Feb 13, 2007
Poor old Marty Schottenheimer has the most career coaching wins of any head coach NOT to play in the Super Bowl. His Chargers were 14-2, the top team in the NFL heading into the playoffs. They were #1 in points scored and only six teams gave up fewer points.
And I totally understand why he was fired yesterday.
The fact is Schottenheimer was more of a father figure for the Chargers than anything else, and ownership had serious questions about his ability to lead this team on the field, on offense or defense. This move had to be done, and the timing was as good as any after the team lost both of their (excellent) coordinators as well as TEs coach Rob Chudzinski, the new OC in Cleveland, and LBs coach Greg Manusky, the new DC in San Francisco. Had he stayed, his rocky relationship with GM A.J. Smith would have likely exploded, and the team would have imploded. Schottenheimer was also trying to hire his brother as DC, which was not the right move to make given the timing and circumstances.
There are a few candidates who will stabilize the values of their key players, most notably Norv Turner, who coached in San Diego early in LaDainian Tomlinson’s career. Turner’s history as a head coach is poor, but his offensive savvy cannot be questioned, and with a strong GM and an excellent talent base behind him, he should have success.
The team will need help on the defensive side of the ball, for sure, and there are other candidates for this job – Steve Mariachi, Mike Singletary, maybe even Pete Carroll – but in my opinion Turner is the choice for the Chargers’ sake and for fantasy football’s sake.
Regardless of who they pick, they better make a decision quick because this team has zero direction right now and they need some quick.