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The new Rasputin

Years ago the Detroit Lions had a head coach named Wayne Fontes.  At the end of every NFL season, Fontes’ name was seemingly at the top if every expert’s list as a coach that would get fired. 

ESPN’s Chris Berman dubbed Fontes “Rasputin” for always pulling off a late season win streaks to save his job. 

Chargers head coach, Norv Tuner may be the new Rasputin.

On Tuesday,  the Chargers announced that the maligned coach would return for a fourth season in San Diego. General Manager, A.J. Smith also kept his job.

So why did the Spanos family keep Turner? They have missed the playoffs the the last years after being one win away from the Super Bowl is Turner’s first season.

Here’s why:

Dean Spanos said in a statement that the players supported Turner.  Quarterback Philip Rivers has been lobbying for Turner…hard.   Can’t say that I blame Rivers. He loves Turner’s offense. And what QB doesn’t love to throw? It helps when the team’s star player uses the media to all but demand the return of Tuner.

Second,  and here is where we get to the core… money.

Suppose you do fire Turner. Then what? Who replaces him?

Some hot, up and coming coordinator? Well, you’ve just alienated your star player.

So you go after a big name.  Jeff Fisher is on everyone’s list, but how much is that going to cost? A lot.

The Spanos family have never been accused of breaking the bank on the Chargers. Turner has two seasons left on a contract extension.  Just don’t see Spanos paying Norv NOT to coach only to open up the check book and pay a very high profile name.  Not happening. 

So Rasputin will be back in S.D.  Some things just never get old. Ask Wayne Fontes.

Follow me on twitter: @mediarodriguez


About jimdcuban

Cuban, Father, Husband. Avid sports fan and lover of cigars, scotch and the female persuasion.


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