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Winning covers the Ugliness at Chargers Park

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    It is 4 games into the ’07 season, the Chargers “Ferrari” is stuck in the ditch at the side of the road. The rust spots that have been covered with bondo and spray paint are again showing through. The “We heart AJ” is peeling off of the sun damaged plastic bumper.

    The team that has been anointed as the leagues most talented, Superbowl shoe ins, and Dynasty in the making looks more to be playing for a top draft pick rather than the Lombardi. But the problems that San Diego fans are seeing are not new by any stretch of the imagination. Let me explain.

    Last season was different from the current season in only one way. The team was winning. There were problems with the coaching staff. The front office was not working with the coaches. Players had problems, including failed drug test, trafficking of cough medicine over state boarders and more. But the wins rolled in and much of the problems were shined over.

    Fans in the parking lot cheered, and expected wins, and they got them. Going into the off season many of those same fans were calling for the head of then Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. His failures in the playoffs were not made up for by his success during the regular season. But that is not where the story begins, no it begins years ago when Chargers General manager John Butler hired Marty to Coach the San Diego Chargers. The coach was not the candidate that AJ Smith wanted, but as Assistant GM, AJ went with what his long time friend and co-worker Butler wanted.

    However things continued to disintegrate between the Head Coach and General manager, until it was made public last season that the two were not even in communication with one another. Again, a blemish that was waxed over. Then in the off season, in early February club President Dean Spanos, fired Schottenheimer, using the word: “Dysfunctional” to explain the situation. Did the situation become dysfunctional over night? I would have to say no. These things build over time. The Chargers went 14-2 with their coach and general manager not communicating, with the dysfunction that was covered by the plethora of wins.

    Smith however, won the battle of wills when Schottenheimer was fired, then Smith was able to pick the coaching staff he wanted. The staff he was comfortable with. The coaching staff that he felt would win the World Championship that Smith had said he so desperately wanted. In his statement when Schottenheimer's dismissal was made public, Smith said the following:
    Speculation was all year, but we just won a lot of games and we teed it up. We’re disappointed. We just met and we just made an announcement and we’re looking forward to next year to get at it again. That’s where we are. We’ll just try to win a world championship and we’ll get at it again.​

    Anyone who believes that this was not a battle of wills need look no further than the responsibilities of the two men in question. Smith is responsible for acquiring talent, be it through the draft, trade or free agency. Schottenheimer was in charge of coaching the team, making a final decision on the 53-man roster and selecting a coaching staff. These were the responsibilities as approved by team President Dean Spanos.

    However several incidents show that at times AJ Smith had over stepped his boundaries a bit in the execution of his responsibilities. One instance was the trading of then 3rd string Quarterback, Cleo Lemon to Miami, without consulting or even notifying the coaching staff. Then there was the insistence that Wade Philips be hired as defensive coordinator, and lastly the blocking of the hiring of Kurt Schottenheimer as Defensive Coordinator.

    Now I can be a bit slow, but it appears to me that the final 53 man roster, and selecting a coaching staff were under the head coaches tasks. Granted only a fool would think the general manager should not have input. But appearances are that Smith wanted much more than input. Again, the wins gave the fans a reason to look past this all.

    This brings us back to the means of the Chargers ‘getting at it again’. It brings this in question in my mind. Have the Chargers gotten better in their drive to “get at it again”, or have they regressed?

    Smith got his staff, but they are no closer to reaching the post season, let alone reaching the World Championship. I would hazard to guess that Schottenheimer may have taken the high performance tires of the ‘Ferrari” with him when he left, perhaps as a souvenir…

    The Coaching staff put in place by Smith, in his drive for a world championship include offensive guru Norv Turner, who’s record as a head coach was overlooked for his ability to ‘get along’ with the GM. Under Turner the Chargers offensive unit has struggled to say the least. Quarterback, Philip Rivers is struggling and the team in general seems to lack passion, unless it is displayed on the sidelines as they argue with one another. The Chargers have dropped from one of the top offensive units of last season to one of the leagues bottom offensive units.

    The Defense under new Defensive Coordinator is yet another Smith pick, Ted Cottrell, whom worked with Smith in Buffalo. Under him the Chargers defensive unit is resembling the Defense seen under Mike Riley, as opposed to one of the best units in the league. Opposing quarterbacks enjoy a lack of pressure and soft secondary coverage and have burnt the Chargers defense repeatedly.

    It does not end there, last season the team had heart and spirit. When down in Denver and Cincinnati the team stayed in it and clawed their way back into games. The feeling that if the Chargers get behind the game is over has returned. Something not felt since the Mike Riley years. This IS a digression. This is a step backwards. The team is lacking confidence, and lacking motivation.

    Why?

    Because the problem of the past have been compounded by the decisions made in the off season. Dean Spanos gave this as one reason for the Schottenheimer firing:
    There were a lot of things that were discussed between A.J. and myself, but I think the most important thing is that I think he gives us the best chance to win next year. It keeps the continuity of the team together. There’s a tremendous amount of support by the players. Those types of things were the things that were important to me. There were a lot of other things that were discussed, but that’s between A.J. and myself.​
    Chance to win next year, continuity, those were the reasons give for the change. How about giving the fans the truth? The change had to happen because the problems were being compounded by two adults refusing to act like adults! Schottenheimer and Smith both are to blame for the current state of affairs as both put the struggle of their titanic egos ahead of the team.

    Dean Spanos did not manage the situation well from my point of view but what is done is done. The Chargers need to get together, and figure out what it is going to take to get the damn Ferrari out of the gutter and running right.

    Yesterday they took a big hit, dropping to 1-3 on the young season and losing to Kansas City at home. They gave up on the run and pass protection was shoddy at best in the second half. Runnig Back LaDanian Tomlinson had 116 yards rushing in the first half on 14 carries. In the second half he got only 6 more carries for 16 yards. The offensive genius of the Chargers head coach is seriously in question.

    The Chiefs beat the Chargers by scoring 30 points, when they had not been able to score more than 13 in their first three games. Chiefs Running Back Larry Johnson had his first 100 yard rushing game against the Chargers, most of the yards coming in the second half.

    I openly question the ability of the current coaching staff to motivate the players. During the post game interview Coach Turner said that he thought they had the game under control at the half. That is when the Chargers lead 16 to 6. However the lack of adjustments to what the Chiefs were doing on offense and defense made it a new game in the second half.

    The Chiefs stole momentum, and the Chargers were helpless to get it back. That is on the leadership of the team. Many fans joked about Schottenheimer’s speeches, “ONE PLAY AT A TIME MEN! ONE PLAY AT A TIME!” You know what though? It worked, the Chargers would not give up, they would not fall apart. They would play one game at a time and stay focused.

    It is time for the Charger organization to review. Do they want to continue to let their Ferrari sit in the gutter, spinning its tires in futility, or do they want to haul it out of there and get it back on the road before the race is lost?

    I hope it is the latter, but sorry AJ, I am fresh out of faith in the coaching staff you have put in. The Chargers are going to have to earn that faith back. Performances like the one turned in during the second half of yesterdays game is not the way to do it.

    San Diego has been outscored 102-68 in four games, compared to last year when it outscored opponents 103-36 through the first four. Not a change for the better Mr. Smith, not a change for the better at all. The paint is peeling and the wins are not covering it up this season. Much to the dismay of the fans…
     
  2. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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  3. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    The WHOLE problem is the driver in the Ferrari.
    The dumb *** can't beat a Hundi!!!
     
  4. AnteaterCharger

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

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    I agree its the how the parts have been put together not so much the parts themselves

    Btw interesting onte from XX Sports Radio - is there any chance that the loss to the Pats is still weighing heavily on the Chargers?
     
  5. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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  7. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Yes, yes and yes. That is exactly what my good buddy said today. It was and still is haunting us today unfortunately.....
     
  8. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    I'd say him9the florida coach) or jeff tedford.

    If someone would get the blocking better we'd be way better off. We've lost all our games now to rivers turning it over. Because he was rushed into making bad throws or fumbled from a pass rush.
     
  9. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Nice read Conc, thanks.
     
  10. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Glad you all enjoyed it. It was therapeutic.
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    The situation makes me feel the same way.
     
  12. Buttmunch

    Buttmunch New Member

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    Good read conc
     
  13. IronMountain

    IronMountain BoltTalker

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    The article fails to mention that this years schedule is way tougher, it also fails to mention that Marty let Wade go, and Wade is now 4-0 coaching the Cowboys when AJ wanted Wade to be our next coach. Turner was the next best option, after Wade was hired to be the Dallas coach.
    I am not happy with Cottrell or Turner at this point of the season, but the Charger Oline is getting whipped badly, and everyone is back, including the O line coaches. Is that Smiths fault that they can't run block very well against stronger opposition, or is it Smiths fault that Rivers is getting hit or hurried on over half of his passes?
    Don't blame AJ for that, you have to blame the players who are screwing up big time.
     
  14. OverVolt

    OverVolt BoltTalker

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    Shouldn't matter what the schedule is, if this team is as good as most thought, we'd beat everyone except maybe the Pat's and Colts.
    Also, if AJ truly wanted Wade, then why didn't he make the move earlier? This firing and hiring was done at the worst time possible. If you have someone on your staff that you want as your next HC, and your ego is to big for someone who's not a "yes man" then you gotta go after him right after the season ends.
    AJ/Dean's timing in this was absolutely terrible.

    EDIT: IronMountain, by the way, where is Ya Bolts parking his motorhome these days?
     
  15. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Dean did not allow AJ to fire Marty immediately after the loss. That's why we lost Wade.
     
  16. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    AJ could have also tied up the coaches with an extension when the team was doing well. He didnt, that sent a strong message to the staff, "Your time here is limited. The ship is sinking."
     
  17. msmith

    msmith BoltTalker

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    Maybe, just maybe, both Cam and Wade are not Smith's type of guys as well. In the grand scheme of getting his own staff together, AJ let the them two went first, then fired Marty, then installed his own guys. Just my two cents.

    Furthermore, if things work out, AJ will come out as roses. If not, blame it on Norv.
     
  18. OverVolt

    OverVolt BoltTalker

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    Knowing what AJ's ego is like, we can be almost sure that both Wade and Cam would be gone...after all, how could he take total credit for this team if both were still here? NO, AJ would have to have his guys at HC,DC, and OC...well now he has them, and he will get total credit.
     
  19. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    AJ didn't want to fire Marty immediately after the loss. It wasn't until Marty refused to hire Cottrell and wanted to interview his brother instead that AJ wanted him gone.

    Then AJ tried to sell he "0-2 in playoffs line" that some suckers bought just like the "let's hire Norv and Cottrell for continuity" line.
     
  20. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    As agreed upon by Dean Spanos, it was Marty's job to hire the coaching staff. AJ should have kept his nose out of it.
     
  21. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    Agree completely.

    I can't believe some of the lines AJ sells that fans believe. Some of these guys probably WOULD drink his piss...or would have two months ago.
     
  22. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Well it was a battle of egos. It doenst make Dean look like too good of a manager though.

    But I would have, and still would have prefered to keep AJ over Marty. But this coaching staff is entirely of AJ's creating, and he is to blame, or credit based on the teams performance this season.
     
  23. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    I blame the players...

    Now lets go out and beat the donks...
     
  24. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    You and a few other pendejos seem to believe this as gospel. :tdown:

    Why the fuc do you think or assume Dean Spanos had zero say in the matter? Corporate managerial experience is lacking and so is common sense with some of you.

    A.J. more than likely presented Dean with TWO Options for Dean to sign off on and let him make the selection as to which route to take.

    Option A: Continuity

    Option B: New Coaching staff / systems and write off the year

    I would venture to guess, A.J. had his bases covered and included Dean-o in the decision making process.

    Given what is at stake with the stadium push and making the best managerial decisions for the overall company, which Option do you think the "reasonable man" would make?

    I have read the trash others profess to use as their truth and I wipe my *** with it.
     
  25. 17Rocks

    17Rocks Well-Known Member

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    When the decision was made to keep Marty (initially) AJ stated himself that he made his recomendation to Dean and Dean decided.

    Then Dean decided that the exodus of the coaching staff was enough to get Marty gone.

    Norv was hired in order to accomodate both change and continuity :unsure: he installed the offense and all of that BS. This was AJ's reccomendation although Dean made the final call.
     
  26. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    A.J.'s recommendation, I suspect, would have been to provide names and not company direction - (new staff versus continuity I also suspect is a Dean-o call)
     
  27. IronMountain

    IronMountain BoltTalker

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    I haven't seen him since they moved everybody around, in fact I now take the bus, I got sick and tired of driving in a big traffic jam.
    I still say that the Oline is doing a lousy job, and that isn't Turners fault, it is his fault taking LoNeal away from lead blocking for LT in the 2nd half of the KC game. Cottrell is another story, he needs to let the linebackers blitz more, and we need to get a safety who can play (Weddle) into the starting lineup.
     
  28. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug New Member

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    AJ did keep his nose out of it until Marty was fired.

    It was Dean that told Marty "no way" when Marty wanted his brother for DC.

    DEAN FIRED MARTY, NOT AJ when Marty held firm and insisted upon it.
     
  29. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    Trumpy... for all of your grassy knoll theories I must say... you've actually come up with the most plausible scenario with this one. I do believe AJ gave him the A or B... and he maybe even went a step further and offered a "C option"... which was: "C is that you decide whether you want an entirely new front office + coaching staff and I'll get out right now"

    He's a salesman as well as a gambler. Norv was the B option. He knew "A" was possible. "B" was likely. And "C" was way too aggressive and not probable given the state of the franchise.

    B was the obvious choice and everyone in the front office knew it.
     
  30. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Hey Tony, don’t you ever get tired of being wrong?

    Spanos himself said that he hires football people to make football decisions. You are guessing as much if not more than anyone and want to use your guess as a basis of saying others are wrong.

    The fact is you don’t know any more than anyone else. AJ picked the coaches. He went to Dean with his list. Dean approved the list because his football people made a football decision.

    AJ created this coaching staff. AJ is accountable for how well, or poor the team does. If you don’t see that you are delusional. Its fine if you want to kiss AJ’s butt, your call. But don’t give him a free ride because you chant he is ‘Gawd’.
     

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