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The real reason Marty was fired

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Updated: Feb. 13, 2007, 9:49 AM ET
    Relationship between coach, GM just couldn't last

    By John Clayton
    ESPN.com


    Everyone around San Diego and the NFL knew the Marty Schottenheimer-A.J. Smith relationship was destined to explode. The Chargers had a ticking time bomb of discontent that finally blew up Monday night when the coach was fired. Schottenheimer couldn't get along with general manager Smith and vice versa. Such problems exist in the NFL, but these situations are usually not as well publicized as this spat. Smith and Schottenheimer co-existed in the coach's first year in San Diego in 2002. In 2003, the relationship started to deteriorate. Schottenheimer made recommendations that year on personnel matters, and Smith disagreed. By 2005, Smith was working around Schottenheimer on personnel matters and even some coaching decisions. By March of 2006, the two didn't speak.


    Despite those problems, the Chargers went 14-2 last season with 15 players who were either selected to the Pro Bowl or named as alternates. Now, with 31 coaching staffs mostly filled and most organizations shifting their attention to free agency, Smith and the Chargers are scrambling to find a head coach and a staff.
    According to sources, the final straw in Schottenheimer's surprise ending came down to how he was handling his coaching staff. The staff was being raided. Wade Phillips (Dallas Cowboys) and Cam Cameron (Miami Dolphins) were given head coaching jobs. Nothing could have been done to stop that. Teams can't block an assistant from interviewing for a head coaching job, but they can stop an assistant under contract from interviewing for a non-head coaching job.
    The final conflict came down to whether or not to let assistants interview. Sources indicate Smith denied permission for tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski to interview for the Cleveland Brown' offensive coordinator job, but Schottenheimer felt it was a good opportunity and wanted to allow it. Schottenheimer also let linebackers coach Greg Manusky interview and accept the 49ers' defensive coordinator job. Against Smith's wishes, Schottenheimer let assistant strength and conditioning coach Matt Schiotz go with Cameron to Miami.
    The Chargers were down five key assistants. After San Diego's playoff loss to the Patriots, Chargers owner Dean Spanos spent three days trying to decide whether to keep Schottenheimer, who was entering the final year of his contract. He offered him a one-year extension at $4.5 million. Schottenheimer wanted more security than that and said no. Spanos decided to stay with Schottenheimer, who has 200 regular-season wins, knowing he had one of the most talented coaching staffs in the NFL. The landscape changed for Spanos after the departure of the five coaches, including two coordinators. Schottenheimer and Smith weren't going to get along. Without the assistants, Schottenheimer apparently wasn't as appealing to Spanos.

    When I decided to move ahead with Marty Schottenheimer in mid-January, I did so with the expectation that the core of his fine coaching staff would remain intact," Spanos said. "Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case and the process of dealing with these coaching changes convinced me that we simply could not move forward with such dysfunction between our head coach and general manager. In short, this entire process over the last month convinced me beyond any doubt that I had to act to change this untenable situation and create an environment where everyone at Charger Park would be pulling in the same direction and working at a championship level. I expect exactly that from our entire Charger organization in 2007."

    While confirming he had no working relationship with Smith, Schottenheimer seemed puzzled that Spanos made the coach take the fall for his assistants leaving.


    "That is absolutely unfair in my view," Schottenheimer told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "We had no control over two guys who became head coaches in this league. We gave two guys an opportunity to be coordinators in this league. We've added a couple of guys that people should be very pleased with. The future coach will be very pleased as well."
    Spanos has been through this before. General manager Bobby Beathard didn't get along with coach Bobby Ross after they went to a Super Bowl. It's a shame, but these things do happen.
    Schottenheimer is one of the great turnaround coaches in the history of the league. He's been successful in every stop as a head coach. Smith has quickly proven to be one of the shrewdest personnel minds in the game. When Eli Manning balked at coming to San Diego, Spanos traded him to the Giants and ended up with three Pro Bowl players -- Shawne Merriman, Philip Rivers and Nate Kaeding.
    Spanos tried to squeeze one more season out of this strained relationship. "In the plainest possible language, we have a dysfunctional situation here," Spanos said in his statement.
    Cameron and Phillips, in Spanos' eyes, kept the dysfunctional ship sailing in the right direction. Their departures, along with the other assistants, changed the dynamics.
    Cameron and Phillips would have been candidates to replace Schottenheimer had he been fired, but those options are gone.
    Smith is putting a list together and must move quickly. No doubt, he will put in a call to Chicago to talk to Ron Rivera, the Bears' defensive coordinator. After that, the search will be wide open. Don't expect Bill Cowher's name to surface here. He's one of Schottenheimer best friends.
    Spanos will pay Schottenheimer $4 million not to coach this year. It's not out of the question for him to surface in 2008 following a 2007 season that should have eight to 10 coaching changes. The Chargers had been sitting on an uncertain powder keg. The loss of the assistants lit a fuse. Now, the Chargers are scrambling to repair the damage in the coaching offices.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=2763623
     
  2. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    I thought the article was gonna detail how it turns out Marty is the real father of Anna Nicole's baby.:icon_huh:

    What a disappointment.
     
  3. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    there was also talk that marty was fired because he was adamant about hiring Kurt Schottenheimer to be the DC even though Dean Spanos himself thought that was a bad idea. This was, by and large, the straw that broke the camel's back
     
  4. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

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    most likely
     
  5. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    Thats what I heard. Plus that marty let the assisstants interview for new jobs and A.j. didn't want that. Marty wanting to hire his family again was probably the last blow. :yes:
     
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    From KFFL

    Chargers | Players shocked by Schottenheimer's dismissal
    Tue, 13 Feb 2007 06:22:02 -0800

    Jim Trotter, of the San Diego Union-Tribune, reports San Diego Chargers players were both shocked and upset over the team's decision to dismiss head coach Marty Schottenheimer. "Something like this happens and my first thought is, 'Are all the coaches going to be gone?' If so, you're looking at starting over with somebody else and that's a tremendous blow for our football team," said RB LaDainian Tomlinson. "It's crazy," CB Quentin Jammer added. "You go 14-2 and you get fired. It's wild. Now you go into the offseason not knowing what's going on. I think I speak for a lot of guys on the team when I say we really, really liked Marty."


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chargers | Schottenheimer not expected to retire
    Tue, 13 Feb 2007 06:16:42 -0800

    Kevin Acee, of the San Diego Union-Tribune, reports head coach Marty Schottenheimer does not plan to retire after being fired by the San Diego Chargers Monday, Feb. 12. "Assuming my health is good, which it is right now, hell yeah," Schottenheimer said of coaching again.
     
  7. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    Best thing for the players as well. They need a kick in the butt as well to not be stuck in a rut. They were starting to settle into a rut. Time for them to wake up and work harder.
     
  8. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL Well-Known Member

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    I think that Marty wanted to hire Kurt Schottenheimer when Smith hand selected Wade Phillps for the DC job a couple of years ago. It looks like Schottenhimer in effect was allowing the assistant coaches who could be potential replacements for him go to other clubs.

    Schottenhiemer understood the one year contract with the low buy out offer as a clear indicator that he was on a very short leash. The brain drain that has been under way has hurt the club in particular Greg Manusky and Rob Chudzinski both of whom could have been promoted to fill OC , DC roles that are vacant.
     
  9. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    just have to get a good coach that has the respect of the players and meshes well with them. you don't then your going to have an art shell problem
     
  10. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    Schottenheimer would have been gone next year anywhere.
    Why didn't the assistant coaches wait to fill his spot ?
    All I hope is AJ gets a new HC out of his cylinder.
     
  11. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    because if Marty won it all there might not be a spot open for these assistants
     
  12. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Maybe you haven't heard, AJ runs things around here...:yes:
     

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