- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Norv Turner admits he’s been in the NFL for a long time. So, the fact that the NFL lockout is preventing teams from beginning their offseason conditioning program isn’t throwing the San Diego Chargers’ coach for a loop yet.
Turner said he won’t get nervous about not seeing his players unless the lockout extends past the April 28-30 draft.
“Up until May, I really don’t think things will be much different than what we do normally,” Turner told the San Diego Union Tribune. “Coaches are involved in the draft (at the end of April), but we don’t have a major role. At this time of year, as always, we’re looking at ourselves, looking at ways to get better. That hasn’t changed.
“This time of year, we don’t have much interaction with players. It will be a lot different if it’s like this in May. If nothing’s done by May, it obviously could be a lot different. Maybe I’m dating myself, but there are guys like me still around who coached when there were just three-day mini-camps and no offseason programs. There’s less reason to panic than if this were to happen in May and June.”
Still, Turner acknowledged there will be a time when it will be necessary to get his players together. The Chargers have a new defensive coordinator in Greg Manusky, a former San Diego assistant, and a new special teams coach in Rich Bisaccia.
“We would go through it a bit with Rich coming in to coach special teams and Greg taking over the defense, although he has been in our system, and a lot of the terminology will be the same,” Turner said. “We have a new special teams coach, different personality, different system. We all try to do too much. In this case, less could be better. So, you’d better be ready to streamline what you’re doing, because there may not be a lot of time to waste.”
I think Turner is taking a realistic approach. The time lost now can be made up, but if this lockout drags into the summer and starts to eat into training-camp time in late July, Turner and his fellow coaches will get nervous. The lost time could affect the level of play once the season starts.
45mEric D. Williams
23hEric D. Williams