The League

Zach Leibowitz
Sideline Reporter

Zach Leibowitz

A former sideline reporter for ESPN

Norv Turning Around

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Every season you hear that Norv Turner can't win the big one, that he'll find a way to inevitably blow it. Yet, somehow, Turner continues to head an NFL franchise -- San Diego being his third following Washington and Oakland. So after an 8-8 season, it's about that time to question whether Turner choked again. Except, his team overcame early struggles and misfortune to win the division back from Denver. Doesn't that count for something? Doesn't it also count that Turner took Tomlinson's Chargers further in the playoffs last year than Marty Schottenheimer ever did? And who's to say Turner won't do it again beginning this weekend.

It wasn't that long ago that Tony Dungy had a similar reputation. Couldn't win a thing in Tampa when it counted. For a while, he couldn't win much in Indianapolis when it mattered either. And then suddenly he won the Super Bowl.

Turner is on thin ice however. In this era of immediacy, there is much less margin for error. And when you have an MVP-type in L.T. it's even more unacceptable to fail. But Turner did find a way to get his team into the playoffs. They're a formidable foe to any team regardless of the regular season records. Who's to say Turner's team won't make a run straight through the AFC. The Patriots can't eliminate them this season.

Turner will never have the Bill Belichick or Bill Cowher reputation as a most coveted coach -- until he wins the Super Bowl. He finally reached the conference title game last season. So there is finally some improvement. If the Chargers can continue onward, then Turner's reputation will begin changing for the better.

He has earned the critics over time. Now, he's trying to win them back, one playoff run at a time.

By Zach Leibowitz  |  December 30, 2008; 7:29 AM ET  | Category:  San Diego Chargers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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