NFL Nation: Mike Scrifes
However, one day after the Chargers’ disappointing season ended, the team announced that Crosby’s contract will not be renewed for the 2011 season.
“We appreciate Steve’s hard work and dedication to this team over the past nine seasons,” Turner said in a statement released by the team.
It is not a surprise that Crosby was let go, but it is surprising that he was let go after the team stuck with him during a terrible stretch. The Chargers had major issues on special teams during the first 11 games of the season before settling down. Five of the Chargers’ seven losses were affected by major problems on special teams.
Earlier in the season, San Diego -- which had to deal with having five long snappers after a 17-year veteran David Binn was lost for the season on opening day -- the Chargers had every imaginable collapse on special teams, including having five punts blocked. Punter Mike Scrifres had one punt blocked in his previous six NFL seasons.
Still, Turner backed Crosby, saying the problems were due to players making plays and not because of Crosby's coaching. San Diego did improve in the area toward the end of the season but finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
San Diego led the NFL in total offense and defense, but its special teams issues helped undermine those accomplishments. In the end, it cost Crosby.
What does it mean? This was big for San Diego. The Chargers are now 4-5 and have won two straight games. It was San Diego’s first road win after losing its first four away from home. If 4-4 Oakland beats 5-2 Kansas City Sunday, the AFC West will be very jumbled.
Tomorrow’s talker: Philip Rivers is continuing to play out of his mind. Playing without his top four receivers and without star tight end Antonio Gates, Rivers was 17-of-23 for 295 yards. He threw four touchdown passes. Rivers is leading the NFL with 2,944 yards passing.
Trending: San Diego’s special teams continue to flounder. Mike Scifres had his fifth punt blocked of the season and his second in two weeks. Scifres had one punt blocked in his previous six NFL seasons.
What’s next: San Diego has a bye next Sunday before hosting Denver on "Monday Night Football" on Nov. 22.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Stay tuned Thursday for movement on the Nnamdi Asomugha situation in Oakland. There were some strong indications Wednesday night and early Thursday that a long-term deal between the shutdown cornerback and the Raiders could be done at any time.
This would be huge news for the Raiders.
- The Denver Post is reporting linebacker Boss Bailey may not be salary-cap causality. With five defensive starters already jettisoned and with more than $25 million in cap room freed up, Denver certainly doesn't need to create any more cap space.
- New Kansas City coach Todd Haley said he hasn't named exact positions for several new assistant coaches because he hasn't figured it all out yet.
- The Oakland Tribune is reporting that receiver Ronald Curry has been informed he will be cut.
- The Chargers are hoping to secure LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates this offseason. Keeping his own has long been a mantra of San Diego general manager A.J. Smith.
- The Ravens' decision to put the franchise tag on linebacker Terrell Suggs could affect both Denver's and Kansas City's plans. Both teams have plenty of cap room and both teams could have used a pass-rusher like Suggs.
- The Chargers may be quietly bummed that the Raiders re-signed punter Shane Lechler. Many in San Diego believe their punter, Mike Scifres, is the best punter in the AFC but he keeps getting bypassed in favor of Lechler for the Pro Bowl. Some in the San Diego organization may have been hoping Lechler would go to an NFC team which would open a spot on the Pro Bowl roster for Scifres. My take on that one: Both Lechler and Scifres are the real deal.
- Former Oakland wide receiver Tim Brown will coach the receivers in an alumni game featuring Notre Dame players in Tokyo this July.