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Norv Turner Sucks, Alright, But Do I? Analyze this column on the coach.

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by FantasyAlliance.cm, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. When the Arizona Cardinals fired Dennis Green last January, the team said they were rebuilding. So what were the San Diego Chargers doing when they fired Marty Schottenheimer? Deconstructing?

    Schottenheimer, coming off a 14-2 season, has a 200-136-1 career record. In the past five years, he has coached the Chargers to a 47-33 mark. The only knock on him is that he can’t win playoff games. In fact, the last time he recorded a playoff victory, the President was contemplating what to do about the attack on the World Trade Center. Keep in mind that the president then was Clinton.

    So if Schottenheimer’s 5-13 playoff record was the reason that the Chargers fired him, they did the right thing. Because, if you can be sure of one thing about their new coach, it’s this: He certainly won’t lose any playoff games.

    Norv Turner is their new coach, and while he might not have the career accolades that Schottenheimer does, there are many things impressive about him, too. For instance, no one else has ever been rewarded with such a highly coveted job after coaching as poorly as he has for so many years.

    Of course with a team like the Chargers, an average coach could get them into the playoffs no problem and win at least one game, so what’s the worry? See, Turner isn’t exactly average. Average is 50%. Turner is 38% (58-82-1 career record).

    I have a hard time seeing how this coaching change will work. After all, Schottenheimer did go 12-4 in 2004 and 9-7 in ’05 with Drew Brees at quarterback, then 14-2 in his first season with Phillip Rivers starting. General Manager A.J. Smith must have liked what he saw, because he gave Marty a quick Schott in the back and boot out the door following the season—well, not quick exactly; he waited until every other head coaching vacancy was filled and until the Chargers had lost their two coordinators and two assistants to other teams.

    Then he used the fact that all the assistants left against Schottenheimer in the press conference. (Take a break here because the lack of logic coming up might get confusing.) The general manager is mad at the coach because four assistants left the coaching staff. The GM is in charge of hiring all the coaches and giving them permission to seek jobs with other teams. He’s also apparently in charge of finding scapegoats.

    Now after blaming his mistake on Schottenheimer, A.J. Smith proposes a pragmatic solution to the problem. If four assistant coaches left, the best way to combat the problem is to fire another coach. I’ll let John Madden explain the logic behind that because I sure can’t.

    The questions at the beginning of Smith’s press conference on the firing started off kind of tame, like, “What kind of an idiot are you, firing Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season?” but by the time Smith had explained his reasoning, they changed to “How does an idiot like you get a general manager job? Can I get one?”

    Allow me to cut through the rhetoric. Schottenheimer was fired for the same reason that Jerry Jones fired Jimmy Johnson after two Super Bowl wins in 1993. Ever since Smith took the job in ’03 Schottenheimer there was always tension between the two because both were so power hungry. As Schotty said after the affair, “We’ve never been on speaking terms.”

    If Smith had a good candidate in mind for head coach and had reason to believe that his strained relationship with Schott was hurting the team, than it would make sense to fire him, but I can hardly see how a 35-13 record over three years is evidence of chemistry problems. They had been winning together for three years, then, after the hiring season had ended, no less, Smith decided to pull the plug. He could have at least fired him early so that he could have promoted offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to the head job.

    Cameron has helped turn the voltage up for this Chargers offense that has ranked among the top five in each of the last three seasons. He and Schottenheimer turned Phillip Rivers into a top ten quarterback in just his first year starting. Schotteneheimer has a long history of QB success including Bernie Kosar and Rich Gannon, along with Brees and Rivers. (Heck, he even got good quarterback play out of the running back position with Ladainian Tomlinson.)

    Turner, on the other hand, can’t tell a quarterback from loose change. When someone mentions the hail mary to him, he goes to church. That is, until he realizes that it involves a deep bomb then he runs for cover. He once joined the NRA to improve his shotgun formation. The alleged “quarterbacks” he has produced include Alex Smith, Jay Fiedler, Gus Frerote, and Jeff George. Donovan McNabb’s projectile vomit looks prettier than those guys’ passes.

    You have to cut the guy some slack, though. The Chargers weren’t that great of a team is 2001 when he helped them finish 5-11 as offensive coordinator. He wasn’t the one who signed a near-retirement Doug Flutie onto the team, who combined with a young Brees, to throw 16 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He did inherit a pretty bad Raiders team in 2004, and after the job he did with them, he has some hope that the Chargers don’t finish dead last in the division next season.

    This is the first year that he has taken over a team that was already good, and you can be sure it will be the last year that they are good.
  2. You do realize you're allowed to express an opinion without using "I," right?
  3. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    There has to be a a better way to write these two sentences.
  4. JustSomeDude

    JustSomeDude New Member

    Maybe it's because I don't live in New York (in fact, it's almost certainly that) but I thought that was a pretty creative way to put it. When I read that, I leaned back a little and went "wow," and not at the flip reference to terrorism.

    Besides, I'm assuming this is for the Internet...a lot more leeway there than in most papers, right?
  5. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    Deconstructing is not the right word choice; it sounds cute, but its misleading.

    If it can be defined, "Deconstruction is in fact much closer to the original meaning of the word 'analysis' itself, which etymologically means "to undo" — a virtual synonym for "to de-construct." ... If anything is destroyed in a deconstructive reading, it is not the text, but the claim to unequivocal domination of one mode of signifying over another. A deconstructive reading is a reading which analyzes the specificity of a text's critical difference from itself."
  6. Ya, this is for the net.
  7. JustSomeDude

    JustSomeDude New Member

    There are a couple problems with this sentence.

    I'm guessing you re-wrote the story at some point and "Schottenheimer" just got left in there. But that obviously needs fixing.

    Even after that's taken out, though, "Ever since Smith took the job in ’03 there was always tension between the two because both were so power hungry," is a long run-on sentence. At the very least, there should be a comma or two thrown in there.

    Commas use varies widely from person to person. but I'd throw a comma after "'03" and another after "two." That's if you're leaving this sentence as is.

    But I'd prefer to see it tweaked, taken out of the passive voice and given a little more punch.

    For example, as long as you're taking shots at Smith, take a shot here. The column is about Smith's hunger for power and how it's caused him to make what you see this big mistake. So there's no real reason to include Marty's power-hunger in the name of even-handedness.

    Also, I can't think of a reason to use "ever since" instead of "since."

    And "there was always tension" is awkward. Plus, it begs the question: What kind of tension? If you can't come up with concrete examples, punch it up.

    What you're trying to say is this was bound to happen sooner or later. Marty was doomed the minute Smith took the job in San Diego, because Smith wants to control everything and he couldn't do it as long as Marty was around. So say that. (Though not in quite so many words, please.)

    And I'm with Cousin Jeff..."deconstructing" is a clever line, but "dismantling" or "demolishing" or whatever probably works just as well, with the added benefit of being the correct word.
  8. So far, this has been getting much better reception than most of my columns.
  9. How about this: "Like Jones, Smith is scared of having a successful coach under him vying for power."

    By the way, I've had someone tell me that I need to capitalize Hail Mary, but I thought that since hail mary is used in the context of a football play, it shouldn't be capitalized? This is the sentence: "When someone mentions the hail mary to him, he goes to church."
  10. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

  11. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    FAC, are you talking about the 1993 attack or the 9/11 attack?
  12. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    I'd capitalize, take out "the" and play up the joke a little more. Something like "When he hears 'Hail Mary,' he crosses himself."
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