Turner talks draft and return-game changes

March, 22, 2011
3/22/11
5:05
PM ET
San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner met the media at the NFL owners meeting Tuesday in New Orleans. Here is a sampling of his session:

On the Chargers having five picks in the first three rounds of the draft:

“You look at the people in our division and why they’ve gotten better, they’ve had high picks and they’ve had them the last 10 years. Our picks aren’t as high. (Picking at) 18 isn’t as high as drafting in the top 10. But having the first-round pick, the two twos, two threes, we’re going to add some young players that hopefully can impact our games ... There is depth in positions on the defensive side of the ball through the first three rounds. I think we’ll get some guys that have an impact on this season, who can come in and help us.”

My take: The Chargers are going to get better because of these five picks whether they use them all or if they use them as trade bait.

On how the new kickoff rule changes his team's approach:

“I don’t know people are going to go out and get a kicker and have an extra kicker. I do think it’s going to affect the decisions you make on a returner … (find a faster returner?)That, or you’re not going to invest as much into it because you’re going to have a lot more times where he’s taking knee.”

My take: This could be a clue the Chargers may be taking another step away from free-agent Darren Sproles. He is a pricey returner and running back. The Chargers feel good about their other running backs. Sproles’ role in San Diego may be becoming unnecessary.

On whether he is satisfied on the offensive side of the ball:

“We could field a team that is pretty darn good on both sides of the ball. There is more flexibility or more room on defense to (make some additions and get better).”

My take: I think there will be some tinkering on offense. But the bigger additions will be on defense.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers has organized workouts for the team during the lockout. The players will work out four days a week and it will help simulate an offseason workout program that teams are currently losing because of the lockout. Players from teams around the league are expected to hold similar workouts.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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