There had been speculation since the end of last season.
It was either win or move in a different direction.
But all the way through, Coach Norv Turner had the support from his players. The season did not end successfully, but the players always maintained the utmost respect and would not have traded the time spent with their head coach.
When Turner broke the news during a team meeting at the facility Monday morning, the players were saddened by their coach’s dismissal. Here are some of the reactions from the players:
“It’s tough, but you just have to handle yourself and continue to prepare for what’s going to be in the future. We have no idea who’s coming in or what kind of operation we are going to run, but the guys here are going to work hard for whoever comes in. For a moment, we’ll reflect and look back at some of the great times we’ve had and through some of the down periods. All the coaches here have done an amazing job. The last three years have been a little rougher than we have anticipated, but just finding a way to come to work and to work hard, prepare and be positive about everything. We’ve had a great time over the last couple years and especially the last six years with Coach (Turner). It’s been a really good ride with him.”
“Through all the ups and downs, he’s stayed the exact same. He is who he is and he’s not going to change, no matter what’s going on around him. He treats people with respect. He treats the guys that work for him with a lot of respect. So, he gets that respect back. It’s been great to learn from him and to play for him and to study him. It’s been great.”
“It was tough. Even though everyone kind of knew it was coming, been talking about it for about a month now, it really brings to light how we play on the field, how much a reality affects men’s lives. People in our game talk about firing people like it’s nothing, but you’re talking about a man’s career, you’re talking about a man changing what he’s been doing for the last six or seven years. It really brings home reality. This is not just a game. It’s men’s lives.”
“They meant a lot, especially coming off of last season for me. For them to give me the opportunity, that meant a lot. Just getting a chance to know Norv throughout this season, I have all the respect for him not only as a coach, but as a person. He’s a great coach, but even a better person. So when he gives you that opportunity and the way he handled himself throughout all the adversity and everything going on this year and all the rumors everything, for him to come in and approach with the same mentality, that says a lot about him as a man and the character that he possesses. I wish him all the luck in the world and I just appreciate them for giving me an opportunity and taking a shot on me.”
“It sucks. He believed in me and I’m always going to keep in contact with him. It sucks to see him go, but when you’re at this level, it’s a business. That’s how you look at it. You love to play this game and you love to be with one coach and the same teammates the whole time. It’s never going to happen like that.”
“For me personally, it was really tough. Very emotional, disappointing. You kind of see the whole season unravel in front of your eyes. At the beginning of the season, you say ‘this is what I want to do, this is where we want to be’ and when you’re not there at the end, it just hits you on the last day. I learned what a real leader looks like, what a real head coach is supposed to look like. (I) Just (have) a lot of respect for him (Coach Turner) and how he handles his business and how he deals with the team. You couldn’t ask for a better head coach.”
“You always have to pay your respects and your dues to a person who has done this so long at such a high level. (I learned) just how to be a pro and how to handle yourself in a first-class manner.”
“It’s definitely emotional. Coach Turner’s a great coach, a great guy. I’m fortunate enough to come here and be around him and learn from him. I definitely wish him the best. I hope whoever they bring here has the same grid and determination as Coach Turner. I’m sure he will, but he definitely has big shoes to fill.”
“First and foremost, I just want to thank Coach Turner for drafting me last year and bringing me in. He’s a big part of the reason why I’m here. I learned a lot during my two years here. I wish him the best.”
“Very somber day. No one wanted this year to go the way it did in any aspect. We’re fortunate enough to have several good wins, but definitely not enough. Just a sad day all the way around. Everyone has a lot of respect and love for Norv. His compassion, his love, the fans didn’t always see it. But he was a very big competitor. He gave us some of the most fiery speeches this year, especially when things were down. It’s just a testament to the type of person he is, when things got bad, he picked it back up and led this team.”
“It was a pretty emotional day. Players and everybody go their separate ways. It was pretty emotional. It was pretty good. I had a good time with Coach Norv being here. He came in and gave me a big opportunity here. He kind of took care of me, so I was able to show exactly what I can do on the field. He’s a great person and I enjoyed my whole time with him.”