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A.J. SMITH - HEARS THE FANS

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Trumpet_Man, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/10/02/sports/professional/chargers/0_30_2810_2_07.txt

    Smith hears voices of fans

    By: MIKE SULLIVAN - Staff Writer
    GM just as unhappy with team's play

    SAN DIEGO -- If Chargers fans wonder if general manager A.J. Smith is listening to them voice their frustration with choice words and raucous booing and chanting the first name of former coach Marty Schottenheimer, the answer is a resounding yes.

    Smith hears the fans loud and clear. He acknowledges that fans should be expressing frustration with the team's 1-3 record and a losing streak that reached three games with Sunday's 30-16 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

    "That's the passion of the fans," Smith said Monday in response to the earsplitting chants of "Marrrty" that bellowed loudly late in the fourth quarter. "That's the way they are. It's never going to change.

    "They'll ask for your firing if things aren't going well and then they'll be the same ones that will be lining the streets throwing confetti at the parade. They'll be happy for you then."


    The Chargers currently don't look like they will need to order confetti for any postseason celebrations based on their standing at the quarter pole of the NFL season. A team forecasted to be a leading Super Bowl contender has instead been a monumental flop and resides in last place in the less-than-ferocious AFC West.

    The fans aren't happy with the product and neither is Smith.

    "I'm extremely disappointed that we're not sharp and we're not playing well," Smith said. "We're all looking for answers in the building -- the coaches, the players. There's no question about that.

    "But it's a long hard season and there's a long way to go."


    A primary reason why Schottenheimer is no longer coach of the Chargers is because of the icy relationship he and Smith shared. By chanting the first name of the former coach, fans were expressing that they aren't happy with the efforts of new coach Norv Turner, whose career record fell to 59-85-1 after Sunday's loss.

    "I understand the responsibilities of the job I have," Turner said Monday. "I'm ultimately the one who's responsible. So it's my job to get the things done we're talking about. The inconsistencies, the problems we're having with turnovers, giving up big plays (on defense). I've got to get those things eliminated."

    It's the inconsistency that has been particularly maddening over the first four games. The Chargers will play well for a while -- they were highly dominant in building a 10-0 first-quarter lead against the Chiefs -- and later hit a stretch of mistakes.

    Sometimes a poor play occurs right after an impressive one. An example of that occurred Sunday when the Chiefs scored the winning points on a 51-yard pass play on third-and-19. The touchdown came immediately after linebacker Shawne Merriman revved up Qualcomm Stadium with a punishing sack followed by the popular "Lights Out" sack dance.

    The ups and downs frustrate the executive who built the Chargers from a league doormat into a division-winning squad.

    "We have to come together," Smith said. "We're too inconsistent. We're playing well in spurts and that's not good enough. If you play in spurts, it's going to get you in trouble or disaster.

    "We're 1-3, we're at the bottom of the division. There's a lot of football yet to be played and that's good. There's a lot of time left and that's good. But eventually you're going to run out of time.

    "We need to get our act together and get it together very quickly."

    Getting it together and ending their losing skid this Sunday could be difficult. The Chargers visit the Denver Broncos and the Mile High City has traditionally been a place where they experience Mile High lows.

    When the Chargers won in Denver last season, it was only their fourth win in Denver in the past 24 visits.

    The last time they won back-to-back games in Denver was 1967-68 during the days of the American Football League. :icon_eek:

    On the positive side, the Chargers remain just one game out of first place as the Broncos, Chiefs and Oakland Raiders all have 2-2 records. If they were in any other NFL division, they would either be two or three games behind the leader.

    "The only good thing is when I'm looking up at the division, I don't see a team 4-0 and I don't see another one 3-1," Smith said. "I'm looking up and seeing 2-and-2, 2-and-2, 2-and-2 and then the Chargers. So that's a good thing.

    "But what are we going to do about that? We're in a hole. We need to get out of it. We need to fight out of it and we're on our way to Denver."

    Key players continue to have difficult explaining the early-season struggles.

    Running back LaDainian Tomlinson said players and coaches alike have to accept the blame and that everybody has to be careful to avoid finger-pointing.

    Quarterback Philip Rivers pointed out that three quarters of the season remains: "They don't give a prize for who won the first quarter (of the season). They give a prize at the end."

    Linebacker Shaun Phillips said the players are at fault for the 1-3 start, not Turner and the coaching staff.

    "We personally don't like to attribute it to the coaching staff because we hold ourselves to such high standards as players and professional athletes," Phillips said. "We understand that the coaches, at the end of the day, do not take a snap. It's all about us, and we bear that burden. We've just got to concentrate on getting better.

    "I just hate the fact that Norv has to take the scrutiny, and it's not his fault. Coach Turner, he's the head man and he runs the show, but bottom line, we take every snap. Norv ain't never had a chance to throw a fourth-down pass or cover somebody on fourth down in the NFL. So it's all about us, and we need to hold ourselves accountable."

    One thing the Chargers learned Sunday is that the paying customers will hold them accountable if they continue to sputter and underachieve.

    "The voice of the fan is to be heard loud and clear," Smith said. "They will cheer with you when you're on top and they'll kick you in the pants when you're down. That's the way it should be. They have a perfect right to do that."
     
  2. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    What I did not know is that it has been since the days of the AFL that we have not won back to back in Denver. Man oh man :tdown:

    Just like that obscure stat that Norv was O-fer against the Chiefs ....... :icon_evil:
     
  3. 17Rocks

    17Rocks Well-Known Member

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    yeah he hears it and it's the fan's right and all of that, but it dosen't amount to a pinch of shiit in the end. He makes his decisions based on his judgement, not the fans, and that's the way it should be. a lot of people who are crying for marty now were calling for his head last year...

    the defense needs to step it up and crush some heads:yes:

    If LT turns his head one second sooner we would be talking 2-2 right now...
     
  4. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    1-4 and in last place in the weak kneed AFC West after WEEK 5 ?

    Assuming that, that biitch called mother nature follows her course of ripping out what little heart is left in this team and town, this leaves the Chargers with the rest of the season to lose ONE more game and win the rest to have a shot at the playoffs (yeah Jim Moras vid just went off again).

    Lose against the Raiders and hello 1-5.

    Seen enough? :icon_evil:

    Message to AJ: Do not wait until the season is over to nut up and make the hard call. Fire these incompetant mother fuc-kers and hopefully, Dean-o signed off on the hirings so you do not get rat fuc't too hard by the boss. Our season may be over at the BYE and it does not look to get any better. Fuc these people.

    Get Arnsparger or Pascale as your Defensive Head coach and then get the old Bills coach Marv Levy as HC and Don Coryell as your offensive coordinator = Super Bowl win.

    Throw out the book (you keep on your desk) and write your own book on this ****. Fuc those cheating Patriot bastards and Scott Pioli. Do it estilo pinche A.J. Smith and fuc the critics. Feel the power within. :tup: :flag: :bolt:
     
  5. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    When revenue starts to drop. When Season Tickets holders, stop being season ticket holders. When No Shows for a game increase every game. When you start to hurt Spanos’ pocketbook. AJ will start to listen, because his job depends on it.
     
  6. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    This will never happen


    See the Detroit Lions


    :icon_sad: :icon_sad: :icon_sad:
     
  7. Buck Blincoe

    Buck Blincoe BoltTalker

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    That really is the bottom line. When the team no longer makes the kind of money that makes owning it worth the Spanos' investment, things will change.

    From what I have observed, AJ is not an especially adept GM.
     
  8. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug New Member

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    possible division winners this year in the AFC:

    AFC East: Pats
    AFC South: Colts
    AFC North: Steelers
    AFC West: ???

    Wildcard possibilities: Titans, Texans, Jaguars, Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, Raiders.
     
  9. PhilipRivers#1

    PhilipRivers#1 BoltTalker

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    If Rivers becomes the first QB to lead the Chargers to back to back victories in Denver in 39 years, will you all believe again ? :icon_eek: :bolt:
     
  10. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug New Member

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    For some it might take victories over both Denver and Oakland so they enter the BYE with a winning streak and a manageable .500 record.
     
  11. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    I never stopped believing in Rivers.
     
  12. exodus

    exodus Well-Known Member

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    AJ, listen to this. Hire Jason Garrett. ASAP
     
  13. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug New Member

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    It can't happen until the end of the season.

    Dallas would have to give the Chargers permission to interview a standing coach during the season. I doubt Jerry Jones gives that go ahead.
     
  14. exodus

    exodus Well-Known Member

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    well, yeah, there's always that:unsure:
     
  15. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    I am sticking to my convictions. If this team gets to .500 or less at the BYE, someone needs to be fired.

    .500 might save the coaching staff ...... in my mind. "Might"

    Anything less ... later.

    The first order of business is taking care of a divisional opponent and we did not. The second order of business is beating the AFC Conference rivals and we have not as well. That is 0-2 and the only team we beat ended up benching their QB.
     
  16. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    At what point in the season can we have a losing record or be at .500 and still hope to make the playoffs? Denver is not awesome, but we can't count on them (or even the other folks) to suck so we can hang in there with a poor record. My belief in the Chargers ability to make the playoffs goes as far as the record at the bye week. 2-4 will not cut it, because you can't count on getting a 10 game winning streak.
     
  17. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    I look at it from the perspective of how many losses can a team endure before historically, they do not make the playoffs?

    10-6 may get you a wild card or a divisional championship in the AFC West. That means we can lose another 3 games and maybe get in.

    At 9-7 -forget it.

    We have 3 games to lose from here forward and after that, get ready for the draft.
     
  18. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug New Member

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    Yup, 9-7 wins the division in the NFC, but the AFC requires 10-6 at the bare minimum.
     
  19. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    I agree, AT LEAST 10-6 or forget it.
     
  20. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Then they are fukd already. The BEST they can do is .500 at the bye week. @ Donks and the Turds at home.

    The question I have is how much input did Dean Spanos have in the hiring. Did he just take AJs recs or did he think that Tuner was the right guy for the job as well?

    Cotrell is all AJs.
     
  21. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    The real must win game is the one needed to keep from being eliminated.

    We could lose in Denver and against the Raiders which means we are on pins and needles for 10 WEEKS with the Colts etc coming to town where we are down to a lone loss which puts us at 10-6 if we win out. FUC !!!! :icon_evil:
     
  22. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    I don't think anyone goes 10-6 in this division. None of them are that good. I think a couple 9-7's will head up this division in the end.
     
  23. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    9-7 might win the West with tiebreakers and a little luck.

    The real problem is we're sitting here with three losses and the following games on the schedule:
    @ Denver
    @ KC
    Indy at home
    Baltimore at Home
    @ Jax
    @Tenn

    We'd have to win two of those six & ALL the other games -- raiders twice, Houston, Minnesota, Detroit, Denver @ SD.

    I don't see anyway 10-6 is possible. 9-7 is a longshot.

    We'll be lucky to split those first 6, then probably lose two of the other games.
    That puts us at a realistic 8-8. Maybe a game better, maybe a game or three worse if injuries or the negativity snowballs.

    I'm not even looking forward to the Lions with our pass defense matched up with those WRs.
     
  24. timpoet

    timpoet BoltTalker

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    Oh, we'll ask for someone's firing alright.
    I got a conviction here.

    If that genius GM is so competent then let's hold him accountable. I say tie him directly to the Chargers success this year. It's very simple, so go the Chargers so goes AJ.

    If the Chargers don't make it to the playoffs, then fire AJ!

    Again, very simple, whatever happens to them happens to him. He can keep his job if the Chargers go to the playoffs. That is fair enough. That is AJ being a man. That is a GM taking responsibility, not just spouting pat rhetoric when he committed the biggest blunder in Charger history.
     
  25. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Dean had an existing working relationship with Norv from his previous tenure here, so my guess is that he was in agreement that continuity was the way to go, and that Norv was the guy.

    And in the continuity vein, Cotrell was the right guy.

    Problem is, I don't see a lot of continuity.
     
  26. FriscoTXBoltFan

    FriscoTXBoltFan BoltTalker

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    Jason Garrett in not an option. He is being lined up to eventually be the Cowboy's head coach. Jerry Jones will not let him go.

    I agree with the 10-6 record. If the Chargers do not get that forget the playoffs.:icon_sad:
     
  27. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug New Member

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    I doubt AJ gets fired.

    Matt Millen, GM for the Lions, went through 3 head coaches and several years of horrible drafts, yet he kept his job. Blackmail pictures of the owner or not, he finally may have it right.

    AJ's a better GM than Millen.

    To fire AJ after one possible coach hiring fackup is stupid.

    Now, if he loses his draft touch and makes several more coach hiring screwups, then yeah, bye-bye Mr. Hawaiian shirt.
     
  28. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair New Member

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    Needless to say I don't envision the Wild Card coming out of the West.

    We need to win the division, and the best way to do that is to beat your division rivals. We spit the bit at home, now we have to make up for it against one of our opponents on the road.

    I don't see it being in Denver.
     
  29. FriscoTXBoltFan

    FriscoTXBoltFan BoltTalker

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    AJ did not even get a slap on the wrist from firing Marty and all the turmoil that arose from that feud.

    Did anyone see the halftime show from Sunday Night Football? Keith Oberman segment on the worst in Football. It was AJ and Dean. He did not completely blame Norv.
     
  30. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug New Member

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    Once again, AJ did not fire Marty. He actually chose to convince Dean to keep him for one more year.

    It was Dean that chose to fire Marty after Marty's insistence on hiring his own brother to be the DC.
     

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