As week 4 approaches in the NFL, you look around and there are quite a few surprising teams out there: the Packers, the whole AFC South, and the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have the same amount of losses going into week 4 that they had going into last season’s divisional playoff game. It is safe to say that they are off to a rocky start to say the least.

Tomlinson has been completely shut down, the O-line looks disastrous, and the defense is just decent, rather than dominant. It gets you thinking, can a team with the same roster as last season really be this out of whack just one season later? That answer is: absolutely. They have a new head coach and two new coordinators, but the real person to blame in this debacle is the general manager, A.J. Smith.

He has been praised for building the Chargers into an AFC powerhouse, but how do you explain firing someone who loses in the playoffs to hiring a coach who loses in the regular season? Marty Schottenheimer has a career winning percentage of .613 in 21 seasons of coaching while Norv Turner’s coaching record was 49-59-1 in 7 seasons with the Redskins, and 9-23 in 2 seasons with the Oakland Raiders, with only 1 playoff appearance in 9 seasons of being a head coach. Other than A.J Smith and coach Schottenheimer having a rocky relationship, I just can not see how he can justify this move a season after finishing 14-2.

In this salary cap era it is almost impossible to have a stacked team of pro bowl players. Coaching, game planning, and bringing in the right players for the system are more important then ever. The game is a lot more strategical than in the past.

It was a complete bone-head move to cut ties with a coach whom the players loved, and went an outstanding 14-2, and hire someone who has had virtually no success as a head coach. The Chargers upcoming games are all tough division battles and if they don’t turn it around soon, they will be outside looking in come January.

-Paul Schackman