If Norv Turner is on the hot seat, he isn’t letting on.
The San Diego Chargers are in a free fall, with only a home game Thursday night against the struggling Kansas City Chiefs likely to stop it.
Then again, most people thought the Chargers would win at Cleveland on Sunday, but they lost 7-6. San Diego Chargers (3-4) hasn’t scored a touchdown in its last 6 quarters and has lost 3 games in sequence to fall a game behind Denver in the AFC West.
Among the losses were 2nd-half collapses at New Orleans, where the Chargers surrendered a 10-point lead, and against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at home, where San Diego coughed up a 24-0 halftime lead and lost 35-24.
The Chargers beat the Chiefs (1-6) 37-20 at Kansas City on Sept. 30.
Naturally, fans continue to call for Turner’s job, with some also venting at General Manager A.J. Smith, who hired Turner in 2007 regardless of a losing overall record in prior stops with Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders.
”You’re coaching on a week-to-week basis,” Turner said when asked if he’s training for his job. ”I’m training to do the best job I am able to get our team ready to play Kansas City. All those other talks, they’re going to take place. You know they’re going to take place.”
Turner claimed he hasn’t spoken about his job status with either Smith or team President Dean Spanos.
It’s doubtful Spanos would fire Turner during the season for a number of reasons. There’s no viable candidate on the staff who could step in and replace Turner, especially with a game Thursday night. Turner is also the de facto offensive coordinator given that he calls the plays. Spanos isn’t prone to knee-jerk reactions, and he’s not subject to eating salary if he doesn’t have to. Turner’s contract runs thru 2013. Scores
Turner’s job status was a hot topic at the end of each of the last 2 seasons. Spanos decided to keep Smith and Turner in January even though the team missed the playoffs for the 2nd straight year. San Diego has only one playoff win the last 4 seasons.
On Sunday, wide receiver Robert Meachem dropped a certain touchdown pass from Philip Rivers in the 3rd quarter. Meachem has struggled since the San Diego Chargers signed him and the oft-injured Eddie Royal to replace the departed Vincent Jackson.
”We’ve not been able to put together the type of consistency we need to,” Turner recounted. ”Usually, it’s a different thing in each situation where you’ve got a chance to make a big play. You only get so many in a game. One play it could be protection, one play it could be we did not make the throw we wanted to make, one play it may be we’re still attempting to get on the same page.
Yesterday, obviously, we had a couple of opportunities for big plays. One was where Meach wasn’t able to think up a big catch.”
When pressed on why the Chargers are not on the same page after 8 weeks, Turner expounded: ”It’s where we are at. When we’ve made those types of plays, we’ve managed to move the ball.”