By Gary Montgomery, BVN Sports –
It was obvious from the tone and intensity of his voice that Norv Turner was emotional after Sunday's win over the visiting Titans. No chance of mistaking Norv for Bill Belichick during his post game press conference. His answers were increasingly abrupt and succinct. When one of the Chargers beat reporters commented “you seem angry Norv.” Turner quickly fired back “no I’m not angry, I’m excited, I’m excited. I am excited for the guys out there making plays. Those guys worked their tails off to get this win. I’m excited for them.”
Turner deflected the question but his answers didn’t match his emotions in the most obvious ways. I suspect Norv wasn’t completely honest in accessing his feeling. It was obvious that Turner was somewhat testy and irritable.
I would guess, he was happy about getting a win and avoiding a 2-6 start, yet concerned about the future with Houston, Indianapolis, Denver twice and the surging Raiders making up 5 of the remaining 8 games.
The first half of the Chargers’ schedule was relatively light, with only 3 teams with winning records.
Duplicating their first half performance would result in a 6-10 season and probably ensure a farewell party for Norv and his staff. So, my guess is that although happy about Sunday’s win, Norv is looking ahead and thinking he’s going to need a lot more wins to pull this season out of the fire.
The Chargers (3-5) win on Sunday was preceded by a three game losing streak to Oakland, St. Louis and New England. “It’s huge. It’s been a trying season for us. We’ve been through a lot. But one thing about us as a group, there is never any question about the closeness or the tightness of this group,” said safety Eric Weddle. “We just thought we weren’t playing.
We were playing a little tight, we weren’t having fun and Norv (Turner) came out and said some things and it really got us going. Norv is one of us and we would die for Norv. He is the reason we came out in the second half,” continued Weddle.
Turner’s half-time speech must have been nearly presidential but an equally contributing factor for the Chargers’ survival was a late injury to Titans’ quarterback Vince Young. With 4:43 remaining in the game and trailing by 8-points, Young reinjured his recently sprain ankle and was forced to leave the game in favor of backup Terry Collins. Collins was ineffective on 2 possessions and the Chargers held on for the win.
“It was very tough. Like I said, I definitely wanted to be out there with my teammates. It was very frustrating. I hate putting #5 (Collins) in those types of situations,” said Vince Young after the game.
The Chargers roster is decimated by injuries. Legedu Naanee, Craig Davis, Malcolm Floyd and Nate Keading are all on the injured reserve. Antonio Gates although in the lineup is playing with a severe case of turf toe and has to leave the game frequently to visit the training table.
Norv Turner’s emotional conundrum is understandably given the Chargers current situation.
Although the team is saying all of the right things the sudden loss of so many its stars is problematic and will likely haunt the team throughout the remainder of the season.
Gary Montgomery can be reached at email@example.com
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