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Q&A with Chargers President Dean Spanos

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Thursday, Nov 08, 2007 , Chargers.com

    The Chargers are 4-4 at the half-way point and open the second half of the season with a tough battle against the World Champion Indianapolis Colts. The man in charge – Chargers President Dean Spanos – took a minute yesterday to offer this exclusive interview with Chargers.com.

    We’re at the midway point of the season and the Chargers are 4-4. What are your thoughts on the first half of the season?

    “It’s obviously disappointing. You would hope that we’d be at a better position record-wise. We started off very slowly. Then we started to dig ourselves out and then we had a setback last week in Minnesota. It was a step back as far as I’m concerned. It’s disappointing, but we still have half the season to go. We need to be more consistent as a team. We were inconsistent in the first half of the season. I can’t say what the reasons were. I think obviously having a new coaching staff getting used to the players and vice versa, those types of things take some time. But we’re still the same players that we were last year. Nobody is making any excuses. We need to do better. Fortunately for us, the division has remained competitive and we’re still in the thick of the race.”

    Describe your feelings following that tough game in
    Minnesota.

    “I’ve looked back at the game a lot this week. You look at the first half of the game and you could say we did not play well offensively or capitalize on opportunities. We only scored seven points. I think defensively we played as well in the first half as we’ve played all year. We held them to seven points and held Adrian Peterson to 43 yards rushing. On a comparative basis to how other teams have played them and how we’ve played throughout the season, that’s pretty good defense. We were hoping to continue to play that way in the second half and get our offense going. Offensively, we had our chances. There were several big offensive plays that we just didn’t make that might have changed the outcome of the game. I’m sure that the Vikings could say the same thing too. They fumbled twice near our goal line, so that also could have changed the dynamic of the game. The problem is we didn’t play well enough offensively throughout the entire game, and you can’t keep your defense out on the field the whole game and expect them to win it for you.”

    What are you biggest concerns going into the second half of the season and what do you believe the team needs to do to improve?

    “I think we need to be more consistent overall. A lot of that falls on the coaching staff to improve the consistency within the players for the second half of the season. I have a lot of confidence in all of them. I think they will be more consistent. It really gets back to some of the basic fundamentals that at times we haven’t done well. Tackling is one of those fundamentals. We need to get back to dominating up front as we have in the past. I’m looking at this as a fan would look at it too. When you don’t win, nothing looks good. When you win a game, you forget about all the things that you did in the game that weren’t right. Now we find ourselves in a situation where we have to focus on the second half of the season. We’ll play all three teams in our division in December. Right now we need to stay in the hunt to try to win the division and get into the playoffs.”

    Expectations were so high coming into this season. What do you think contributed to the high expectations and do you think they were realistic?

    “Every year stands on its own. Last year was different from the year before and the year before that. It’s primarily the same players. We’ve had some coaching changes, but every year is different for every team. You look around the National Football League and some teams are doing better, some teams aren’t. We’re a team that based on last year’s record, isn’t doing as well. But I don’t think anybody came into this season expecting to be 14-2. Every year is a new year. It’s about getting back to the playoffs, whether you’re 8-8 or 14-2 … just get back to the playoffs. Then the real challenge begins. You’re ultimately judged on how you do in the playoffs. The thing is you have to get there first, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 8-8 or 14-2.”

    What do you think of the job that Norv and the coaching staff have done?

    “I think he’s done a good job. He came into a very difficult situation. We really don’t judge or evaluate anybody until the end of the season; until all the games have been played. Then you look back at each game and the season as a whole and make your determinations. Thus far I think he’s done a good job, but we need to do better. Norv will be the first one to tell you that. In some ways he had some difficult things to overcome. He got a late start putting his staff together. We’re not using that as an excuse, but he didn’t have that luxury that some coaches have. Plus, the transition to a new coaching staff takes time. That’s just something that you have to overcome. Hopefully in the second half of the season we’ll be past all that. We need to step it up and play the way we’re capable of playing. I think also that everyone focused on last year, which caused their expectations to be very high. As I said earlier, last year doesn’t mean anything. It’s all about winning your division and getting back to the playoffs no matter what the record is.”

    cont.
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Every time the team loses, many fans point a finger at A.J. Smith. Do you think that’s justified?

    “I think the fans have every right to do and say whatever they want to. They pay a lot of money to come to our games. We want our fans to be critical. I’m glad that they’re passionate. The one thing we don’t want our fans to be is apathetic. The more they criticize, the more they get involved. To me that means the more concerned they are. That shows passion for their team. That’s what this business is all about. We’re in this business to provide sports entertainment for our fans, and we want to do the best that we can. I want them to be critical and we listen to what they say.”

    The defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts are coming to town Sunday night for a nationally-televised game. How do you think this Chargers team will respond this week?

    “This is a team that has some good veteran leadership. This has so far been a good week of practice. They know what they have to do. Every game now is critical for us to win our division. I can’t predict and I don’t make predictions other than they’re going to be trying their best on Sunday. They know what this game means to us. These are the defending Super Bowl champions. They have the second-best record in the NFL. This is a game that I think in some ways we can gain a lot of credibility if we win. We have a very prideful team. They take a lot of pride in being winners.”

    What has given you confidence that the team will finish strong?

    “Again it’s the leadership. Starting with players like LT and Shawne Merriman, veterans like Lorenzo Neal, and I could go down the list forever. We have a real good core of players on this team. Their goal is simply to win a championship. They’re thinking that way and they’re focused. They need to be focused.”

    What was the most gratifying aspect of the team’s victory over the Houston Texans immediately following the wildfires in San Diego?

    “To have to go through and endure what this organization did, not just from the players’ perspective, but a lot of people in the front office were affected. We had over 50 people that were evacuated. To focus back on the players, in some cases they had their families to be concerned about. They had to get them situated and then they had to leave and go to a different place to practice and live for three days while trying to prepare for a game. I have a great deal of respect for the way guys handled an unusual situation for a football team. I think it shows how resilient our team is. They overcame a great obstacle that week. It doesn’t sound like a lot to a lot of people, but it really was. You could look at it as taking a negative and turning it into a positive. I think it in some ways unified our team and brought them closer together. That might have been a positive to help us get it together for the victory.

    “You have to give our head coach a lot of credit for that. It was a difficult practice on Wednesday. I talked to Norv and he said you could still see the players were concerned. They were trying to get their focus on the game. In retrospect, looking back and talking to some of the players and assistant coaches and staff, Norv spearheaded this thing. He took a great leadership role and got it together. You have to give him a lot of credit for that.”

    Anything new to report on the effort to build a new stadium in San Diego?

    “Right now, as everybody knows, the City of San Diego, National City, and Oceanside have for various reasons dropped out of the process despite all of our best efforts over the last five years. So now our entire focus is on Chula Vista. We’re having a series of studies done and Town Hall meetings with the City of Chula Vista. Hopefully sometime next year we’re going to come to a resolve one way or the other as to whether we can proceed and try to get something done. I have to give the Mayor of Chula Vista, Cheryl Cox, and the Chula Vista City Council, especially Councilman John McCann, a tremendous amount of credit for being proactive in this whole process. They are genuinely trying to see if we can get something done there. It’s 110-percent effort on everyone’s part right now. I’m always optimistic, despite all the hurdles we face in trying to do something that has never been done before: privately finance an NFL stadium project at a cost of more than one billion dollars. So we’ll see what happens.

    “I really encourage the people of Chula Vista to come to the Town Hall meetings and voice their opinions. We want to hear everyone’s thoughts on the situation, and this is a great forum for ideas to be expressed. Unfortunately it’s usually the dissenters that get the most attention, but we’ve had a great response to our efforts, and our goal to get something done. It’s important that those in favor show up and are heard as well.”
     
  3. Buttmunch

    Buttmunch Well-Known Member

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    "We need to be more consistent as a team. We were inconsistent in the first half of the season. I can’t say what the reasons were. I think obviously having a new coaching staff getting used to the players and vice versa, those types of things take some time. But we’re still the same players that we were last year. Nobody is making any excuses. We need to do better."

    Can someone please tell me why the hell we went with Norv then? I thought the whole point of hiring him was due to continuity purposes, etc. Seriously, if anyone would have stopped to think that there was a good chance we would need this long of an adjustment period, why the hell not hire the coach you really want instead of worrying about continuity and all of that bs....especially since it's not a guaranteed thing.

    F'ing eh....I cringe when I see these guys admit stuff like this.
     
  4. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    I'm getting sick of, "we need to be more consistent."
     
  5. Edgar

    Edgar BoltTalker

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    Norv is doing a good job.......:icon_eek:
     
  6. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    The stadium effort hinges on Chula Vista. :/
     
  7. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    *yawn*

    Just get the fuc out there and hit somebody and stop being a bunch of *ussies. :icon_evil:
     
  8. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    No ****.

    And quit talking about playoffs. Stop it. No more. Nip that **** in the bud.
     
  9. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    I'm glad he's not leaving us fans hanging.

    He realizes there is A LOT to be addressed and is doing so!!
     
  10. Ride The Lightning

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

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    Shut up and win a game.
     
  11. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    No shiit. Back to one play at a time. Part of the problem, IMO, is that players got cocky, acting as if the playoffs are a shoo-in.

    Time to get real, fellas. Regular season comes first.
     
  12. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Every game from here on out is a playoff game and if we lose, well you get the picture.:bolt:
     
  13. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    We already got the sound. The team for years stands on the edge.
    and I'm happy President Spanos found clear words, diplomatic but
    clear spoken.

    San Diego deserves a good NFL team over .500
     

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