San Diego Charger's head coach Norv Turner vs. New York Jet's head coach Rex Ryan: Turner should have stayed out of it

[caption id="attachment_184" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Coach Norv Turner latest to fall victim to Rex Ryan's media mind game."][/caption]

Norv Turner had a chance to shove Rex Ryan’s words back into his mouth. Heck, after the first half was dominated by his San Diego Chargers against the New York Jets Sunday, he could’ve made Rex choke on them. The only way to combat Rex Ryan’s verbal jabs is to keep silent with the media, but give as big of a metaphoric middle finger as you can on the field. For two quarters on Sunday it seemed that’s exactly what Norv had prepared his team to do.

Still, Rex Ryan got away with another deliberately personal remark as he seems to do frequently with the NFL media. And he did it by catching the San Diego coach taking his bait.


Coach Turner broke the fundamental rule in coach, and more specifically, football coach rhetoric by not heeding the cliché, “don’t get mad, get even.” Last Wednesday, in a vintage Rex Ryan move, the Jet’s coach told media in San Diego if he were hired as Chargers head coach instead of Turner, “the franchise would have two Super Bowls by now.” If that isn’t another way to say, “You’re not very good at your job and I’m better” then I don’t know what is. That would be like LeBron saying if he went to Miami sooner, he would have one, two, three, etc. rings. It just doesn’t make sense to share even if it were true. But what’s more questionable is why a retaliation comment is necessary.

According to Norv it was. Knowing the comment was made, Norv Turner fired back asking Rex Ryan where those parades and championships in New York he promised are. This is a mistake for two reasons:

  • 1 A statement like that can be used, turned, twisted, to become motivational fuel for a Jets team pre-Sunday kickoff or halftime. Also, if you don’t win it blows up in your face, not Rex’.

  • 2 Norv Turner is under reasonable scrutiny for not delivering with a talented team rich with disappointing shortcomings in the past few years, so he shouldn’t draw attention to that.

As bad as the wounds of a loss for Norv Turner are right about now, they are not salted by watching his nemesis Rex Ryan back up his words at his dispense. But rather seeing regenerative life given to a rival AFC team and spawning questions of doubt for his own team. He had a chance to bury the Jets in a 3-4 record of panic with their first home defeat. And yet, the Chargers will still be seeking answers on how to win big games against teams they more than likely will have to see down the road in the playoffs.

When will coaches realize a keep-quiet attitude is the only way to deal with Rex Ryan’s recurring rhetoric and hounding demeanor? Maybe if Ryan never had the chance to use Norv Turner’s words at halftime during a 10-21 hole the San Diego Chargers could be 5-1 sitting in the driver seat a lap ahead of a broken down sub-.500 Jets team. But then again, maybe with Rex Ryan as the Chargers coach instead of Norv Turner there might have been one or two new championship banners in San Diego. What we do know is now with the AFC race tighter, it’s obvious Rex got his way. Instead of him choking on his words and dealing with a sputtering Jets team, he can feast on winning a dramatic comebacker and eluding negative upshots from another verbal media prizefight.

No matter what retribution is verbalized from anybody representing San Diego Chargers (as there has been since Sunday), the only message that will stick is a W against the Jets if the two teams meet each other in the playoffs in what would be a personal grudge match. For now, the Chargers and their fans have to, and should, sit back and take Rex Ryan's flaunting, bragging and quipping. Maybe they should even listen to Rex and his recent witticism, a page from Ron Burgundy in the movie Anchorman, to “Stay classy San Diego.”

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