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#GoIrish #Aztecs #SDGulls #Raiders #THFC #RipCity
Staff member
Jun 20, 2005
Chula Vista, CA

There's talk in league circles that Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith secretly is planning to fire coach Marty Schottenheimer after all head coaching vacancies are filled. The suspicion is that, after the Raiders make their hire (in April, perhaps) Smith will scuttle Schottenheimer and promote defensive coordinator Wade Phillips (after, or course, satisfying the Rooney Rule by interviewing James Lofton or Ted Cottrell or the cook from South Park).

Several weeks ago, Jay Glazer of FOX reported that Smith had discussed with ownership the possibility of dumping Marty, but that a decision was made at the time to stay the course.

Tensions gradually have been rising between Schottenheimer and Smith. Last season, Smith traded backup quarterback Cleo Lemon without consulting Schottenheimer, even though was a Marty favorite. They also butted heads sharply in the past regarding Doug Flutie, a Smith guy.

There also were rumors that Schottenheimer opted for a starter-heavy lineup in the regular season finale even though the then-9-6 Chargers were eliminated from playoff contention (and even though backup quarterback Philip Rivers has gotten precious few live reps in two seasons) because Schottenheimer's contract provides for a hefty bonus if he leads the team to ten wins. Starter Drew Brees emerged from the game with a serious shoulder injury, throwing a wrench into the team's options for managing their quarterback situation in an offseason in which Brees will hit the open market, absent a one-year tender in the neighborhood of $10 million.

It looks like Schottenheimer could be hitting the open market as well, but after all of the jobs for 2006 are filled.