SAN DIEGO — Making adjustments — it’s become the name of the game for head coach Norv Turner amidst a tumultuous season that has seen the Chargers go from first to tied-for-last in their division in a matter of six weeks.
This game of making adjustments has challenged Turner’s coaching skills even more than in years’ past.
“Every season there’s a challenge; every week there’s a challenge,” Turner said. “But yeah, I mean obviously a week ago, getting ready to go play Chicago and knowing where we were in terms of our personality, yeah, you’re looking for every little thing you can do to give you a chance to be competitive in a game.”
In preparation for the game against Denver, Turner spent time watching film of the Broncos pass rush, keeping in mind his newly acquainted offensive line.
“You spend a little extra time saying, ‘How are we going to find a way to block this guy and still get someone out and still find some way to make some plays and give Philip (Rivers) enough time and give him a comfort level to be successful?’”
What it’s come down to is finding matchups and putting players in a position where they can win and, not ask them to do things they’re not capable of doing, Turner said. “Those are things that certainly go in to every one of those decisions. And sometimes it doesn’t look the best, but certainly it’s with intent of doing what’s best to give our players a chance to be successful.”
But after Sunday’s overtime loss to Denver 16-13, prolonging a six game losing streak and all but eliminating the Chargers from any postseason play, it seems no amount of coaching by Turner can quell fans’ anger and calls for his firing.
“It’s not something that is going to be an issue for me,” Turner said. “And I’m not going to talk a lot about it over the next five weeks, as I said, I’ve been doing this a long time and I do know how to go about preparing for a game. We’ve gotten our guys prepared and that’s going to be our goal, to keep getting them prepared.”
Turner added during Monday’s press conference that he wasn’t oblivious to calls for his dismissal, but said that he hasn’t spoke to team President Dean Spanos or General Manager A.J. Smith about any decisions. “I don’t think it’s an issue right now, and I’m sure it’s something that when we’re through with the season, it’ll be handled.”
For the Chargers, whose season began with the theme of overcoming adversity, the next five games in as many weeks will never be more trying as they struggle to snap their losing streak, with hopes of securing a playoff spot.
The Chargers will head to Jacksonville, Fla. for Monday Night Football to take on another reeling team in the Jaguars, who fired their head coach Jack Del Rio, Tuesday.