SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Chargers are set to play the last game of a disappointing season, which could bring down the curtain on the reign of coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith.
The Chargers (6-9) will play host to the Oakland Raiders (4-11) at a sold-out Qualcomm Stadium, concluding their third consecutive non-playoff season. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 1:25 p.m., U-T San Diego reported Dec. 6 that team President Dean Spanos has decided to fire Turner and Smith after the season. Spanos subsequently issued a denial.
Turner told reporters on Friday that he has enjoyed the last week of practice, and since rumors about his job status started about one month ago, he and his staff have focused on preparations. Turner has a 55-40 record in six seasons as the Chargers’ coach and a 113-122-1 record in 15 seasons as an NFL coach, which also includes seven seasons with the Washington Redskins and two with the Raiders.
Since becoming general manager in 2003, Smith has built teams that won more than 10 games in a season four times. However, the Chargers have a combined record of 23-24 over the past three seasons, and detractors say he has run too many talented players out of town with his stubborn demeanor.
The San Diego Police Department will increase staffing levels for the contest. SDPD Lt. Andra Brown told City News Service that officers will patrol the parking lot before and after the game, and be inside the stadium during the game.