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AJ Smith and Norv Turner Both to Return to Lead the San Diego Chargers in 2012

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Norv: "Hey Phil, I'm coming back!"

Phil: "FAN-DOOBIBLY-TASTIC"
Norv: "Hey Phil, I'm coming back!" Phil: "FAN-DOOBIBLY-TASTIC"

The San Diego Chargers have just announced that Dean Spanos — owner and Chairman of the Board — has decided to keep Head Coach Norv Turner and General Manager AJ Smith for the 2012 Season.

In the midst of their 6-game losing streak, it seemed all but certain that one or both would be shown the door. But the recent successes off the team, and strong ending, have made Dean perform an apparent about face and keep both on.

Said Spanos:

Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs, A.J. Smith is the best man to improve our roster, and Norv Turner is the best man to lead that roster on the field.

In recent days, many fans had seemed to be split on how the team should go forward. The recent consensus seemed to be that Norv Turner should stay, but AJ Smith should be shown the door. The Chargers were quick to point out though:

During Smith’s nine-year tenure as general manager (2003-11), the Chargers have won 88 games and five AFC West titles. Only three teams (New England, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh) have won more games or division titles during that time.

...

Since Turner took over as head coach, he has earned an impressive 52-34 overall record (including 3-3 in the postseason), the highest overall winning percentage in franchise history (.605).

I think it's pretty obvious at this point though that should the Chargers fail to make the playoffs for a third season in a row, both men will be given their walking papers.