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The passion of Norv -- or lack of it -- is hurting the Chargers

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    By Mark Kreidler
    ESPN.com


    Here's something that won't be thumbtacked to the bulletin board in A.J. Smith's executive office at the San Diego Chargers' headquarters: Some of his players knew last week that the team wasn't ready to play its best game in Green Bay. The practice mood, they said, was just a little too passive. It was a little too calm. It was a little too … well, a little too Norv, if you want to get to the nubs of it.

    Of course, you won't hear Smith agreeing with that, because doing so would contradict the GM's working theory that anyone not named Schottenheimer could take the talent on the San Diego roster and, by not mucking around in it too much, produce a great season along with -- shout-out to Marty here -- some real playoff success.
    But whatever else can be said of Norv Turner as a football man, what is increasingly beyond dispute is that he's a submediocre head coach. In replacing the garrulous, emotional and sometimes overtly political Marty Schottenheimer after last season's sucker-punch playoff loss to New England, Smith turned to a man with a 58-82-1 record as the head coach of two franchises (make that 59-84-1 after the 1-2 start in San Diego that has led to the current unpleasantness).

    Those previous stops, in Washington and Oakland, were unquestionably weird places to work, and the quality of Turner's rosters ebbed and flowed. But the one constant among those who played for him was their assessment, usually offered with great kindness because of Turner's almost universal likability, that the man was a wonderful … offensive coordinator.

    Or, as one exasperated Raiders defensive back told me in 2005, as Turner's second season in Oakland spun inexorably toward the 4-12 finish that got him whacked: "He's just a real nice guy." Too bad it wasn't intended as a compliment.

    Turner and his San Diego players, LaDainian Tomlinson in particular, have spent the past couple of days attempting to explain their 31-24 defeat to the Packers in strategic terms: The team needs to run more effectively, the blocking schemes are flawed, 24 points on the road really ought to be enough, etc. But that misses the bigger (but less tangible) point, which is that Turner's teams historically haven't prepared and played at the emotional clip necessary to win.

    That's observational and surely subjective. But it's also supported by plenty of Turner's former (and some current) players, who over the years have clamored for more fire and brimstone from a man who, though he clearly loves the sport, just isn't the demonstrative type.


    Raiders fans almost chuckled to themselves when Smith tapped Turner for the San Diego job. It was strange enough to see the Chargers dump a coach -- Schottenheimer, who had just gone 14-2 -- for the sin of losing to the Patriots in the playoffs. But going from Marty to Norv? That's taking an off-ramp from the emotional superhighway. Suddenly, Oakland looked as though it might not have made the riskiest coaching choice in the division by hiring a then-31-year-old USC assistant, Lane Kiffin.

    If the Norv-emotional-preparedness issue wasn't clear prior to the 38-14 pasting by the Pats in Week 2, it became so during the days that followed. As the Chargers tried to get over the sting of that defeat and gear up to face Brett Favre at Lambeau Field, something was missing.

    "[The intensity] wasn't quite where it needed to be," center Nick Hardwick told the San Diego Union-Tribune after the Packers game.

    "You've got to get after it and decide who you're going to be as a team … We've got to pick up the intensity during the week. Wednesday, Thursday is key for us."

    Wednesday and Thursday were the kinds of days when Schottenheimer shined. And while it's by no means too late for the Chargers to turn around this season, they must realize by now that they're operating in an entirely different space, with a different set of directions. When Tomlinson declared Monday, "I'm sick and tired of talking about last year. This is not last year," he said a mouthful.
    It's funny: While Turner was busy getting his reputation knocked around in San Diego these first few weeks, the franchise for which he spent 2006 as offensive coordinator, San Francisco, saw itself questioned repeatedly about its sudden lack of imagination and flair on offense -- after winning its first two games. The consensus is that the 49ers (now 2-1 after losing to Pittsburgh) were a better unit with Mike Nolan doing the head coaching and Turner up in the box drawing plays -- that is, with Turner doing what he does best.


    Bottom line: The Chargers are too talented to crater, and with Kansas City, Denver and Oakland coming up on the schedule, they have a chance to right themselves before their bye week Oct. 21.
    On the other hand, they're trying to follow up 14-2 with two new coordinators and Norv Turner driving the bus. Watch out for that exit ramp.
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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  3. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Any swinging dic can have an opinion, and thats his. I just wonder if he lives by the stars and cards.:bolt:
     
  4. dmercado70

    dmercado70 BoltTalker

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    i joked with a friend who had asked who will be the new coach for the chargers .. i told him "with the amount of talent we have we could call a cheeseburger our head coach" !!!

    looking at this picture i am sure that i was some what right .. :icon_eek:

    ===================================================
    the earth will quake as the heavens reign above the charger blue skies !!!
     
  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Remember, some wins and everything will look different.
     
  6. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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    If we are not 5-3 going into death row beginning vs. Indy, we are finished. October 7th game @ Denver is the most crucial game of the season.
     
  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Yes, we have to get the wins now. Further we have to win in Denver IMO...
     
  8. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Remember the theory about a coach getting the Chargers to the Super Bowl... "So easy, a caveman could do it?"
    Well, if the caveman showed some passion and leadership... that might be true!!!

    I just hope the players can motivate and lead themselves.
    We MUST go into the bye week at 4-2!!!
    GO CHARGERS!!!! :bolt:
     
  9. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Yeah, we need one of those fiery coaches like Tony Dungy, Bill Walsh, or Tom Landry.

    Whatever Norv's faults are, I am getting pretty weary of hearing that he isn't intense enough. Tom Coughlin is intense, ask the Giants players about him.

    The players just need to man the f*ck up and play. They are highly paid professionals, I'm tired of hearing how they need to be motivated, etc. If that really is the case, I guess I have given our players too much credit.
     
  10. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    :yes: :tup:
     
  11. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Dungy is fiery? huh? :icon_shrug:

    Coughlin just flat out sucks. Intensity is nothing without brains!!!

    So players need to man up and play but in the mean time, what does the coach do?
    You act as if the coach is nothing more than a WWF wrestler's manager at ringside!!!! :lol: :lol:
     
  12. dmercado70

    dmercado70 BoltTalker

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    You act as if the coach is nothing more than a WWF wrestler's manager at ringside!!!!

    :icon_tease: saying this gives me wood just thinking about the "Lovely Elizabeth" ..

    :icon_rofl:

    ==================================================
    the earth will quake as the heavens reign above the charger blue skies !!!
     
  13. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    The three coaches I listed are definitely not fiery, and have had success in the NFL. It was meant to illustrate that "fiery" is not a requisite for winning. The fact that you missed the point entirely does not surprise me at all.
     
  14. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    I don't discount at all that the coaching staff is a part of the equation. However, the notion that players can't play effectively unless a coach is motivating them just seems retarded to me. After all, these players were the cream of the crop at their high school, so they got college scholarships, or made their teams as walk-ons. And after that, they were the cream of the crop in college, so they got drafted, or signed as undrafted FAs. 11 of these players were good enough to get selected for the Pro Bowl. As I stated previously, if this group of players cannot function without some kind of rah-rah bullshit, I have given them too much credit.

    Are there other problems that could be contributing to the poor early performance? Absolutely. But the whole "Norv can't motivate" stuff just seems like the easy and convenient opinion for the lazy reporter/fan.
     
  15. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

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    I don't think it has anything to do with fiery. It has more to do getting you're point across and getting the players to believe in you. The 3 you mentioned had/have a good way of getting players buying into you. Coughlin on the other hand can yell & scream all he wants. The players just don't respect the man. For whatever the reason, the players are going to say what is politically correct to the media but I just have a feeling that they do not have the same respect for Norv that they did for Marty.:icon_shrug:
     
  16. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    That could well be, I certainly don't have any first hand knowledge, and either do all these people who keep writing the same article. Whatever works for each particular coach, there is certainly no "one way" to get it done. Does Norv have "it?" It doesn't look like it so far, but I won't go so far as to say it won't happen, unlike those who want to write him and the team off after three games.
     
  17. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I don't think that the players necessarily need the rah-rah shiit that Marty blew up their asses, but a coach's attitude is important. It sets a tone for the whole team. Defeatism can be just as contagious as winning. Norv stands on the sidelines looking detached, baffled, & beaten with his head hanging down. You don't think that that affects a team's morale & spirit? Damn right it does!!

    OK, Norv, here's the deal. Show some faith in your players & staff. Open up the playbook. Adjust during game time. Tell Cottrell you want to see the blitz, blitz, blitz & have him mix up who's coming at them. Have him stop dropping Merriman into coverage constantly & let him do what he does best - disrupt the passing game. Spend more time with PR & Ramsdell working on PR's mechanics - stepping into passes, looking off defenders, etc. Light a fire under the O-line - feed 'em some damn gunpowder if you have to, but get them mean!!! Mix MT in more to wear down the defenses. Start Weddle over Hart!! Let Cro run back some kicks - he doesn't seem to be doing much else so far.

    I gotta go to work - I'll rant more later. :yes:

    Go Bolts!!!!:bolt: :bolt:
     
  18. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    Check out the wednesday interviews on nfl.com/videos...

    Whatever about Norv and lack of passion check out LT and Merriman's comments. I especially liked LT's bit about Barry Sanders patience and 'it may not look good right now but keep living', watch the body language...he looks bigtime fired up for this game, as does Merriman ofcourse.

    If they can carry it onto the field I'm looking forward to a good as kicking sunday against Herm and his Chiefs....

    :tup:
     
  19. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    We all said the same thing before the Pats game. This team has a chip on their shoulder from the playoff loss. They hate NE. They wanna get back at them for dancing on our field. They hate Billacheat. We OWN the Pats. LT OWNS the Pats and hates them. yadda, yadda, yadda. Then we played like dogpoo.

    The story says players KNEW they weren't ready vs. the Pack. Practices weren't intense after getting their asses handed to them by the Pats. The COACHES should have been riding them all week after the Pats loss. The players themselves should have been riding ANYONE that wasn't giving 100% effort. Yet they dogged it in practice and got their asses beat again.

    Maybe someone will learn their lesson finally. Going into this season I didn't see any way in hell we could lose to KC at SD so this should be a guaranteed win. It couldn't come at a better time for Norv.

    I think there is a pretty good chance we go 2-3 in our next 5 games which would be a major shocker to everyone.
     
  20. 17Rocks

    17Rocks Well-Known Member

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    The genius of Cottrel -- or the lack of it -- is hurting the Chargers...
     
  21. Monkeybacon

    Monkeybacon BoltTalker

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    Savage, you have to start your sarcasm with a disclaimer on this site, some people don't speak our language.:lol:

    Try the following:

    "the following statement contains sarcasmic elements that are not factual and are intended to illustrate a point in a humorous way"

    :icon_tease:
     
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  22. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    This is the issue I have. It's only been three games. I understand being concerned. I'm very concerned. But to act like this season is over is ridiculous. The motivation stuff is BS. Coaching is not cheerleading.
     
  23. Buttmunch

    Buttmunch Well-Known Member

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    Mark Kreidler (writer) is a sportswriter for the Sac Bee. All they do here is cover the Raiders and Niners. In terms of having first hand knowledge about what former players said about Norv, there's definately a lot of truth to this statement. Part of me wants to say it's just biased BS on his part, but another part of me wants to say he's pining at the notion the Charger's (Raiders worst enemy) made themselves weaker. Can't argue with the latter.
     
  24. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Well you certainly talk as if the coaches are just some fans who get paid to watch the game at the sideline?
    Hell... where do I apply? I WANT THAT JOB!!! :lol:

    Many coaches get paid millions too... yet you're beating up the players. How come coaches don't have to earn their money?!!!

    I don't think rah-rah is necessary either but what about leadership?!!! That IS the coaches job!!!!
    So is discipline!!! That's how the coach prepares the players for the game and keeps them focused!!!
    Then there's chemistry!!! The coach is suppose to be the glue that holds the team together!!!

    That is what a good coach does!!!
     
  25. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Sarcasm is my second language but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if SL thinks that Tony Dungy is firey. It's just a matter of the reflection on the poster's character!
     
  26. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Dude, I'm guessing it's pretty apparent to most people here who the retard is in this equation. You define "oblivious."

    Keep up the great work!
     
  27. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Norv is in denile too, he seems to think that tackling is our only issue on defense.
    I guess he doesnt want to throw the Clown under the bus.
     
  28. zatoichi

    zatoichi BoltTalker

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    Passion is one thing. Organization and game planning is another (Coach Belichick's strength). The Chargers seem lost out there from the very start of their games. They make no adjustments. The schemes are unimaginative and many times inappropriate (like the four man front using Phillips and Merriman at ends). Maybe, we need to bring the Oklahoma drills back to toughen these guys up. They're turning into a bunch of woosies.
     
  29. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    Sometimes people confuse MOTIVATOR with YELLING. All the great coaches may not have been yellers but they were motivators that had their players willing to run through a wall for them.

    That leads to players being pushed. That leads to a higher level of play. This is a young team that is still developing. Can anyone seriously say it looks like there has been improvement by any player even on an individual level? Even one single player that is playing at a higher level than last year? If there are, there aren't many that is for sure.

    That's motivation. That is coaching.

    So far it hasn't been there. We have to hope it clicks for him and we make up some ground through the easy part of our schedule. Right now there is legitimate reason for concern.
     
  30. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    I think this all goes back to AJ's attitude that the playoffs are a foregone conclusion. This has been infecting the entire team since February. A good example is before the Pats game. The players went out of their way to downplay it, saying "it doesn't mean anything, we're going to play them again in the playoffs".
    What a joke, Week 2, you shouldn't be talking about the postseason.

    It was up to Norv to change that mindset during minicamp and TC, since he is the head coach. But he seemed all too willing to go with the flow. Norv would say things like "LT doesn't play in the preseason, that is what they do here", and it makes you question who really is in charge.

    That is part of motivation as well, having a clear idea who is running the team, and believing that if you do what he tells you, good things will happen.
     

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