Tomlinson thinks Norv Turner, A.J. Smith out in San Diego

  • Joe Ray

Head coach Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith are on hot seats in San Diego. (Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America)

Chargers head coach Norv Turner has been scrutinized ever since he took the San Diego coaching job in 2007. Taking over for Marty Schottenheimer, expectations were high for a team thought to be a Super Bowl contender. Now in his sixth season, Turner has failed to deliver on that promise, and a former player of his, LaDainian Tomlinson, thinks that he and general manager A.J. Smith could be looking for new jobs after this season.

Under Turner, the Chargers have not been able to produce records that match up with the talent of the team’s players. Philip Rivers has been known for his erratic play as the team’s franchise quarterback. Smith has come under fire for his handling of contract situations with the team, most notably how the team let leading receiver Vincent Jackson depart in free agency. Tomlinson believes that the time has come for both Turner and Smith to be fired.

“I think they’re going to get fired,” Tomlinson, now an NFL Network analyst, said Sunday on “First on the Field.” “Remember this: Marty Schottenheimer got fired after a 14-2 year simply because him and A.J. didn’t get along. Now, A.J. and Marty didn’t get along because he wasn’t his guy. The late John Butler brought Marty in … Norv Turner is the guy A.J. wanted.

“Now, three straight years of not making the playoffs is enough. Last year, they almost didn’t make it to this season, but Dean Spanos, the president of the Chargers, gave them one more chance to right the ship. And if they don’t make it this year, it’s the end of (their) tenure.”

San Diego is still in good shape to make moves in the AFC West, sitting at 4-4 after defeating Kansas City this past Thursday night. Should the Denver Broncos lose to Cincinnati this week, the Broncos and Chargers would be tied atop the division. All hope is not lost for this season, but should the Chargers suffer through yet another letdown, expect Turner and Smith to be shown the door.

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