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Cottrell out as defensive coordinator, Rivera in

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-chargers-cottrellfired&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press
    </a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    <a href="http://www.pe.com/imagesdaily/2007/08-09/chargers29acfdb_400.jpg"><img class="alignright" title="Ted Cottrell" src="http://www.pe.com/imagesdaily/2007/08-09/chargers29acfdb_400.jpg" alt="" width="254" height="183" /></a>SAN DIEGO (AP)-Norv Turner, of all people, came up with the San Diego Chargers' hardest hit in weeks when he fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell on Tuesday.

    Cottrell was sacked by the head coach in large part because his defense couldn't get to opposing quarterbacks, the most glaring shortcoming for a unit that has had little spark since losing star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman to season-ending knee surgery after the first game.

    Cottrell was replaced by inside linebackers coach Ron Rivera, a Super Bowl winner with the Chicago Bears in 1985. Rivera will have the bye week to figure out why the Chargers (3-5) have underperformed.

    "Probably the things that we have needed to improve in are the same things that affected us in Week Two and so on," Turner said. "The same things have been an issue throughout the first eight games, at different times."

    Any kind of week-to-week improvement "hasn't been there," Turner said. "We've been inconsistent and we've had the same things happen to us over and over in terms of teams throwing for a lot of yardage early in games, making big plays in the passing game and keeping the football."

    Cottrell didn't return a call seeking comment. This is the third time he's been fired as a defensive coordinator. He was let go by the New York Jets after the 2003 season and by the Minnesota Vikings after Brad Childress took over as head coach following the 2005 season.

    The Chargers have no sacks or interceptions in the last nine quarters. They are at or near the bottom of the league in several statistical categories, including 32nd in passing yards per game (265.1) and 23rd in points allowed per game (24.9).

    Cottrell had become a popular target of fan ire as the Chargers lost three of their last four games, including a 37-32 loss to former teammate Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in London on Sunday.

    That game was indicative of the Chargers' defensive shortcomings, with no pressure on the quarterback and a lot of passing yards. Brees threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns.

    Cottrell was a personal favorite of general manager A.J. Smith going back to their days with the Buffalo Bills. Smith didn't return several calls seeking comment.

    With the bye week coming up, Turner said he decided after Sunday's game that Cottrell had to go.

    "Ultimately we had a lot of discussion after the game. Ultimately I've got to make a decision based on what's best on our football team and where we need to go and that was the decision I made," said Turner, who is 72-92-1 as an NFL head coach.

    "We know what we have to do," the coach said. "We have to create more pressure on the quarterback, and obviously when we create pressure, not give up big plays."

    After leading the NFL with 30 interceptions and 48 takeaways last year, the Chargers have only six pickoffs and 10 takeaways after eight games. After getting 42 sacks last year, they have 17 at the halfway point.

    "Of course it's unfortunate but it is what it is," outside linebacker Shaun Phillips, who has a team-high 3 1/2 sacks, said in a text message. "I'm excited because it gives us some spark."

    Turner, Cottrell and Rivera all joined the Chargers on Feb. 19, 2007. Rivera had interviewed for the job Turner got a week after Marty Schottenheimer was fired. Cottrell was given a two-year contract that day, and Rivera was hired hours later after the Bears said he wouldn't be back after a three-year run as their defensive coordinator.

    Cottrell didn't return a call seeking comment. This is the third time he's been fired as a defensive coordinator. He was let go by the New York Jets after the 2003 season and by the Minnesota Vikings after Brad Childress took over as head coach following the 2005 season.

    The Chargers have no sacks or interceptions in the last nine quarters. They are at or near the bottom of the league in several statistical categories, including 32nd in passing yards per game (265.1) and 23rd in points allowed per game (24.9).

    Cottrell had become a popular target of fan ire as the Chargers lost three of their last four games, including a 37-32 loss to former teammate Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in London on Sunday.

    That game was indicative of the Chargers' defensive shortcomings, with no pressure on the quarterback and a lot of passing yards. Brees threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns.

    Cottrell was a personal favorite of general manager A.J. Smith going back to their days with the Buffalo Bills. Smith didn't return several calls seeking comment.

    With the bye week coming up, Turner said he decided after Sunday's game that Cottrell had to go.

    "Ultimately we had a lot of discussion after the game. Ultimately I've got to make a decision based on what's best on our football team and where we need to go and that was the decision I made," said Turner, who is 72-92-1 as an NFL head coach.

    "We know what we have to do," the coach said. "We have to create more pressure on the quarterback, and obviously when we create pressure, not give up big plays."

    After leading the NFL with 30 interceptions and 48 takeaways last year, the Chargers have only six pickoffs and 10 takeaways after eight games. After getting 42 sacks last year, they have 17 at the halfway point.

    "Of course it's unfortunate but it is what it is," outside linebacker Shaun Phillips, who has a team-high 3 1/2 sacks, said in a text message. "I'm excited because it gives us some spark."

    Turner, Cottrell and Rivera all joined the Chargers on Feb. 19, 2007. Rivera had interviewed for the job Turner got a week after Marty Schottenheimer was fired. Cottrell was given a two-year contract that day, and Rivera was hired hours later after the Bears said he wouldn't be back after a three-year run as their defensive coordinator.
     

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