<
>

Turner was overlooked for award

You know how I feel about this.

Norv Turner got robbed.

The Associated Press’ NFL coach of the year was announced and Turner didn’t win. It’s ridiculous. Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis took home the award. My beef really isn’t about Lewis. It’s all about Turner, who finished third in the voting. Turner received nine of the 50 votes.

That’s about 41 votes less than he deserved.

No coach had a better year than Turner. The Chargers went 13-3 and are the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. San Diego has won an NFL-high 11 straight game and it is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Turner’s team overcame several early-season injuries and a 2-3 start. Quarterback Philip Rivers continued his steady progress under Turner. The Chargers adopted the cool, calm demeanor of their coach as they continued to improve throughout the year.

Turner deserves great credit for his team’s 2009 season. But he was shunned.

Turner deserves to be freed his reputation of being a good offensive coordinator, but an ineffective head coach. Turner received the label after lackluster head-coaching stints in Washington and in Oakland. His hiring in San Diego was widely criticized. I believe he didn’t win the award because several voters couldn’t get over his reputation as a bad coach. Perception ruled over reality.

The truth is Turner proved the doubters wrong. He is a fine head coach. It’s a shame he wasn’t rewarded for it.