During the season when San Diego's special teams was killing the Chargers, Norv Turner stood up for the unit's coach, Steve Crosby, and vowed he wouldn’t be fired during the season.
However, one day after the Chargers’ disappointing season ended, the team announced that Crosby’s contract will not be renewed for the 2011 season.
“We appreciate Steve’s hard work and dedication to this team over the past nine seasons,” Turner said in a statement released by the team.
It is not a surprise that Crosby was let go, but it is surprising that he was let go after the team stuck with him during a terrible stretch. The Chargers had major issues on special teams during the first 11 games of the season before settling down. Five of the Chargers’ seven losses were affected by major problems on special teams.
Earlier in the season, San Diego -- which had to deal with having five long snappers after a 17-year veteran David Binn was lost for the season on opening day -- the Chargers had every imaginable collapse on special teams, including having five punts blocked. Punter Mike Scrifres had one punt blocked in his previous six NFL seasons.
Still, Turner backed Crosby, saying the problems were due to players making plays and not because of Crosby's coaching. San Diego did improve in the area toward the end of the season but finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
San Diego led the NFL in total offense and defense, but its special teams issues helped undermine those accomplishments. In the end, it cost Crosby.