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A.J. Smith: Chargers have lost respect and credibility

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Posted by Josh Alper on July 30, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

    Missing the playoffs two years in a row has led Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith to render a harsh verdict on his team.

    Smith spoke to Peter King of SI.com for this week’sMonday Morning Quarterback column and didn’t pull any punches when King asked him about the state of his team heading into the 2012 season. Smith has no quarrel with those who have knocked his team down a peg after a 17-15 record over the past two seasons.

    “We have lost our respect in the league and our credibility in the league,” Smith says. “We were an elite team. You miss one year in the playoffs? OK. You miss two? You deserve everything that’s being said about you.”

    It hasn’t helped matters in San Diego that Smith’s last few drafts have been light on impactful players. That forced him to do a bit more work on the free agent front this season than he’s done in past seasons, which, along with changes to the coaching staff, has given the team a different look than it has had in past seasons.

    The fact that he still has a job is evidence that Smith chasn’t lost respect or credibility with the Spanos family as a result of the last two seasons. They say that the third time is the charm, though, and Smith’s time in San Diego could run out if the Chargers keep talking about being an elite team in the past tense.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/category/rumor-mill/
     
  2. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Thursday: San Diego (San Diego, Chargers' practice facility)
    The Chargers are mad as heck, and they're not going to take it anymore -- or so they say.
    Sometimes, I've seen the roll-the-eyes treatment from Charger players when they hear something blunt GM A.J. Smith says that they disagree with. So I'm in Smith's office before heading out to interview some players after a morning walkthrough, and he's talking about the differences in the 2012 team from previous ones. And he goes further than I thought he would, talking about the Chargers' 17-15, playoff-less existence over the past two seasons.
    "We have lost our respect in the league and our credibility in the league,'' he says. "We were an elite team. You miss one year in the playoffs? OK. You miss two? You deserve everything that's being said about you.''
    I thought it was strong. Very strong. There's no question Smith, who spoke passionately, as he often does, has thought about how inexcusable it is for a team with San Diego's talented pedigree to twice miss the playoffs with a quarterback as formidable as Philip Rivers and a supporting cast that was playoff-worthy. I was anxious to see how the players would react.
    Maybe they didn't want to rock the boat. But listen to three vets respond to the we've-lost-our-respect-in-the-league line.
    "Amen,'' said center Nick Hardwick.
    "It's the truth,'' said tight end Antonio Gates. "It's not acceptable, not negotiable.''
    "That's the mentality we have right now,'' said Rivers. "Not being in the playoffs the last two years, we've developed that feeling, and our feeling right now is we've had enough. We have a little edge about us now. But, you know, you've just got to go out and do it."
    This is probably the first time since 2006 -- when the Chargers were coming off a third-place finish in the division -- that San Diego hasn't been locked into preseason Super Bowl contention. This is an odd year in the division. Denver has Peyton Manning. Kansas City has a formidable defense and a healthy quarterback. Oakland has a new everything. The Chargers like the pack. They've been the lead dogs for so long, and it's brought them nothing but lots of regular season wins and lots of January heartache.
    Sign of the Week: In San Diego GM A.J. Smith's office is this gem in a frame, from Winston Churchill: "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." Question is, Is Smith's Charger book on the last chapter?

     
  3. _Oz

    _Oz Banned Banned

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    The team hasn't been Elite since 07. The talent at starter and back-up has been shite since then with Norv and Rivers overcoming AJ's garbage
     
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  4. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    Agree totally with him on that one. Hope the players truly feel it and have something to prove.
     
  5. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

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    He mentioned nothing about Norv as a HC.
     
  6. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    How can one lose something one never had????
     
  7. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    True they haven't been elite, but they have had better talent that any other AFCW team, and there is no excuse for missing the playoffs in this terrible division (Which has improved coming into the 2012 season)
     
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  8. _Oz

    _Oz Banned Banned

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    they had a better QB and at times WR and TE. can't think of another starter and the back-ups sucked
     
  9. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    You don't think Dileman, McNeil, Hardwick, Weddle, Phillips, Butler were among the best in the division? And the separation for QB, WR, and TE compared to the rest of the division was ridiculously wide.
     
  10. _Oz

    _Oz Banned Banned

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    Sorry, I forgot about Phillips! So that's Phillips, Rivers, SOMETIMES (they were injured or not part of the team often) Gates and VJ.

    Dielman the past two years? NO; McNeil? Never; Hardwick? We may as well brag about a punter if we go center; Speed Bump? HELL NO; Butler? Who's Butler? I will give an unpopular nod to Cooper who made the team better.

    Norv deserves a ticker tape parade for getting these guys to 8-8
     
  11. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I am in no way saying those guys are among the best in the league, but ify ou think they were not among the best in the division, you are totally nuts. Dielman, McNeil, Hardwick, and Butler (last year) were among the best in their position in the AFC West. Not a team in the division has a guy who was head and shoulders better than any of those guys. The closest you will find is Ryan Clady over McNeil, and that was still up for debate
     
  12. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    The overall talent on the team hadn't been elite since 07, but in the last few years we've had a few players start to play the way you expect an elite player to play or they have been elite players (Thomas and Butler last season, and Weddle, respectively). The team was far and away the best in the division from 2007-2009, but our play in 2010/11 was such garbage that we sunk down to the level of our rivals who have risen from being abominable to mediocrity.

    Our LB corps looks pretty good and our DLine looks like it could be very good. Our offensive backfield could be the best in the NFL this year, and depending on the health of our WRs and how well our FAs adjust to playing in this system, our TEs/Receivers are good enough to rival any other team in the league as a group, although we lack a clear, elite, number 1 target.

    Our O-line will either be awesome or garbage, and I expect our defensive backfield to either be slightly better than average or garbage. If Cason makes huge gains and Bigby can play out the season we might have a good secondary if Jammer hasn't lost a step and was just unfocused last season.

    I don't see us having another 8-8/9-7 season. I think this is either going to be an unmitigated disaster (6-10) or a very good year (12-4 or better), because the line will either gel and play well like they did the last few weeks of last season, or they will be a revolving door and Rivers will get killed and pressured into forcing it and making turnovers.

    If we're bad, I just hope we're the worst team in the league. Picking 1st is now a tremendous advantage over picking in the middle of the pack.
     
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  13. Moses

    Moses Can You Stand The Rain?

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    As a Laker fan I've always kinda laughed at the Phoenix Suns / Sacramento Kings types who had all the talent but could never quite get over the top.

    As a Charger fan I sadly know just how they felt... :(
     

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