When the Arizona Cardinals fired Dennis Green last January, they were supposedly rebuilding. So what were the San Diego Chargers doing when they fired Marty Schottenheimer? Deconstructing?
Schottenheimer, coming off a 14-2 season, has a 200-136-1 career record. In the past five years, he has coached the Chargers to a 47-33 mark. The only knock on him is that he can’t win playoff games. In fact, the last time he recorded a playoff victory, the President was contemplating what to do about the attack on the World Trade Center. Keep in mind that the president then was Clinton.
So if Schottenheimer’s 5-13 playoff record was the reason that the Chargers fired him, they did the right thing. Because, if you can be sure of one thing about their new coach, it’s this: He certainly won’t lose any playoff games.
Norv Turner is their new coach, and while he might not have the career accolades that Schottenheimer does, there are many things impressive about him, too. For instance, no one else has ever been rewarded with such a highly coveted job after coaching as poorly as he has for so many years.
Of course with a team like the Chargers, an average coach could get them into the playoffs no problem and win at least one game, so what’s the worry? See, Turner isn’t exactly average. Average is 50%. Turner is 38% (58-82-1 career record).
I have a hard time seeing how this coaching change will work. After all, Schottenheimer did go 12-4 in 2004 and 9-7 in ’05 with Drew Brees at quarterback, then 14-2 in his first season with Phillip Rivers starting. General Manager A.J. Smith must have liked what he saw, because he gave Marty a quick Schott in the back and boot out the door following the season—well, not quick exactly; he waited until every other head coaching vacancy was filled and until the Chargers had lost their two coordinators and two assistants to other teams.
Then he used the fact that all the assistants left against Schottenheimer in the press conference. (Take a break here because the lack of logic coming up might get confusing.) The general mana