Norv Turner: The Worst Hiring in NFL History?

Mark ScacewaterAnalyst ISeptember 23, 2007

IconMatt Millen as GM of the Detroit Lions?

Pretty bad

Bill Callahan driving the Raiders into the ground?


The Chargers drafting Ryan Leaf and the Bengals taking Akili Smith?

Both embarrassing.

But the Chargers outdid even themselves last offseason when they hired one Norv Turner, a head coach with a career losing record and reputation for ineptitude, to take over a team that led the NFL with a 14-2 record in 2006.

Maybe Chargers GM A.J. Smith was convinced by the success Turner had as coach of the Raiders.

Oh wait, the Raiders were a shade worse than terrible under Turner.

Well, perhaps it was all those Super Bowl rings the Redskins won with Turner at the helm.

Oh yeah, that didn't happen either.

Well, it had to be because Turner's work as an O-coordinator in San Francisco helped Alex Smith win MVP of the league while his team cruised to a Super Bowl victory.

Yeah, right.

So what exactly WERE A.J. Smith and the Chargers brass thinking when they hired Turner?

Would you put diesel in a Lamborghini? If that sounds ludicrous, imagine these headlines:

"Patriots release Brady, sign Joey Harrington. Team officials cite need for playoff-savvy veteran."

"Colts trade Manning, Harrison, and two first-rounders to Dolphins for Cleo Lemon. Coach Dungy looking to develop vertical passing attack."

Along those lines, we got the following this spring:

"Chargers fire Marty Schottenheimer (14-2), hire Norv Turner."

It's not the worst move to fire your head coach for not taking your team to the next level...but the fact that the Chargers waited to act until all their viable options were gone speaks volumes about the leadership in the San Diego front office.

It's no secret that A.J. Smith has assembled a stellar squad of football players. Rivers, Tomlinson, Merriman, Jammer, Gates—the list of Pro-Bowlers and general studs is a long one.

But why put that team together and then hire a head coach as bad as Turner?

In the wake of the Chargers' loss to the Packers, it's clear that Norv Turner has no business being a head coach in the NFL—and that his team will not make the playoffs this season.

The Chargers might be the first team in league history to go 14-2, return all their key players, and then post a losing record. 

The Bolts brought back a league MVP, a rising star at QB, and a beast at OLB—and basically put a bozo in charge.

If San Diego misses the playoffs, A.J. Smith will officially earn the title of Most Boneheaded G.M. in the NFL. 

Move over, Matt Millen—you've got company.