For once, a team coached by Norv Turner is all screwed up and it isn’t really Norv’s fault. So the fall guy for the Chargers’ 3-5 start became defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, who was fired today. The Bolts are 28th in the NFL in yards allowed and dead last in passing defense, while they’re second in the league in points scored.
Cottrell was the choice of GM A.J. Smith, who was responsible for pushing Marty Schottenheimer out after a 14-2 season. But his defenses were never good enough and Charger fans spent much of their free time calling for his ouster.
Last week, Smith and team president Dean Spanos said that no changes would be made to the coaching staff this season, and that they were satisfied with their coaches.
The SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE doesn’t make it entirely clear if the news was delivered by Turner or Smith. Turner seems to be the one who initiated the move:
“It was probably after the game — you have a chance at the bye to look at things you need to do,” Turner said. “I don’t think it ever comes down to one game. … We had the same things happen to us over and over.
“Somewhere along the way I have to make a decision of how we’re going to get to where we need to get to.”
Exhibit A that this is a popular move among San Diego fans is an informal poll on the UNION-TRIBUNE’s site that asks if firing Cottrell was the right thing to do. 89% of respondents said yes.
Exhibit B? This attempt at poetry by a Charger fan in the comment section of the story:
the big fat butt
the big fat butt
ding dong the big fat butt is gone!!!
Now that’s good stuff right there.
Linebackers coach Ron Rivera will take over for Cottrell. Rivera was previously the DC for the Bears. Turner says the team’s upcoming be week was the catalyst for making the move now:
“The timing of it is when you have a bye you have an opportunity to spend a little more time in situations, evaluate things you need to evaluate,” Turner said. “If we’re going to make a move this was the time to do it. We have a guy in place with Ron Rivera who has experience.”