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Players celebrate San Diego decision

One of the reasons why Norv Turner and A.J. Smith are being brought back to head the San Diego Chargers for the 2012 season is the support they had from the players and the way the team finished the season.

Thanks to the Chargers' PR department, here is a sampling of quotes from a happy bunch of players:

Philip Rivers

On knowing Norv is his coach next season:

“It’s exciting. I think there’s still a great level of disappointment in the season with the way it ended and us not playing into January. It’s exciting to know from a continuity standpoint that our head coach is coming back. It wasn’t the season we wanted but I think there’s no doubt keeping that continuity gives us the best chance to win. Take a little time off and gear up again.”

On fans not knowing what goes on behind closed doors:

“It would be just like in any other place. It would be impossible to know unless you’re in here. Unless you’re doing it daily, with the game plans and the practices, training camps, to really know and appreciate. It’s a lot easier -- believe me, even me -- watching a Monday Night game at the house, where I would throw it than when I’m out there. That’s just the way it is. I think the fans here are passionate, they want to win and they want to win a championship. We do too. We’ve won a lot of games at home the last five years. We’ve won 29 games at home and they (the fans) have had a lot to do with that. Their support is huge. The one thing I know is you win and they’ll be supporting you. So we got to go win and that’s our plan is to go win a bunch of games and ultimately win a championship.”

On team continuity despite the team’s regression the past few seasons record-wise:

“Every year is different. You can’t always progress, so that’d be saying the Green Bay Packers regressed this year unless they win it all. Your record doesn’t always tell the whole story. It’s a constant change, moving pieces, injuries, bad play and good play, and trying to find a way to win games. The longer you keep that continuity and that consistency together, I think it’s proven to win out over time. You look at years’ past in Pittsburgh when they held that together with [Bill] Cowher for all those years. Over time it got done. You got to stick with it and that’s why I’m excited: to stick with it. Because there’s been plenty of 8-8 teams that have bounced back the next year and won it all. That’s obviously the ultimate goal and I think your normal offseason changes -- obviously we’ll have new players and we’ll lose some, hopefully retain a lot of them -- and find ways to improve from last year and go.”

On being outspoken in support of Norv and taking blame if it doesn’t work:

“No. What I take on my shoulders is the fact that we finished 8-8 this year. That was more about play than coaching by far. When you believe in something that doesn’t mean you’re always right. But if you believe in it you got to express it. I believe it is going to work and we are going to win and ultimately win a championship here. Obviously no one knows what’s going to happen. That’s obviously what I believe in and I’m going to do all I can to make that happen.”

Nick Hardwick

“It’s exciting for the continuity. We’ve got a great locker room here and the guys are I’m sure really excited. I’m super excited. Norv’s a heck of a coach. We have a great staff here, a really great staff. I’m just excited to continue to build on what we’ve learned, what we’re going to keep learning, keep moving forward and make a good push.”

Takeo Spikes

“I’m glad Norv is back. Anytime in life when you have stability, whether it’s family or dealing with business, that’s when you see progression start happening. That’s why I love the fact that Norv is back. Like I said earlier, what we have here is not broke. We may need to add a few pieces. But I’ve been places where we were broken and this is not even close to broke.”

Eric Weddle

“It’s great. We keep the guy we want here. We wanted him to lead us. Us as players, we got to go win it for him and make Dean right that he made the right decision. We’re excited to keep our head guys here and keep the continuity and energy up.”

“We know what we have, but we also know that it’s on us. So we have to improve not only for the coaches but for us as players. We’re here and we want to win. That’s what the bottom line is.”

Nate Kaeding

“Really excited. Having been here eight years now it’s a great working relationship with all of us players, Norv and AJ. Anytime you can have continuity and consistency within the organization, from a football player’s standpoint, that’s huge. Familiarity breeds confidence and consistency and those are huge parts of going out and playing and playing well. We’re obviously all really excited.”

Mike Scifres

“It’s exciting, it’s great news. When I got the text that it was happening I was actually on the golf course. There’s a lot of excitement just to know the continuity we’ve had in the locker room around here with him and the group of players we have; it’s big. I think people saw at the end of the season how much he meant to us as players, not just as a coach, but as a man and as a person. We love him, we love playing for him and couldn’t ask for a better person to be here still.”