Time for Ol' Nick to turn in his typewriter and go fishing. Yeah Nick, nothing wins games like star power. Why stop there? We could add the Kardashians to the Charger Girls while we're at it. Canepa: Chargers need to make a face The Chargers need a face. They need one on the sideline, in their locker room, in the community, in front of the pens and notepads and cameras and tape recorders. They need a man who will man-up and admit his failings and not get overwhelmed by his success, a rock star who can raise the public pulse. They need Jon Gruden to coach this football team. Or someone similar to Jon Gruden. What the heck. They need Jon Gruden. Now there’s a face. In their 50-plus years of existence, the Chargers have had but three true franchise faces Sid Gillman, Don Coryell and Bobby Ross. All of them were no-nonsense, nothing-but-football coaches who were loved here. Marty Schottenheimer? The Angry Villagers who disliked him turned their hatred toward Norv. Marty wasn’t beloved until he left office, kind of like Jimmy Carter. In the end, Norv Turner was not that person. I always will believe Norv was a good coach (bad coaches do not win 11 straight NFL games), but even he admitted he basically was loathed, for whatever reason, 30 minutes after his hiring. It probably came earlier than that. He never was making our Mount Rushmore. If I had a problem with Norv off the field, it was that he didn’t take the blame. Unlike his former GM/pal, A.J. Smith, he never directed a finger at himself. Character flaw. “When in command,” Bull Halsey said, “command.” And that’s what the Chargers need in this crucial time of their existence. They need a commander. They need someone up there on the bridge staring down at his crew not necessarily a captain beloved by his players, but respected. Football certainly isn’t war, but it is conflict. So sometime this week the Chargers will hire their latest general manager, and there’s no doubt the person will be qualified through pedigree and experience. He may be right for the job, but there are no guarantees. His first (and most important) duty will be to hire a head coach. And he has to look at the face. GMs are terribly important, but they are not faces. How many people out there can name every general manager? Fans got on Smith for being an aloof GM, but aren’t most of them? After Chargers boss Dean Spanos told Norv and A.J. to bring their playbooks last Monday morning, I asked Dean how much of the decision was business. His past three seasons have ended without playoffs. TV blackouts are growing. He’s trying to get a new stadium built. He cannot afford apathy, although he knows the Chargers matter in San Diego. Check our Website. The Chargers dominate it, and if people didn’t care they wouldn’t bother signing on. “A lot of it; most of it,” he said of it being strictly business, that his team needed a change of direction. “It’s nothing unusual. When a team doesn’t win, fans don’t come.” In the Chargers’ case, I believe it was more than that. The fans didn’t like Norv, nor did they take kindly to A.J. allowing some of their favorite players to leave town. Many fans don’t find Spanos trustworthy, to the point they refuse to understand that he spends money, and they wanted change Dean refused to give them a year ago. And, with quarterback Philip Rivers getting beat up more than a thousand-year-old Persian rug, there basically is no current star power on this football team. Not one Pro Bowler (although safety Eric Weddle was most deserving, safeties do not sell tickets). So what do you do when you haven’t celebrity on the field? You hire a coach who can fill the void until the stars realign, that’s what. The Bills just hired Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, who had a .500 record with the Orange. Check the number of Buffalonians jumping into Niagara Falls without a barrel today. The Chiefs hired Andy Reid, a face all right, but one whose makeup wore off in Philadelphia. Bruce Arians, who as interim coach led the Colts to the playoffs, is a hot commodity but had a health issue and was taken to the hospital Sunday morning prior to the Indianapolis-Baltimore playoff game. How that affects his attractiveness remains to be seen, but I don’t know if he would be the right fit here, anyway. Rumors connecting UCLA coach Jim Mora to the Chargers job have surfaced. I refuse to believe them. Nothing says sexy like a 9-5 college coach who failed before in the NFL. Why not keep Norv? Oregon’s Chip Kelly? Will that breakneck offense fly in the NFL? As a highly experienced NFLian told me: “I just can’t see those 350-pound linemen getting ready to run a play every 15 seconds.” Kelly might be a face, but he’s a tire-kicker. Ken Whisenhunt is an excellent coach, and so is Lovie Smith. Mike Holmgren? I’d have a hard time arguing with him. It may not be Gruden, but this team needs a monument, brakes to halt the skid into the apathy pool. They have to go viral with this one.