Turner: Coming Down To The Wire

Chargers coach Norv Turner spoke with the Indianapolis media earlier in the week in a conference. See what the coach had to say about some of his team's stars, including Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Philip Rivers, the effectiveness of the Colts' offense, and more!

On DB-Antonio Cromartie:

"Antonio had a great year last year, and he was very opportunistic. He had a lot of opportunities and made a bunch of plays with interceptions, particularly, obviously in that Sunday night game (vs. Indianapolis), and then really throughout the season as we went through it. Antonio has played like we have on defense. I think Antonio has done well. We haven't had the opportunities we had a year ago. A year ago we led the league in interceptions, led the league in takeaways. People have been very careful with the ball, and he hasn't had those kinds of opportunities."

On a rollercoaster season:

"We've had some unusual situations, there's no question about it. This league is that way. You look at the games every week, there are games that are coming down to the wire, they're coming down to getting one more first down or stopping a team from getting a first down, making a field goal or finding a way to keep a team from getting in field goal range. We did win the game against Kansas City, they went for two. We had the crazy game early in the year, the first two games, (Carolina) threw the touchdown pass with two seconds left to beat us and then the play in Denver."

On not trying to be surprised by anything:

"The thing that's happened, I think everyone is playing a style of football that allows them to stay in games. There was a time, you talk about 24 years (Turner's tenure in NFL), there was a time that there were a lot of teams that didn't throw the ball very well, weren't capable of scoring a lot of points. But now, I think you find everyone is capable and that makes for an exciting, exciting brand of football. It's tough on players and coaches and fans get a real good product."

On the numbers saying RB-LaDainian Tomlinson has had a down year and if that is true or if it's a reflection of how the season has gone in general:

"Obviously we do know LT had the toe early and started the season strong in that first Carolina game. I can't tell you how long he was bothered by it, but he was bothered by it. He's 100 yards off where he was a year ago at this time, he's 10 carries off, so some of it obviously has to do with the type of games that we've been in, the types of teams we've been playing. We haven't run as many plays, and that's a product of a couple of things: people are doing a good job keeping the ball against us and when you get in those games where they're high-scoring, sometimes it's hard to be as patient with the run."

On not seeing a different Tomlinson and him still being a threat if the defense isn't careful:

"The last three weeks he's really cranked it up. I think coming off the bye, he's gotten healthier. We went over to London and he had a real good performance against New Orleans and then he's followed it up with good games. They're not his standard games because he's getting 18, 22 carries. If we could get him in that situation where he had 30 carries and he could break one off, I think that people would see that he's running pretty good."

On the progress of the Colts offense:

"There's no question offense is about rhythm and continuity and being together, and I don't care who you are, as good as Peyton (Manning) is and with everything he's done, if you miss that much time and then you don't have all the parts there, it's going to take a toll. And then when you tie that in and multiply that by playing real good teams, it's going to show. But the way they've played the last three weeks, it looks like Indianapolis to me, and to do what they did against Pittsburgh—we were getting ready for Pittsburgh and watching their offense, to keep making the plays, and that's an awfully good defense—I was extremely impressed with that."

On the Colts only losing one of four fumbles:

"They just do a great job of taking care of the football. That's the thing, you never expect to get turnovers when you play Indianapolis, and that's one of the things in both of our last two games (against them), we've found a way to come up with some turnovers. But they do a great job protecting the football in all areas."

On QB-Philip Rivers:

"I think he's really doing well. I think he's taken another step. Obviously he was on such a pace that first six, seven games where he was protecting the ball and we were making big plays and all those things. He's had some problems at the end of games. Most of them have been on the road where I think he's trying to make a play and trying to create something that sometimes isn't there, and it's gotten him in trouble. But I think that's still, again, part of the growing process, and there's no one that competes any harder and wants to win (more). And you get in that situation and sometimes you make poor judgment based on what you want to have happen instead of what's there."


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