The Legend of Cecilio Guante
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Remind Me Again How Norv Turner Still Has an NFL Head Coaching Job?

Head Coaching…So…Hard…Head…Hurts
Quick step into the LCG wayback machine. Back when I first started this thing and didn’t know how to format or change fonts or anything, I wrote a little piece that gave passing reference to Norv Turner. Here is the relevant excerpt from August 13, 2007.

1. Norv Turner is a born loser. Sorry, Chargers fans. I was sitting watching the Bolts-Hawks preseason game with my dad earlier this week. Dad is an above-average football fan. He’s the type who watches every Sunday, can identify most of the head coaches and major players and generally has a good feel for the game. At one point, the cameras flashed on Norv and my father asked somewhat incredulously: “Is that Norv Turner?” Followed by…”he’s their new head coach?” Yep. Pops continued on to astutely postulate something about him having never really won anywhere. Actually, his career record as a head man is 58-82-1. Riiight. Now, many will correctly point out his penchant for taking over poor teams, etc, etc. I get it. He’s still a loser

Fast-forward one year. Yes, Norv ended the 2007-08 campaign a game away from the Super Bowl, but now we’re back to Norv being Norv. Yet, there somehow seems to be very little chatter about his proverbial seat warming up. Nolan gets canned, Crennel is on thin ice, Ancient Al unceremoniously dumps Kiffin. Yet, somehow, inexplicably, the volume dial around Norv Turner and his job security is turned strangely low.

I won’t go down memory lane and belittle you educated readers on the career of Coach T. He’s been a pretty decent coordinator and actually played that role on some Super Bowl champion teams. Granted, one of those teams had Aikman, Smith, Irvin, Moose, Novacek and Alvin Harper and a monkey could’ve drawn up plays for that group and been successful, but let’s give ole’ Norv the benefit of the doubt on the coordinating front.

In terms of being a head coach, he’s failed remarkably. With more than 10 seasons and 168 games spent at the helm of the Redskins, Raiders and Chargers, Turner has amassed 94 losses and boasts a .437 “winning percentage.” For those who constantly poke fun at “they are who we thought they were” Dennis Green, his record blows Turner’s out of the water (relatively speaking).

Yet, Turner lives to fight another day, surrounded by talented players and again trusted to lead a franchise. This time the team really has no excuse for making its selection. They were good. Had the talent to be even better. Had all the facts in front of them. And still chose Norv. Frankly, nothing that is happening now in San Diego should be any surprise. The only thing that is at all out of the ordinary is that they are not already pulling the plug.

So, the march towards not-the-playoffs continues and will likely soon become a beaten path in San Dee-a-Go for years to come as long as Turner remains wearing a headset on the sidelines. Those who have seen the light can only scream from the rooftops and hope their voice is soon heard…in the meantime, they’ll just hawk target practice Norv Turkeys and t-shirts and dream of what one day could be.


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  1. Signal to Noise

    November 25, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Chargers’ G.M. A.J. Smith is not a man who likes to admit he was wrong. Most NFL men aren’t, but he is a special case because he butted heads so spectacularly with Marty Schottenheimer.

    Norv is his man, his choice, after that spat. It will take him much too long to admit he was wrong.

    And as a Broncos fan, I hope it takes him at least another year or two.

  2. Cecilio's Scribe

    November 26, 2008 at 10:48 am

    S2N – i can see how you’d be eager to see him stay.

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