Chargers retain Norv Turner, A.J. Smith

Rather than blow up the San Diego Chargers' tandem of coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith, team president Dean Spanos announced that both men are being retained in their current roles.

The Chargers had a disappointing season, missing the playoffs as quarterback Philip Rivers committed more turnovers than usual.

However, the team finished strongly enough that the Spanos ownership decided to hold onto Turner and Smith going forward.

"Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs," Spanos said in a statement. "A.J. Smith is the best man to improve our roster, and Norv Turner is the best man to lead that roster on the field. Together, we have stability and experience that's hard to find in the NFL. They've both been in this league a long time. I don't think there is anything they haven't seen or experienced. They've led us through some difficult situations.

"As we've seen throughout Norv's tenure and particularly this past season, the players believe in him, respect him and play hard for him. When we went through that tough stretch, no one quit. The team kept playing hard, and that's a tribute to Norv's leadership and the respect the players have for him."

Under Smith's nine-year run, the Chargers have won 88 games five AFC West titles.

Turner has gone 52-34 since taking over as head coach, 3-3 in the postseason.

"Now we will take a hard look at everything, from player evaluation to coaching to the rash of injuries we've suffered in recent years," Spanos said. "Injuries have killed us. And no one is ever perfect in this business. Player evaluation isn't an exact science. We need to improve across the board and I'm going to make sure we do. We all have our quirks and faults, but I want A.J. and Norv on my side. They are the right men to help us win a championship. Despite the number of wins we've had, the net bottom line is it doesn't mean anything unless you win a championship. That's our goal and I am committed to winning a Super Bowl for San Diego."

Last Saturday, the San Diego Union Tribune reported that the coach was actually on the outs with management and would likely be fired.

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