Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons was a disappointment, and no one understands that more than head coach Norv Turner. That’s why when addressing the media on Monday, he made it clear that he is putting the onus on himself to figure out what went wrong and get the team back on track starting with the upcoming game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I’m as upset as anyone in San Diego,” Turner said. “I don’t like going out and having our team perform the way we performed. It happened, we’ve got to fix it. We will do everything in our power to fix it.. Early in the year, that’s what is happening to teams while they are trying to get everyone on the same page. We’re trying to figure out what guys do what best. We’ve had a lot of work in the offseason but it’s different when games start. We can get a lot better because we’re so new to each other. We have a lot of talent. We need to take care of the football and give ourselves a chance to play four quarters of a game.”
In all, Turner identified three key areas that the team needs to improve in; turnovers, pass protection and the pass rush.
“We’ve got to take care of the ball,” he said. “We can’t turn the ball over. If we turn the football over then we’re not going to beat a team like Atlanta. And that’s got to be our primary goal as we go into our next football game…The two other issues in this game that we have worked hard on and will continue to work hard on, and we spent a lot of time looking at it this morning, is our ability to protect the quarterback and our ability to pressure the quarterback. They are going to be the key things for our season. Obviously in the first two games we were able to pressure the quarterback and in this game we weren’t. And we have to get better at protecting the quarterback.”
Another way Turner plans to make improvements is by evaluating what situations each member of his team excels in and putting them in the best chance to succeed. One player this applies to is
“While we’re getting Ryan Mathews to a point where he can play an extended period and protect the ball, there are certain situations where we’re going to limit his exposure,” he said. “I’m not going to give away our game plan but I think there are certain things that you have more chance (at succeeding) than others. We’re going to look hard. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. We’ll look at each time he has lost the football and we’ve had the teaching reels and all of that. When and where they occur is part of that.”
Turner also expressed the need for the team to come together and find their identity. With so many new players joining the squad this season, he explained that it takes some time to gel and become a complete unit. And with each passing day, the team is getting closer and closer to their goal.
“I said after the Tennessee game when we had those stretches in the middle where we struggled, we’re still searching to find who we are and (how to) play together,” he said. “And that was evident yesterday. We have a lot of work to do to get everyone on the same page. We had stretches where we had everyone on the same page yesterday and there were parts that looked like we were a good football team. But there weren’t enough parts. And that’s something that is going to be ongoing with us. And we’re going to work as hard as we can to get it fixed and get it right.”