record (10 playoff appearances in 15 seasons), there are other worries the fanbase should have. Such as losing six straight and missing the playoffs for two consecutive seasons.
Notice the trend of coaches that are being mentioned as the next Chargers head coach?
Basically, they are the anti-Norv—tough, persistent and inspiring.
Jay Gruden has done an amazing job with the Cincinnati Bengals offense this year, and, yes, he is Jon's younger brother.
Gruden has taken a team with one of the perennial worst offenses in the NFL over the last decade and turned them into a winning team. Heck, he is using two rookies as the centerpieces of his offense and doing wonders for a team that has been a bottom-dweller for as long as anyone can remember.
After this showing, Gruden deserves at least an interview to see if he has what it takes to be a head coach in the league.
He is using the same vertical passing style with A.J. Green and Andy Dalton that has made Philip Rivers one of the best deep passers in the game, while also mixing in the horizontal passing game that made his brother so successful.
Although I would like to see the Chargers get a more defensive-minded coach, Jay Gruden would not be a bad choice for Turner's successor.
Hired in 2007 as the Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator, Joe Philbin has been a revelation to Green Bay's offense. Since he took over the reigns, the Packers have been second (2007), eighth (2008), seventh (2009) and fifth (2010) in total offense.
Philbin could be the mentor that Rivers needs after years of the same thing with Turner. Philbin has been instrumental in Aaron Rodgers' development and could do the same thing for Rivers.
Another plus about Philbin is that he was an offensive line coach for 20-plus years before ever becoming a coordinator. The Chargers have struggled along the offensive front this year, so his input and development of young offensive lineman could be priceless.