Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wake Me Up When Things Start Making Sense Again

So, I’m really trying to understand this but all I can think of is the theme to the Twilight Zone in connection with the San Diego Chargers. Less than a week after firing Marty Schottenheimer, who went 14-2 during the regular season, the Chargers replaced him with Norv Turner, who has a career head coaching record of 58-82-1 with the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders.

The third time needs to be the charm for Turner, who was fired from his first two head coaching stints, but you have to wonder how he could possibly do better than Marty ball did for the 2006 season. Only a play-off win in 2007 will make amends for not duplicating a 14-2 record but Turner has only won a play-off game once in his career.

People were quick to point out that the Chargers have been running Norv Turner’s offense that he installed during the 2001 season when he served as the offensive coordinator. Another thing Turner did today that will allow the Chargers to remain consistent was hire Ted Cottrell as defensive coordinator. Cattrell is already experienced and well versed in the 3-4 defensive schemes that the Chargers are currently running.

So the Chargers fired one coach and then hired another who looks to run the exact same offense and defense as the fired coach but has no where near the winning percentage of that fired coach. Raise your hand when you get confused because it appears to me that the Chargers best case scenario now for 2007 would be to duplicate 2006. Talk about exercises in futility; let me introduce you to the San Diego Chargers.

Here’s the thing to keep in mind when considering what the Chargers did last season. The Broncos sacrificed their season when they made the quarterback switch from Jake Plummer to Jay Cutler, the Chiefs had quarterback injuries along with the fact that they are coached by Herm Edwards and the Raiders are…well…the Raiders. There is no way the Chargers produce a 14-2 record next season!

As if the situation couldn’t get any stranger add Ron Rivera into the mix. Rivera put together one of the nastiest defenses in the league this season in Chicago. Under his leadership the Bears had a defense that literally won games for them and saved their season more than once.

Rivera has been interviewed eight times over the last two seasons for head coaching positions in the NFL, including the Chargers last week, but was cut loose by the Bears yesterday and wound up on San Diego’s coaching staff as a linebacker’s coach.

Curious question: Why would you name the guy who spent last year as an aide in the league office your defensive coordinator and name the guy who’s defense guided his team to the Super Bowl a position’s coach on defense. Here comes that Twilight Zone theme again.