On a personal note I have to say that I hate to see Norv Turner go. His absence means my series of annual blog posts titled “Nobody Named Norv” must now come to an end.
The San Diego Chargers did experience success under Norv Turner but it was always tainted with that “What might have been” aftertaste. Now the Chargers have finally dumped Turner and moved on. The jon now being undertaken by new Head Coach Mike McCoy and GM Tom Telesco is going to take some doping. Turner and A.J. Smith left a legacy of underachievement and a cupboard stocked with some draft choices that just haven’t paid off.
Philip Rivers, once a highly productive quarterback, has perhaps suffered the most. His protection has been scanty and his targets less than stellar. Forcing the issue when need resulted in Rivers posting a high turnover ratio. The veteran QB will also be forced to learn a new system while learning to depend on a new offensive line that could be porous. Rivers blind side isn’t looking all that good as the Chargers failed to acquire a quality left tackle in either the draft or through the free agent system. When you’ve got Robert Meacham, a Saints castoff, and Eddie Royal as your top wide receivers you do something like pick Keenan Allen in the draft. Keenan could start. Of course there’s Antonio Gates and Rivers will be happy to have him. But Gates is getting long in the tooth. Chargers fans will have to hope for an injury free season from Ryan Mathews to keep the pressure off the passing game.
The biggest news is the drafting of Manti Teo’. He’s drawn plenty of attention without playing a game. Indications are that Te’o is a hard working and dedicated player who can help create a workmanlike and professional atmosphere in San Diego. The Chargers do have some talent on defense and it will be this squad that carries the Chargers early in the season.
With Denver in their division it’s hard to see San Diego reaching the top. Even Kansas City will be a challenge to unseat as the #2 team in the AFC West. Chargers fans need to be patient and hope the offense can get settled in and the San Diego Chargers forge a new identity, building for the future.Eric Drouant