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Monday, December 27, 2010
Chargers: No big changes

By Bill Williamson

The San Diego Chargers know how to kill speculation.

The day after the Chargers were eliminated from the playoffs for the first time since 2005, ownership told the San Diego Union Tribune that coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will be back. Ownership backs Smith and Smith backs Turner. The only way Turner could have been in trouble was if ownership decided to make wholesale changes.

Turner
Turner
That’s not going to happen.

This is no surprise, but some San Diego fans and some national media wondered if Turner’s job would be in jeopardy after Sunday’s disaster in Cincinnati. The Chargers killed the story Monday. They did the same thing last year by giving Turner a three-year extension (part of the reason why he isn’t going anywhere) shortly after the Chargers were upset in the playoffs at home by the Jets.

I know some fans may not agree with this decision, but you have to applaud the Chargers for acting quickly. Of course, ownerships in Minnesota, Dallas and Denver all gave their coaches votes of confidence this fall shortly before canning them.

Anything can happen, but I don’t think that will be the case. Turner has always been safe for 2011. This is 8-7 season is a bummer for the Chargers, but they see the big picture. They know they have a talented roster headlined by an elite quarterback in Philip Rivers. The Chargers aren’t broken. They can get well again quickly.

Turner is in charge of doing it. If the Chargers are in this situation again a year from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the company line is different. But that’s fair. Two years out of the playoffs with this roster would be unacceptable.

But one playoff-less season isn’t reason for wholesale changes in the minds of San Diego ownership. Again, that’s always been the thinking. Monday, when the issue became a live topic, San Diego quickly got the message out.