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Turner expects Chargers to grow, improve with the season

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Sep 21, 2009

    Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner understands that there are high expectations surrounding his team and knows his squad will not stop pushing until they reach those lofty expectations.

    Even though the Chargers were playing without five starters – including three players who have played in a total of nine Pro Bowls – against the Baltimore Ravens – a team that was just one win away from the Super Bowl last season, Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner knows the expectations for him and his team will always be high.

    “I don’t think right now we’re as good as the people who cover us think we are or expect us to be,” Turner said Monday. “I don’t think we’re as good as our fans want us to be.”

    Turner, a veteran of 25 seasons in the NFL, then clarified with a bit of calm confidence.

    “But I believe we can get there,” Turner said. “We have a lot of work to do to get there.”

    While the expectations may cause anxiety for some outside the organization, Turner is exuding patience as he watches his team grow into what he believes they can be. Throughout the offseason, he continually reminded his team that the NFL isn’t a popularity contest; that public opinion means nothing and performance on the field means everything.

    Turner has reminded his team that they must earn every good thing that comes their way.

    “Our team has to be very careful because there is a mindset outside of here that success is just going to happen,” Turner said. “It doesn’t just happen in this league.

    These games are four-quarter games that you’ve got to play. If someone from the outside is getting frustrated because we’re not holding them three-and-out every time and we’re scoring every drive; if the people on the outside are being frustrated by that, we can’t let it affect us because we have to have a realistic understanding of what this league is.”

    Turner’s players understand his message and will follow his patient lead.

    “It’s a work in progress,” linebacker Stephen Cooper[​IMG] said. “It’s only Week 2. Everyone (outside Chargers Park) is starting to panic. It’s part of football.”

    Quarterback Philip Rivers[​IMG], who threw for a career-high 436 yards Sunday, aims for perfection but understands that’s unrealistic.

    “(Some feel) we should score every single time in the red zone; we should never punt,” Rivers said. “It’s just a little bit unrealistic. We aren’t as good as we want to be or can be yet.”

    While the Chargers posted 474 total yards Sunday and had a chance to win thanks to two timely stops by their defense, they don’t have a difficult time identifying where they need to improve. San Diego was without three starters on offense Sunday as well as defensive tackle Jamal Williams[​IMG], who was lost for the season, and defensive end Travis Johnson[​IMG]. The absences contributed to the Ravens gaining 130 rushing yards to the Chargers’ 53.

    “We obviously went through a lot of change last week,” Turner said. “We had an assortment of young guys play, and in a lot of cases those young guys came in and played pretty well. The more time they get in there, the more reps they get, the better they’re going to handle it. I like the way the guys that replaced those people went in and played and I think we can be that team. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Wait and see

    Turner said it was far too early to make any prognosis on the status of running back LaDainian Tomlinson[​IMG] for Sunday’s game against Miami.

    “He’s in getting treatment and doing everything he can to get back,” Turner said.

    He’ll know better following Wednesday’s practice. The same is the case for Johnson, center Nick Hardwick[​IMG] and guard Louis Vasquez[​IMG].

    The Chargers reported two new injuries Sunday. Linebackers Shawne Merriman[​IMG] and Shaun Phillips[​IMG] each suffered strained groins and will have their statuses updated later in the week.

    Mixing it up

    Kevin Burnett[​IMG] has started both of the team’s first two games at the “Mo” inside linebacker spot, but fourth-year pro Tim Dobbins[​IMG] has also seen plenty of playing time on defense. Turner feels comfortable rotating the two and believes the Chargers will continue to do so.

    “I think it’s pretty good,” Turner said. “I think it helps them. Burnett plays an awful lot on special teams. Dobbins is a physical player, so it’s something we’ll continue to talk about.”

    Burnett was credited with five tackles Sunday and Dobbins with three.

    Nice job

    When Brandyn Dombrowski[​IMG] took the field in the Chargers’ opener in Oakland, he hadn’t previously practiced at right guard, much less played the position in a game. He had a week of practice to prepare for his first career start, and Turner praised the San Diego State grad for his performance against the Ravens.

    “I was very pleased with the way Brandyn Dombrowski handled the situations he had,” Turner said. “He played with confidence.”

    Cast your vote

    Three Chargers were part of the preliminary list of 131 candidates for the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, and Chargers fans have an opportunity to let the selectors know that they believe Don Coryell, Leslie O’Neal and Bobby Beathard deserve to be inducted. Fans can vote by visiting www.jcp.com/fans.

    The Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors will have final say on the Class of 2010, but the program will provide a forum for fans to show their passion and interest in recognizing the contributions the candidates.

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