Schottenheimer Finally Walks The Plank

We'll return to our film, The Road To Dennis Green, after these messages.

We love February NFL firings; they just seem so ill-advised and capricious. As you've surely heard by now, Marty Schottenheimer was given the old heave-ho by the Chargers on Monday (thank God this news was timed so as not to disrupt the pagentry of Pro Bowl Week), who cited "a dysfunctional situation" between the coach and GM A.J. Smith as the reason. Anyway, Marty seems almost relieved.

"I'm doing fine," Schottenheimer said. "This business is too hard — it's hard to be successful if you don't have everybody on the same page."

But now the fun part; who's next? Of course we'll get another round of Pete Carroll speculation, and the names of James Lofton, Mike Singletary, Norv Turner, Russ Grimm and even Dick Vermeil are being bandied about. (What, no Steve Mariucci? Do we hear Seifert? Mornhinweg? Do we hear a Jim Essian?) At any rate, we think we'll all agree that the top candidates are all safely ensconced in other jobs, including two from the Chargers' own staff. Do owner Dean Spanos and Smith have any kind of exit strategy here? Doesn't seem so. Unless ... say hello to Bill Parcells!

By the way, the good news about this? Come playoff time, the Chargers should be just fine.

Chargers Fire Schottenheimer [San Diego Union Tribune]
Chargers Fire Schottenheimer After 14-2 Season [MSNBC]