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Ted Cottrell was not Norv Turner's choice for DC

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    There are so many surprising and disappointing NFL teams to date, but few have been more confounding than the staggering 3-5 San Diego Chargers.

    The defending AFC West champions were a popular Super Bowl XLIII choice after playing well enough last season to take the Patriots to the brink in the AFC Championship game, despite injuries to offensive stars LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates.

    Rivers made a nice recovery in the offseason from his torn knee ligament and is among the NFL's top passers this season. Tomlinson has lost a step because of his chronic turf toe but still is among the league's top-10 rushers. Gates was the NFL's top-scoring tight end in 2007 and he remains so at the 2008 midpoint, with five touchdowns.

    None of this has mattered: Norv Turner's Chargers have lost three of their past five games during a season when they should be dominating a pathetic AFC West. After last week's disappointing 37-32 loss to the Saints at London's Wembley Stadium, an outcome that overshadowed Rivers' 341-yard, three touchdown passing effort, something had to give.

    San Diego's losses this season have been by a combined 24 points. Close enough, right?

    Not if you look at what's happened on defense, where the blame - and the hammer - fell this week. Defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell was fired, becoming the fall guy for a unit that is ranked 28th in the NFL in total defense, 32nd against the pass and 28th in points allowed.

    Does this mean Turner's job security is automatically on the line?

    Not necessarily. Cottrell came onboard in 2007 along with Turner, but he was general manager A.J. Smith's personal hire. Cottrell is well-respected in NFL circles, but he was not Turner's choice for the gig.

    Still, it was Turner, Smith said, who had final say over whether Cottrell should stay, although the entire Chargers' front office was involved in the decision to fire him. Turner then promoted Ron Rivera, the Bears' defensive coordinator in their last Super Bowl appearance, to the coordinator spot.

    The Cottrell dismissal was justified when you consider how far this once impressive defensive unit has fallen: The Chargers were one of the NFL's most aggressive, coming up with 30 interceptions and forcing 18 fumbles in 2007.

    This season, there is no Shawne Merriman to wreak havoc and it shows - San Diego has one sack in its last two games. Cottrell had been criticized for not making halftime adjustments and for having his guys play too passively in zone coverages. The underachievement has been stunning.

    Smith, who has long admired Cottrell from the coach's time in Buffalo, didn't mince words about the move.

    "Ted is the fall guy," Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "But we felt there was a problem here. You know how I feel about defense, a dictating, dominant defense, and I didn't quite see that here, for whatever reason."

    Rivera, it should be noted, was Turner's original choice for defensive coordinator but he was overruled by Smith. Chargers players realized that when it was revealed that Turner named Rivera as his choice for defensive coordinator when he interviewed for the Cowboys' vacancy.

    If Rivera fails in his efforts to revive the once intimidating Chargers defense over the next eight games, then Turner will have to answer for that - to his team's ownership, to Smith and to his players.
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I'm still not so sure about Rivera.

    I think Pagano would have been the better choice, and I expect him to have an influencial role in how Rivera calls the defense.
     
  3. Ride The Lightning

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

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    I don't think many of us are, but either way Ted had to go. Rivera over Pagano makes sense RIGHT NOW because RR has the experience.

    We have at least 8 games remaining to see how it plays out. After hearing all the junk I have this week from these defensive turds all over the media, I'm not sure if Jesus Christ himself could turn these *******s around.
     
  4. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

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    Pagano will be groomed to be the DC when Rivera takes a head coaching job after the '09 season.
     
  5. RipTheJacker

    RipTheJacker Well-Known Member

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    I am!
    Hes the guy i was hope would be the HC (him or Rex Ryan) before we hired Norv, and then when we picked Norv, i was praying Rivera would be the DC

    I think this guy is the perfect DC for us, and is going to turn this team back into what it was in 06, A well prepared, aggressive, attack defense

    My only problem is this timing, i just dont know if 2 weeks is long enough to fix a defense. Im not worried about the chiefs, but after that it gets tough with pitt and indy

    Im just hoping this isnt just some 8 week, stop gap solution and that AJ extends Riveras for atleast 1 more season
     
  6. Holy_Bolt

    Holy_Bolt Well-Known Member

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    I hope you are right. I also hope the Bolts (and fans) give him at least one game to figure it out.
     
  7. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    All that being said Rivera is a 4-3 specialist, he's been in the 3-4 system only 18 months (all under Cottrell) where Pagano has been in it for 4+yrs under Wade Phillips.

    I hope your right and I'm wrong, but I wouldn't be buying playoff tickets just yet.
     
  8. RipTheJacker

    RipTheJacker Well-Known Member

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    Dont forget he also played a little 3-4 back in his playing days

    he also worked with 3 great defensive minds in Buddy ryan, Jim Johnson and Lovie Smith, all of which have different styles, and he was able to adapt to each of those guys

    Plus, he can get Pagano to help him, which is something that has already been mentioned
    Also, look at how prepared the bears where back when he was the DC, if he just does that, and gets these guys prepared week to week, then he will of done a better job than Sweaty Teddy
     
  9. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Basically what I said in my first post, Pagano is going to have to be involved in scheming.
     
  10. mandude

    mandude BoltTalker

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    I do. I think this move is going to be one of the best moves the franchise has ever made. Even if we don't make the playoffs, or we win the Super Bowl, mark my word, this time next year we have a top 5 defense in every catagory. Riveria knows the team, has the experience and led the bears to a super bowl on defense alone (everyone forgets what a crappy offense the bears had, and what terrible QB Rex was).
     
  11. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    1. Wasn't Cotrell hired before Norv?

    2. Wasn't the whole Marty-AJ debacle pushed over the edge because AJ wanted Cotrell?

    The 1st one's an honest question because I can't remember. The 2nd one's a rhetorical question.

    Either way, I call BS.

    Norv may have liked the hire but Cotrell was AJ's pick.
     
  12. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    1) No Cotrell was not hired before Turner.

    2) No, the AJ-Marty was because Marty wanted to replace Phillips with his Brother Kurt and AJ said fuk no. Kurt is the DB coach for GB.

    There is no BS to call. The article says it all when it mentions that Rivera was the guy he wanted for his DC when he interviewed with the Cowboys.


    AJ wanted to keep things status quo. Cotrell was a 3-4 DC, learned from Phillips as his assistant in Buffalo. That is why AJ pushed the Cotrell hiring and Norv went along with the reasoning I would suspect. Also AJ felt the bolts were SB ready last year like everyone else and just wanted to keep the ship on the same course. Norv for the O he installed when he was here before as OC and Cotrell from the Phillips school of D.

    My guess is that the Rivera hire was a compromise for Norv so he had his guy in waiting so to speak, if Teddy didn't live up to the expectations. This part is total speculation, tho.
     
  13. VikingBolt

    VikingBolt BoltTalker

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    Is there a link for Turner's words about that?
     
  14. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2008/oct/28/chargers-canepa28183343/?chargers

    To be fair, I won't leave this out
    But AJ obviously wanted Cotrell as DC and he was his guy.

    That being said, I missed the "not" in the thread title when making my initial reply.
     
  15. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I think, wait, I KNOW Rivera will be an improvement over Cottrell. Hell, there are POSTERS on this BOARD that could make a better DC.

    Cottrell was a complete waste of time & talent. I believe Rivera will do just fine in the 3-4 & I also believe that the players will come together behind this choice & this coach.

    KC isn't going to know what hit 'em.
     
  16. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    I hope he can bring back the magic with this D. Even if he doesn't I would settle for middle of the road over bottom of the barrell. There is enough talent on this team for a halfway decent coach to get them there.
     
  17. IGOR RULES

    IGOR RULES BoltTalker

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    I really think that the (3-4) vs. (4-3) experience of Ron Rivera is a false way to putting things into consideration.

    In my opinion the DC has three main areas of operating:

    1) co-ordinate the other defense coaches to form a cohaesive unit with a simple game plan (his main responsability)
    2) have ALL the defense players on the same page with the right to question plays, positions, assignments in PRACTICE and therefore to fully understand their role during GAMES
    3) find ways to put his players to make plays (tackles, sacks, tackles for loss, no penalties, pass defenses, blitzes, interceptions, IN THAT ORDER) during a full game and to have the eye and experience to make the necessary adjustments IMMEDIATELY (and not after the half break).

    I think that Ron Rivera has the experience and the touch to change this defense into a very good defense with the same players.


    PS: I have a question about the defensive line coach Wayne Nunnelly. Did he not question openly Ted Cottrell for the fact that his linesmen were put ALWAYS in the same spot with no success on and on? Why was he not able to overrule Ted Cottrell, at least once?
     
  18. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    Anyone else hear that Teddy was offered Rivera's job with the outside linebackers?. Any truth to this?. Could u imagine what that would look like were it to have happened!!.

    Jeeeeeeez.

    Btw - gr8 to see u posting again Peter. Let's have more of them!!.
     
  19. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Perish the ****ing thought!!!!!! :icon_eek:

    Teddy was a stone around our D's neck. Last year Merriman liftted it up & carried it. This year - no Teddy antidote.

    He won't be seen around here in any capacity other than a desk job. :no:

    And I'm very glad. :yes:
     
  20. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Rivera won't be coaching in a vacuum. He and the other coaches will be collaborating. Rivera is a guy of more than a modicum of intelligence. I'm sure he's figured it out, since he faced the defense on other teams and schemed it here.
     

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