Turner makes living on the hot seat

Turner makes living on the hot seat
December 27, 2012, 9:15 am
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Norv Turner is lauded for his offensive mind, but he has a career head coaching record of 113-122-1. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

ALAMEDA -- Norv Turner knows what the hot seat feels like.

The sixth-year San Diego coach practically lives on it. And many see this Sunday's season finale against the Raiders as his final game with the Chargers. Sound familiar?

"I don't want to minimize the feeling," Turner said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters Wednesday. "I don't believe it's easy (to endure), but it's part of this business and the one thing about it in this league now is it's more and more a part of every team.

"People talk about it…being from year to year, (but) in a lot of situations it ends up being month to month or week to week. So it is definitely a big part of this profession now."

Still, even if 31 other organizations and just about every NFL observer in the country believes Turner is about to coach his last game in San Diego, the Chargers are preparing as if Turner will return.

"That’s what I love about coach Norv, that’s what I love about the coaching staff in general," said Chargers tight end Antonio Gates. "Like I said, man, this is the last game of the season, our season is over with, no postseason for San Diego. And yet we’re preparing as if this is the first game of the season, as if we have a playoff game coming up, and it doesn’t change.

"There’s no shortage of preparation, there’s no shortage of time spent in the meetings. There’s no shortage of practicing and practicing the right way."

As an offensive coordinator, Turner has been seen as a genius, of sorts. Especially in Dallas with the triplets of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. But as a head coach, in Washington, with the Raiders and Chargers? Not so much.

He has a career head coaching record of 113-122-1. In Oakland, he was 5-11 and 4-12 in 2004 and 2005, respectfully. And in San Diego, the Chargers' win totals have gone down since 2009 from 13 to 9 to 8 to 6 thus far this season.

Obviously, with his two-year tenure in Oakland. Turner has a unique perspective on the Raiders. Even if it is undergoing regime change. And yes, Turner is a fan of rookie coach Dennis Allen, who just turned 40 this season. Turner was 42 when he was a rookie head coach in Washington in 1994.

"I know that when you have a new general manager and a new head coach, and all the changes that the Raiders have had, you are in transition," Turner said. "I’m really impressed with Dennis and the way he has approached it, what he has done. He’s really a good defensive mind and he’s going to be an outstanding head coach."

Sound familiar?