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The hype is over and AJ Smith recognizes his failure

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Even wiseguys are wise to Chargers hype
    Written by
    Nick Canepa

    For the past six or seven years, the Chargers have been the best March-through-August team in the NFL. They’ve been uber-hyped by even the harshest critics, by the Vegas oddsboys, even the East Coasters, who see soft fish tacos under every Southern California palm.

    The Chargers have been one of the truly great preseason football teams in history.

    But now, while the bar remains high within the organization, outside of it the hype has been lowered to limbo level — even by the Vegas kids (it’s hard to find San Diego anywhere under 20-1 to win the Super Bowl). And that’s all right. That’s how it should be when you miss the playoffs back-to-back seasons.

    Under the radar? Only sonar can pick them up. General Manager A.J. Smith, by all accounts, has had a good time of it in free agency, and it appears as though his draft went well. But there are a lot of moving parts to this team — including new defensive coordinator John Pagano, who hasn’t called a play in his life — which makes it pretty difficult to praise the unknown.

    “The hype’s gone; we’ve done nothing,” Smith says. “There shouldn’t be any hype when you don’t make the playoffs for two years. Praise is for teams that make it all the time. We dropped out in ’10 and ’11. You don’t earn anything in rhetoric.

    “We flattened out. So what did we do? We made moves all over the place, even at coordinator. But it’s all words now, man. We’ll see if we’re better. To get to the playoffs, we’ll have to get through our division (AFC West). This is a good division, and now one of the greatest quarterbacks has plopped himself down in the middle of it. I just hope Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos don’t leave us in their dust.”

    There are times A.J. is so full of it, it’s surprising he can live with himself without pinching his nostrils. That bulge in his cheek is formed by his tongue. He’s happy to be back for another year after so many of his adoring fans had him gone following last season’s 8-8. And he’s pleased to still be working with coach Norv Turner.

    “It’s not Norv Turner; it has never been Norv Turner,” Smith says. “It’s me. I believe in my head coach. It’s not the head coach. Who gets the players? Me. And this is all about players. We all look at the same players that are out there. Some of us make the right choices, some of us don’t. I take all responsibility. Unacceptable.”

    Smith is right about that. He gets the players. Now he prays for good health and hopes Pagano is the right guy to run the defense. Greg Manusky, fired following the 2011 season, was a 16-game mistake.

    Smith said he wouldn’t have been shocked if club President Dean Spanos walked into his office last season and canned him. There certainly was speculation both Smith and Turner were gone. But Spanos made the right decision, quite possibly because he might have done worse.

    “Dean’s let me come back for my 10th year and I haven’t won for him,” Smith says. “I think Dean made a tremendous statement staying the course, but I don’t know how that went over. He’s the owner and I have no complaints. None. And a lot of GMs can’t say that.

    “But I got hired to win a world championship and I haven’t done it. In my view, it’s not going at all well. When I sit back and assess myself, I’m disappointed. Nine years and no world championship. Five trips to the postseason and five failures, and I don’t like it. It’s what drives me.”

    A.J. has not lost his confidence; maybe some Midas has worn off his touch. But there’s no question he’s become his own toughest critic. He didn’t like Marty Schottenheimer one bit. He never thought he could win a Super Bowl with Marty as head coach. But Schottenheimer’s history. Smith hired Norv and trusts him. In that the GM’s been working since he was 16 and considers Spanos the best boss he’s had, the only person left to blame sits in A.J.’s chair.

    “I’ve failed in every single attempt, and that kills me. I hate to lose. Hate it,” he says. “Do that and you’re a LOSER. Hopefully you get a chance to try again?”

    A loser?

    “When you don’t win a world championship, are you not a loser?” he says.

    “The New York Giants won the Super Bowl. Call me crazy, but everyone else lost. That’s all that matters to me.”

    Now he looks out from his office window to his players going through involuntary drills.

    “One hundred percent participation today,” he says. “Wonderful. What does it mean? Nothing. But I’d rather have 100 percent and no issues, which is what we have. I’m proud of these guys. If we can avoid catastrophic injuries, we’re going to be OK, because we’ve got good second-line players now.”

    And A.J. Smith?

    “I’m secure in my own skin.”

    Hide softened a bit, perhaps, by previously unpalatable humble pie. But you still can use it for the soles of your shoes.

     
  2. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    "“It’s not Norv Turner; it has never been Norv Turner,” Smith says."

    No, no... it's Norv.
     
  3. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

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    yeah its Norv.. or is it AJ...hmmmmmm
     
  4. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    It's Norv's fault because he was given so much awesome talent but can't win with it.

    It's also AJ's fault because he fails at his job of giving this team good enough talent to win.
     
  5. powayslugger

    powayslugger Feckless Slappy

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    I'm not going to comment other than to say this was a pretty interesting article and I was surprised to hear AJ actually nutting up and taking responsibility. Opps... I guess that is a comment.
     
  6. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    What? Has A.J. given them talent or not, your two statements appear to be contradictory.
     
  7. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Win together, lose together.

    Screw the finger-pointing. If AJ wants to accept his share, I'm good with that. Good for him.

    No one individual in this organization has led to success or failure in a vacuum. I realize that this is likely too much for some folks to comprehend, but it's far closer to the truth than much of the whining that passes for analysis.
     
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  8. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    Man up. It's your fault.
     
  9. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    They were supposed to be contradictory :roflmao:
     
  10. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Nope....... it's those man boobs of yours.
     
  11. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I can take the weight.

    Can you? :cool:
     
  12. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    I don't take weight, baby! I dish it out!
     
  13. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Obviously. :D
     
  14. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Ate the players responsible for anything?
     
  15. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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  16. HEXEDBOLT

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

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  17. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

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    no.. they are not responsible. If AJ signs a guy with zero talent and skill than it is AJs fault. The guy who signed is irrelevant. It's up to AJ to seek the best talent available not the worst.
     
  18. Joy Division

    Joy Division Slightly-known Member

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    It's the fans fault. Without us, they'd be nothing. We've let them down. :cry:
    The Q needs to ROCK!
    Until we (SD) win it all, we'll never travel well and my life will be incomplete.
    We suck. Boohoo...

    (sarcasm)
     
  19. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Yes, because if Rivers had not fumbled a snap last year and the Bolts had made the playoffs and won a game or two, AJ's skills as a talent evaluator would have improved drastically. Suddenly, this roster would be vastly more talented and AJ's job would be much more secure.
     
  20. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    [​IMG]
     
  21. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

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    but Rivers is a great talent and that fumble was a fluke at a weird time. It is not like Rivers fumbles daily. Rivers is the reason AJs job is secure. It's Norv who is making AJ look bad. oh wait, no its all AJs, and the guy who blames himself for the loses.
     
  22. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Few.... I thought you were going to blame me again...
     
  23. airbolt

    airbolt BoltTalker

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    Quit the whining. Listen around, nobody in the NFL is taking the Chargers seriously anymore. If they make a come back, they may be under the radar. But don't congratulate Smith for manning up, he just spins this ****. A straight out phony who has never won a damn thing. Players? Horseshit, you can always blame players. Bottom line is the coach and general manager. That's how it works in the NFL, just because Spanos doesn't make guys accountable doesn't mean the rest of the NFL doesn't either. ****, listen to the NFL Radio on Sirius XM, players, ex players. coaches, executives are not high on the Bolts. So don't tell me about East Coast bias or haters, get ******* real.
     
  24. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

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    hey, stop whining about us whining. It has become the norm as a Charger fan.
     
  25. ETicket

    ETicket Well-Known Member

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    It's not surprising. Nobody picks an 8-8 team to win anything. The NFL and most who analyse it are decidedly in the "what have you done lately" camp.

    The most recent example would the 2009 New Orleans Saints. After an 8-8 record during the 2008 season not many were talking about the Saints. Everyone was talking about Pittsburg, Indy, New England and the Chargers!
     
  26. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    He originally gave great talent, but failed to replenish it as the talent left, and IMO it looks like he once again gave him great talent after this great offseason
     
  27. Scott Kirby

    Scott Kirby BoltTalker

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    Personally I think they are BOTH responsible. And if we are gonna win with this current crew ( I really mean our QB) we had better win in the next 3 years; outside 5 years. Cause Rivers won't be great forever. Sooner than later his skills will start to erode and we WON'T win if that happens. So this is it and YEAH its NORV and AJ. They have both let down the city of San Diego. AND CAN WE FORGET THE SPANOS CLAN? WASN'T THOSE THE SO CALLED "EXPERTS" WHO HIRED THEM?
     
  28. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Just what we need .... more whining from the window is closing crew. :rolleyes:
     
  29. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    That is exactly what this outhouse needs. A window. :D
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  30. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    And a bigger exhaust fan. ;)
     

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