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Trotter: Spanos plays it (too) safe

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by DenverBolt67, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/03/trotter-spanos-plays-it-too-safe/

    By Jim Trotter, Special to U-T San Diego


    People close to Chargers President Dean Spanos have said for years he doesn’t like confrontation, that he will always keep to the far right instead of turning on his blinker and speeding into the fast lane. Safe and steady. That could be his motto.
    Tuesday he had a chance to dispel that image. With his team out of the playoffs for a second straight season and four years removed from its last postseason win — think about that for a moment — he chose to take his foot off the gas rather than speed toward change. He announced that he’s bringing back General Manager A.J. Smith and head coach Norv Turner for the 2012 season.
    His reasoning: “We have a good team, but we’re struggling right now because of coaching, because of some poor personnel decisions, and because of an inordinate amount of injuries. The last two years have been unbelievable. And for what it’s worth, we’ve had some (terrible) luck. … You add that up and say, ‘Are you really a bad team?’ I say no. I don’t feel it was in the best interest of the club to just blow everything up and start all over again.”
    Let’s overlook the fallacy that making a change means blowing things up. The bottom line is that the team has underperformed the last four years. If a player were as unproductive as the Chargers have been, he would be cut without hesitation. Just business, you know?
    Nothing is more tiring to me than hearing team officials mention injuries. The Packers had 15 players on injured reserve last season and still won the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning lost three of his top four receivers for much of the 2010 season but still led the Colts to 10 wins and a playoff berth. Excuses are the foundation upon which bad franchises are built.
    Spanos reminded me that even if he were to make a change and bring in a “marquee” coach, there are no guarantees of a Super Bowl run. He’s right, of course. But I’m a big believer that the past is often a pretty good indicator of the future. So, consider:
    Turner is 107-113-1 in nine seasons as a head coach with the Redskins, Raiders and Chargers. He is 4-4 in the playoffs. Do the numbers lie?
    Smith had two of the best drafts I’ve ever seen in 2004 and 2005, but consider what’s happened with his next four first-round picks: Antonio Cromartie (2006), no longer with the team; Buster Davis (2007), out of the league; Antoine Cason (2008), just a guy; Larry English (2009), has missed 19 of 32 games the last two seasons and started only four games in his career. Theoretically, these are supposed to be the team’s leaders and impact players today.
    Yet, Smith and Turner return. Which hearkens a famous line by Einstein: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    Jim Trotter is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated
     
  2. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Really Trotter? The Dog Ate Your Homework?

    Boy, wouldn't it be nice if a "professional" column actually aimed higher than using
    the "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over" quote that has already been posted
    by 100,00 mouth-breathers on 1,000 boards from PFT to this one?
    It would be even nicer if it made sense here. Despite Norv's many shortcomings, he IS
    the winningest coach in Charger history. Is THAT the horrible result we need to avoid?

    And did he REALLY argue that injuries aren't really that big a deal to overcome...
    by citing Peyton Manning?!? Peyton Manning?!? The single biggest example of an injury
    taking a team from the league's winningest to 0-13 is your proof that injuries ain't no big deal?
    Wow! That's not just crazy...that's breathtakingly crazy!

    The last time a Norv team went 8-8, it was followed by 13-3.
    Trotter says he's "a big believer that the past is often a pretty good indicator of the future."
    Ooops! Except when the past contradicts your less-than-thought-out thesis.

    I used to like Trotter. But professional columns should make more sense than an average fan posting.
     
  3. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I like Trotter still. He doesn't kiss the organizations *** and make excuses when they screw up like the guys at the UT do.
     
  4. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    No, he doesn't.
    He twists the stats and uses absurd logic (the Manning reference might be the silliest
    rationale I've ever read in a 'professional' column) to attack the team. Wow...real...uh...admirable (?)
     
  5. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Totally disagree. The manning reference was about how he lost his receivers are still made the playoffs as an example of how the injuries the Chargers have suffered are not a valid excuse. Had they lost Rivers, it would have been. Try reading the context it is put in rather than the way that is convenient for your "Everything is great" outlook
     
  6. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    First, I never said "Everything is great" or anything like it. (Look, I realize you're a little cranky
    over yesterday's news, and that may be clouding your posts...but it doesn't make me any more
    comfortable re. having my posts clearly misrepresented).

    Second, I also never said he was deliberately undermining his own argument by mentioning
    Manning. I was mocking him for not even bothering to dig up an example that would support his
    (the receivers thing) point...that wouldn't also remind people that yes, a single injury completely
    decimated one of the league's most successful teams (the 0-13 thing).
    If he's going to make a claim, for God's sake, take a minute to choose a person who doesn't
    reveal the claim to be ridiculous. I can tolerate propaganda.
    Lazy, sloppy, self-mocking propaganda though, should be mocked.
     
  7. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Dude, I have been cranky since Norv got the 3 year extension, and it won't change until we make it to a SB or Norv is fired.
    When did I say that you said that? What I said was he didn't undermined his argument and you are taking what he said out of context in order to work for your argument. Should he have clarified that there are injuries that could be used as a valid excuse, sure. But his point is that the Chargers didn't have any worse injuries than Green Bay or Indi did in 2010, yet they still managed to make the playoffs while playing in more difficult divisions than the garbage AFC west where we have choked 2 straight years and used injuries as the excuse of injuries both years
     
  8. gonzokrb

    gonzokrb Well-Known Member

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    Hey Lance 19 is your last name Spanos??
     
  9. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Is your theory that anyone who mocks illogical, amateurish writing is a Spanos?

    Have you missed my posts that say that I'm not fond of the Spanos family?

    Are you hoping to distract from the stupidity of Trotter's argument by implying
    that anyone calling him on his turd might have some super-secret ulterior motive?

    Not that I don't appreciate an under-informed cheap shot, but please...clue me in...
     
  10. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Whadda you expect from a grade-schooler?
     
  11. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX 2017 Chargers Head Coach

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    I've read this all around much of the media knows the truth of Norv. Some here though can't ever understand why there favorite teams coach is a loser.
     
  12. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Hmmmm .....media hates Norv, players, coaches, & other NFL personnel have great respect.

    Tough choice on who to believe. Rest assured it ain't you, Johnny-boy.
     
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  13. gonzokrb

    gonzokrb Well-Known Member

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    If Deano make a sudden stop they're going to have to surgically remove your face from his a**!
     
  14. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Exactly what part of "I'm not fond of the Spanos family" is too hard for you, Boy?

    You made a stupid post. I asked you 3 questions. You failed to answer any of them.
    But still had the bad taste to try another illogical, childish insult.
    Look, I don't know you from Adam, but if this is your 'A' game,
    you best run along and find some lil' kids you can keep up with.
    Don't waste any more of my time unless you can do better than these first 2 lousy posts.
     
  15. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    For every team like that Packers that won it all despite injuries, you have a dozen teams that fall short because of them. Teams that overcome a rash of injuries either have great depth, or they avoid having injuries to their most critical players.

    Look at the Bears..... they lost both Cutler and Forte...... season over. You can say injuries are just an excuse, but few teams have enough depth to overcome the loss of top starters. The Chargers lost two of their 3 best O-line players, Dielman and McNeill. It was no coincidence that the 6 game slide occurred afterward. If it wasn't for Gaither falling into our lap, that O-line wouldn't have stabilized, and the late season run would never have happened.

    The first game against Oakland, Dombrowski was beaten like a rented mule. Wimbley looked like Tamba Hali and Jared Allen rolled into one. Rivers was sacked 6 times, and hit repeatedly. The offense couldn't function effectively. The final game, with Gaither at LT, the Raiders never got a sack on Rivers, and he had time to throw. The difference in the outcome is not that surprising.

    Sure, injuries are just an excuse........ and if you don't have quality depth, they also prevent you from winning football games.
     
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  16. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Damn it Bluey, what are you trying to do? Insert some rationality & logic into this sandbox? ;)

    BTW - Gaither was a lucky coincidence but the upshot is it showed that McNeill ain't all that.
     
  17. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Since Lance is now trying to be the most unpopular guy, I thought I'd try a new tactic. ;)
     
  18. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Something I've been saying for quite some time. McNeill was only a standout his rookie year..... he's been average since. The fact that he lines up next to Dielman has helped disguise his shortcomings. His injuries have obviously affected his play.
     
  19. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Well, actually, I was just trying to be the least popular guy for the day...
    because I knew that sober, logical arguments against unreasonably crucifying Norv
    (driven largely by a mob of cranky but under-informed fans)
    would be especially unwelcome in this time...in this atmosphere.

    Beyond that though, it's pretty hard to deny my epic lovability...
    so I'm resigned to my default status as "super duper loved." :inlove:


    p.s. I really did like your 'injury' comments above, Blue
     
  20. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    So are you what we could call a well informed fan? Sources? ;)

    Not everyone who disagrees with the decision is an under-informed fan.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/20...orv.turner/index.html?sct=hp_t2_a18&eref=sihp
    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/03/trotter-spanos-plays-it-too-safe/
    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7423477/eagles-chargers-send-their-fans-mixed-messages
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000...fueled-spanos-decision-to-retain-smith-turner

    LOL you gotta love the return of the word "continuity". Its pretty overwhelming how many people think Spanos made a bad decision.
     
  21. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    As an OC, not as a HC
     
  22. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    falling short, and playing ridiculously terrible WAY too often throughout a season, are totally different. If the Chargers were getting beat because they just weren't good enough, then I could understand defending Norv. But most of our loses were because of stupid mental mistakes and terrible playcalling/game planning. Those are squarely on Norv and the coaching staff. That said, I don't think we were talented enough to be a SB winner, but we were good enough to be a 10-11 win team in the terrible AFC West and with our ridiculously easy schedule
     
  23. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Really?......... I thought is was our franchise QB throwing the ball to the other team with regularity that was the big problem. I guess those were due to poor play calling. Rivers fumbling a simple center/QB exchange was probably Norv's fault too. Turner is far from perfect, but Rivers bad year wasn't anyone else's fault.

    Guess what?....... this roster wasn't good enough. If it was, they would've dealt with the injuries better. As bad a Manusky looked, some of that was due to the lack of personnel on defense. All the stars on this team play on offense. You need both to win in with an consistency. The defense doesn't get enough QB pressure, and it doesn't create enough turnovers. If Weddle didn't start catching a few this year, we'd hardly have any. No game changers on defense.
     
  24. charger1993

    charger1993 bad motherfucker

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    and the roster blame goes to duh nuh nuh nuh..... AJ SMITH, THE MAN WHO LETS TEAMS DECLINE
     
  25. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Yep, the lion's share of the blame goes to AJ Smith....... that's not something I disagree about. ;)
     
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  26. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Don't interceptions count as dumb mental mistakes? This team was good enough that we should have had bigger leads in most of those games that the fumble in KC and the INT's in other games, shouldn't have had a negative effect on the final result, especially against crappy teams like KC, Denver, Chicago, and Oakland.

    They didn't deal with injuries because they were poorly coached, had terrible game plans that didn't hide the deficiencies of the backups on the field. I am not saying they had the talent to do anything in the playoffs, but they should have won 3-4 additional games if it wasn't for mental mistakes, poor game plans, and terrible play calling
     
  27. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I'm not sure how you coach out mental mistakes, other than replacing the players that make them. Could Marty coach D-Flop from head-butting a Patriot? Could he coach McCree not to try to return the INT and just kneel down in the endzone?

    You don't think that Barnes doesn't know that if you hit an official, you'll get tossed from the game? Players make mental screwups that have nothing to do with what they were taught. Rivers had a very off year, which is uncharacteristic for him. To say it had to do with coaching is silly. He never had these issues before, so you can't blame them on others, he bares the blame himself.

    Coaches put players in position to make plays, but it's still up to the players to execute them. Cason drops a pick, Jammer drops a pick.... they were in position, but failed to make the play. In the end, players make plays, coaches don't.
     
  28. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    If one is allowed to count missed field goals and dropped snaps
    as the fault of the head coach (?!), well then, Hell, every single
    bad moment of a game could be blamed on Norv.

    Oh.

    I see... ;)
     
  29. FCBolt

    FCBolt Well-Known Member

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    Forget the miscues, and let's say the Chargers made the playoffs.

    Does this team have the roster, or the coaching, to play on the road through the playoffs and make the Super Bowl?

    If the sole goal is to make the playoffs, sure, stick with the current mgmt scheme and tough out the 9-7 and 8-8 years.
    If the goal is to go far in the playoffs, the team is going to have to figure out how to get a better roster and how to keep Norv from screwing up game mgmt decisions when the heat is on.
    Now I get that Dean addressed both those weaknesses yesterday. Is change coming? I'll believe that when I see it, because when I look at AJ and Norv, I see two guys who have trouble admitting to their weaknesses and who will have trouble dealing with them.
     
  30. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Speaking to the topic article there is some validity to it, but you know what - whether people agree with it or not - it also adds credence to Dean's position.

    Step back and look at the way Dean Spanos has run this team (and I'm sure we'll get someone in here or multiple someones that quote this and say something to the degree of "what? cheap") since he took over the head honcho gig in '94. During that time period he has hired all of one HC who did not have prior experience as a head coach; and you can't dismiss the fact that the one time he did venture from that template we ended up with the guy that led us to a pair of the most miserable seasons in team history (**** you, Kevin Gilbride!). So it's not unreasonable to assume that that experience made Dean gunshy from hiring any coach that didn't have prior HC experience to head his team. Sure, he did his due diligence and brought in candidates for interviews that were the hot coordinators because it would have been irresponsible and incomplete to not, but he was always going to tend to favor the the more tested coach as his guy.

    So, if we look at the current pool to draw an HC from and limit it only to those with prior HC experience (as some of the same people that were griping about not being impressed by some of the HC candidates being that they LACKED this exact same prior experience), then the pool looks a lot more shallow and there are very few "proven" better options than Norv. You have to remember "proven" to Dean likely requires considerable more gravity because given his conservative nature and having been burned by coaches in the past he's more likely to opt for the devil he knows than the one he doesn't unless he's blown away. And we have Gruden on record as saying he wasn't going anywhere from his cushy network job, mass-speculation that Cowher felt the same way, so who does that leave Dean to pick from? Brian Billick? Mike Mularkey? Brad Childress? Mike Singletary? I mean, I could see if a coach like Lovie Smith had been fired and was available, but he was not and as of yet is not.

    Jeff Fisher is, I'll go on record with this one, not a coach that I could ever see Dean signing off on - the guy demands too much unquestioned control and Dean likes to keep himself and his family a bit more involved than Fisher likely would have allowed. I also question whether those barking for Fisher have every actually followed the many as a coach past his statistics and season records. He's a power-monger, that's why he ended up on the outs with Bud Adams and Mike Reinfeldt because Fisher insisted on unquestioned control. Fisher would not have kept the Coryell, we would have been right back to the brand of Martyball that everyone was so dissatisfied with - that IS Fisher's offensive philosophy. Rivers would have been wasted in his demanded offensive system and Mathews would have been run into the ground well before he was 30.

    Now I know that there are some that have read this article and twisted it's words to come to the conclusion that our owner is one who values mediocrity more than winning. Maybe you should re-read the article or maybe your cognitive thinking skills need a bit more developing. What we've seen here is that Spanos values stability over instability (which I believe is what Lance has been trying to argue for some time now) and you know what... his franchise, his business, his prerogative to do that if he wants - especially when economic times are tough. That's not cheap... that's common freakin' sense! There's a difference between cheap and frugal.

    You've got a Northern California businessman running a business in one of southern California's wealthier and more conservative communities. And people want to fault the guy for being... conservative?
     

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