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Spanos keeps Turner, Smith for 2012

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POSTED January 3, 2012 9:39 p.m.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Chargers President Dean Spanos has decided to keep coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith despite the team missing the playoffs for the second straight season amid increasing fan discontent.

Spanos made his decision Tuesday, two days after the Chargers finished 8-8 by beating Oakland to keep the Raiders out of the playoffs.

“Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs,” Spanos said in a statement. “A.J. Smith is the best man to improve our roster, and Norv Turner is the best man to lead that roster on the field.”

Turner is 49-31 in five years in San Diego but only 3-3 in the playoffs. He is 107-113-1 in three stints as a head coach, including with Washington and Oakland. Both of those teams fired him.

San Diego went 4-1 at the beginning and end of the season but was undone by a six-game losing streak in the middle. One more win would have earned the Chargers the AFC West title.

Smith has come under fire for the erosion of talent from a roster that at one time was considered among the NFL’s best.

Turner was hired in February 2007 after Marty Schottenheimer was fired for what Spanos said was a “dysfunctional” relationship with Smith. Turner inherited a team that went 14-2 before melting down in a home playoff loss to New England.

Turner got the Chargers to the AFC championship game his first season before losing at New England. Since then, though, there’s been a steady decline in postseason success. San Diego has won only one playoff game in the last four seasons. Its last postseason appearance was an embarrassing home loss to the New York Jets in January 2010.

Martz out as Bears’ offensive coordinator

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Mike Martz is out after two seasons as the Chicago Bears’ offensive coordinator.

The team has confirmed on Tuesday that Martz will not be back. Hours earlier, general manager Jerry Angelo was fired.

The changes come after the Bears finished 8-8 following a collapse marked by season-ending injuries to quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte, along with the arrest of backup receiver Sam Hurd on federal drug charges.

Chicago dropped five in a row following a 7-3 start before closing out the season with a win at Minnesota.

Martz had an expiring contract, and speculation that he might be on his way out mounted as the losses piled up. Quarterbacks coach Shane Day will not be back, either.

Jeff Fisher interviews for Dolphins coaching job

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Fisher has completed an interview for the Miami Dolphins’ head coaching job.

Fisher departed the team’s complex at mid-afternoon Tuesday the same way he arrived — via owner Stephen Ross’ helicopter. The Dolphins then confirmed the visit.

He’s believed to be the Dolphins’ top choice, and Ross is willing to pay big money, but competition from other NFL teams may be fierce.

The Buccaneers and Rams fired their coaches on Monday, increasing to five the number of top vacancies. The Rams’ vice president and chief operating officer, Kevin Demoff, happens to be the son of Fisher’s agent, Marvin Demoff.

Fisher coached the Titans franchise for 17 years and led Tennessee to the 2000 Super Bowl.

Lurie says Reid will return to Eagles

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie says coach Andy Reid will return for his 14th season in Philadelphia, though he left open the possibility for changes on the coaching staff.

Lurie called this 8-8 season the “most disappointing” of his ownership. He also used words like “dismal,” ‘’unfathomable,” ‘’ludicrous,” and “terrible” to describe it.

Reid has led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six NFC East titles, five conference championship games and one Super Bowl loss in 13 seasons. Lurie says he considered Reid’s track record, both long-term and short-term, and his intangibles when deciding to keep him.

Team president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman also will return. Lurie says Reid has final say on all moves, and will decide whether to make changes on his staff.

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