Sports Outside the Beltway

Chargers Fire Marty Schottenheimer After 14-2 Season

The San Diego Chargers have firefired Marty Schottenheimer after he took a team with a first year starter at quarterback to a 14-2 record.

Sources close to Marty Schottenheimer and the San Diego Chargers said the coach was fired by the team Monday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported.

Schottenheimer and Chargers general manager A.J. Smith have been having disagreements over staffing after losing a number of assistants. Dean Spanos, the team president, told Schottenheimer on Monday that it wasn’t going to work between him and Smith.

Three days after the Chargers melted down in a stunning 24-21 playoff loss to New England, Spanos decided that bringing Schottenheimer back for the final year of his contract gave San Diego its best chance to win.
Schottenheimer, though, declined the team’s offer of a one-year extension for 2008 worth $4.5 million, with a $1 million buyout.

“Right now, I wasn’t comfortable accepting it,” Schottenheimer told the Associated Press shortly after the season. He would have earned more than $3 million in 2007.

With a regular-season record of 200-126-1 with Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington and San Diego, Schottenheimer is the most successful coach never to have reached the Super Bowl.

Absolutely bizarre. Schottenheimer has been incredibly successful at every stop but continues to have the misfortune to work for morons. There’s no way he should have had a 14-2 run in Philip Rivers’ inaugural season. And firing him because of a close loss to the Team of the Decade in the playoffs makes no sense.

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Wow. I don’t believe it.

Especially . . . ESPECIALLY in a season where you just lost both your offensive and defensive coordinators. Wouldn’t you want to keep something from your last, very successful year.

Yeah, I’m thinking the Chargers will not be repeating as a good team this year.

The quote from A.J. Smith is priceless: “Although Schottenheimer said last week that change was inevitable, Smith sounded concerned, saying, “Both in the same year � Wow.”"

And this is BEFORE Shottenheimer was fired – Smith was just concerned with losing his coordinators. Now . . . that guys has got to be sweating bullets.

Posted by Brandon Minich | February 12, 2007 | 10:20 pm | Permalink

I am actually surprised that Schottenheimer wasn’t fired earlier. His team should have defeated New England. The Patriots as good as they have been lucked into that win thanks to a poor game plan and undisciplined players. Schottenheimer is not responsible for poor execution, but he is responsible at the end of the day for the overall success or failure of the team. His refusal to sign the contract extension with the buyout signaled that his tenure was to say the least tenuous. Rather than drag it out all season, the Chargers axed him, after all the coaching vacancies have been filled. I am not crazy about the timing, but I think San Diego is a better team next year. The talent is the same. A new coaching style might get them past their first playoff game for a change.

Posted by Ennuipundit | February 13, 2007 | 08:36 am | Permalink

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