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Monday, February 12, 2007

San Diego Chargers' GM A.J. Smith's Constant Fucking With Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer Reaches Boling Point - Schott Fired

Yep. That headline sums it all up. "Chargers' GM A.J. Smith's Constant Fucking With Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer Reaches Boling Point - Schott Fired"

It has been known and well-told that San Diego Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith has not worked to get along with Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. Indeed, A.J. Smith doesn't have the best image with a number of people. In my book, and that of others, this is stupid. The GM's supposed to get along with the coach -- indeed, supply the coach with a steady stream of capable players that the coach can teach his system to and hopefully win a Super Bowl or two.

But A.J. Smith doesnt' see life this way. Indeed, Smith can be considered as one who was openly screwing with the desires and fortunes of Coach Schottenheimer, from not only failing to retain star quarterback Drew Brees, but earlier passing on Michael Vick -- a sure jersey-seller if not star quarterback -- and basically stocking up on look-alike immoblie White QB's A.J. Feeley, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, and Eli Manning for a New York minute. You can't fault Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips or Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron for taking head jobs, you know and I know that typical teams at least lift a wallet to retain their most talented teachers.

This is weird.

Everything about it reads hollow. Look at Chargers' President Dean Spanos statement:

"Today I made an extremely difficult decision: Marty Schottenheimer is no longer the head coach of the San Diego Chargers.

"This decision was so hard because Marty has been both a friend and valued coach of our team. But my first obligation is always to do what is in the best interest of our fans and the entire Charger organization. I must take whatever steps are necessary to deliver a Super Bowl trophy to San Diego. Events of the last month have now convinced me that it is not possible for our organization to function at a championship level under the current structure. On the contrary, and in the plainest possible language, we have a dysfunctional situation here. Today I am resolving that situation once and for all.

"My decision means that our organization will be obligated to pay the last year of Marty Schottenheimer's contract and will begin an intense search for a new head coach at this relatively late date, but these are sacrifices that I believe are necessary to give the Chargers the best possible chance to win on the field this season.

"Our fans deserve to know what changed for me over the last month. When I decided to move ahead with Marty Schottenheimer in mid-January, I did so with the expectation that the core of his fine coaching staff would remain intact. Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case, and the process of dealing with these coaching changes convinced me that we simply could not move forward with such dysfunction between our head coach and general manager. In short, this entire process over the last month convinced me beyond any doubt that I had to act to change this untenable situation and create an environment where everyone at Charger Park would be pulling in the same direction and working at a championship level. I expect exactly that from our entire Charger organization in 2007."

Dean Spanos must be smoking a big one to think the Chargers are going to have "the best possible chance to win on the field this season." In one fell swoop, he took the best-team in the NFL from early 2008 Super Bowl favorite, to possible division cellar foder for the Oakland Raiders, much to the delight of the Raider Nation.


Dean and A.J. have taken a big risk and there's no high reward. Keeping their head guy - a renowned teacher -- was the action that had the best upside. Now, that's gone.

I'm going to go out on a limb and state that Spanos decision was one based on emotion, a snap-judgement, and an argument with Marty. It wasn't calculated at all. How could it be? Spanos himself described the climate as a 'dysfunctional situation.' What does that tell you? It explains that at some point in the recent past, someone had a big angry discussion. I'm betting it was Smith and Schott, with Spanos getting in the middle.

Nick Campena laid it out first back in March 6, 2006, when he wrote: "Looking out from shore, it appears the reluctant marriage between Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith and coach Marty Schottenheimer is this close to the rocks – and the surf's up. There's trouble in what not long ago was perceived as a replenishing paradise."

Campena pointed to the Drew Brees matters, and a February 26th article by Jim Trotter of the San Diego Union-Tribune, where Trotter noted Schottenheimer as stating "I think it's important that there always be communication between the coach and the general manager,” he said during a break at the annual NFL Scouting Combine. (of 2006) “I've sought to see that realized, but, quite frankly, there hasn't been as much communication as I would like.. I think we all understand that ours is a very difficult, competitive enterprise, and in my opinion it's important that everybody is aimed in the same direction.”

Is that the case with the Chargers?

“We'll have to maybe wait and see,” he said.

Well, apparently it's not -- the Chargers are apparently torn apart. And the last time this happened, Bobby Ross was the head guy and Bobby Bethard was the GM. The Chargers never smelled a playoff end-zone after that affair.

Some online newhounds -- the people at Profotballtalk.com seem to think that A.J. Smith is the next person to be fired. This corner says "great" but I also state that allowing rumors of hiring Pete Carroll to replace Schottenheimer is wrong-headed. First, there's nothing to state that Carroll will be a great NFL head coach, second, you don't need the Rooney Rule to know their are great Black and Latino head coaches out there.

Indeed, if the Chargers can't find a good Black head coach out of the 131 assistants in the NFL game, they must be totally stupid. I hope I'm wrong.

But now that I think about it, racism is borne of stupidity, so the Chargers shoud be careful.


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