Dean Spanos, San Diego Chargers: Smart Decision Keeping AJ Smith and Norv Turner

Heneli IongiAnalyst IDecember 30, 2010

SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 28:  California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks with San Diego Charger Owner Dean Spanos before the start of the Houston Texans against the San Diego Chargers  NFL game on October 28, 2007 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Dean Spanos is bringing both AJ Smith and Norv Turner back.  I am so happy that he made that tough choice and not fall under the pressure of Charger fans, which I'm sure the majority of them don't know anything about football.  Spanos made the most rational decision, and he backed it up with logic and common sense understanding in terms of how football organizations should be ran.  

Here are a couple of his quotes that I decided to comment on regarding his great decision:

"We're as disappointed as anyone. But I look to 1996 to 2003, when we couldn't even get (beyond) 8-8. We've turned it around, to where we're a good team and a good organization. There's a lot of continuity, but we're still short."

He's right.  Continuity is the most important word in running a successful organization.  Continuity is what helped the Steelers finally win a Super Bowl after so many tough seasons with Bill Cowher after falling short.  Are we going to make that mistake of having something good and letting it go?  No.

"The easiest thing in the world is to start over. Who the hell do I go hire? Blow the whole thing up? We're a pretty good team, but we have to make the right moves. We've fallen. It could have been our draft picks or our free-agent moves. But we have a good core, and I don't care what anybody says. I'm not afraid to make changes. If I thought it was warranted, I would do it. We have a good foundation here."

Very good point.  So many Charger fans want change and there are a bunch on BleacherReport.  None of those articles pointed out anyone that they thought should be brought in and why.  I could debate anyone in bringing in any coach and why they wouldn't fit in with the personnel that was brought in to San Diego to fit Norv Turner and his Vertical Offense, aka the "Air Coryell" offense.  The Chargers do have a great foundation and that foundation continued to become stronger with many young players proving they can carry the load after struggling early in the season in their new roles.

"I've learned the hard way," Spanos told the newspaper after a 34-20 loss Sunday at Cincinnati ended the Chargers' playoff hopes. "Your GM and coach have to be two individuals who work together. It's very difficult for some teams; I've been through it. I like the working relationship at this level."

He's right again.  If you have a GM thinking one way and the HC thinking another way, you're not going to have a successful football team.  For example, as much as we know Bill Belicheck is a great HC, he also has a great supporting front office that helps him succeed as a HC.  A crappy front office does a great HC no good as many people forget that Belicheck was a mediocre HC for the Cleveland Browns from 1991-1995 as his record as a HC during that time span was 36-44.  

Are we quick to judge Norv Turner for his record in Oakland or Washington when they have a crappy front office?  We shouldn't but many of the detractors point that out.  Turner has been doing nothing but good things in San Diego since he's been there.

"Norv took over a good team, and I think he's done a good job under some trying circumstances. I hate to make excuses, but I don't (care). It's hard to win without players. Last year we lost six players in our opener at Oakland, and Norv won 13 games. This year, I've never seen anything like it. I know injuries are a (poor) excuse, but we started 2-5 and could have caved, and we didn't."

Dean Spanos knows that Norv Turner was fighting a losing battle in expecting a good season with so many injuries, but it happens.  I wrote an article after the Chargers' 2-5 start and I stated that the Chargers could have easily been 0-7 with all the personnel losses and injuries they'd gotten hit with, but instead, the Chargers were in every game they loss and won two decisive games.  

In conclusion...

All in all, Dean Spanos made the right move.  He decided to make the most rational move in keeping the head of the front office and HC that have made the Chargers into a successful franchise since 1994.

Let's face it.  Charger fans are as fair-weather as they come and it's sad.  They fail to remember the tough years that the Chargers had since 1994 and not once does any person that wants Norv Turner or AJ Smith fired acknowledge this fact.  It's utterly shameful that Charger fans want the most successful GM and HC the Chargers ever had since 1994 to get fired.  

Charger fans are spoiled and the successes of Norv Turner and AJ Smith made them this way.  It's sad that the fans don't support them in this year of transition.

(The quotes of Dean Spanos were pulled off of an article on