Both Turners See Progress

With three preseason games down and one to go, Norv Turner is ready to put the numbers aside and concentrate on the big plays and the players who make them. While one Turner is getting his team up and running, the other is walking gingerly and remaining confident that he will be ready for the Chicago Bears.

Heading into the final preseason game, Norv Turner is pleased with the various scenarios his team has faced during the past few weeks. The different situations have given the coaching staff an opportunity to teach both during and after the game. Turner is especially pleased with the development of the rookie class.

Turner is not a numbers guy. However, he is concerned with big plays his team has allowed, such as the 80-yard touchdown in Saturday's preseason win over the Arizona Cardinals.

"You can't give up an 80-yard touchdown pass and say we've played good defense," he said.

However, he did commend one member of the disappointing secondary.

"I really like the way Clinton Hart is playing."

Although the defense has given up lots of yards -- 363 per game -- Turner is pleased with the grit his stoppers have shown. The defense has come up with a number of hustle plays, forcing 10 fumbles and recovering six through three games.

"Those plays win games," Turner said.

On the offensive side of things, Turner announced that Michael Turner will miss Thursday's game against the San Francisco 49ers after being carted off the field on Saturday due to a high ankle sprain. According to his coach, the best back-up in the NFL is doing well.

"He had a smile on his face in there a little while ago; he felt pretty good," Coach Turner said. "I always wait three or four days, but he feels good about it in terms of being ready for the first game."

If Michael Turner is not ready for the opener against the Chicago Bears, perhaps Lorenzo Neal will get some extra carries. Andrew Pinnock may be more qualified, but can he somersault clear over an opponent like Neal?

"Lorenzo, he was acting like he was 23 years old. He's not 23 years old, but he made a great effort," said Coach Turner, even excusing the ensuing fumble.

"Most fumbles come from someone knocking the ball out from behind. Lo' got in such a position as he was diving through the air, the ball came out, his elbow came up, and the guy knocked it out from behind."

Elsewhere in the backfield, Darren Sproles continues to impress. Coach Turner had predicted that Sproles would return another punt for a score against the Cardinals, but settled for partial credit when the compact back ran in an exciting 19-yard touchdown.

"Darren has a chance of helping us win football games this year," Coach Turner said.

The preseason success of Sproles has been only a mild surprise. He has been making big plays in every practice,something that carries over the game time. The same can be said of Vincent Jackson, who enjoyed a great week of practice before contributing to San Diego's win with two touchdowns in the desert.

Coach Turner is happy with improvements in pass protection and the players' sense of urgency. His goal for the team is simple: to improve each week.

"We are doing enough to go out and be successful. There are things that we are going to do that we haven't shown."

Lightning Quick: In order to trim the roster to 75, the Chargers placed guard Erik Robertson on the injured-reserve list with an ankle injury. Robertson was impressive when healthy and will be back next season.


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