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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Smith Becomes All-Time Winningest GM in Bolts History
The Chargers big win over the Tennessee Titans wouldn’t have been possible without the shrewd free agent additions of Dante Rosario and Jackie Battle. The duo combined for a whopping five touchdowns in helping the team win their second game in a row to kick off the 2012 season. Subtle yet significant additions like those two veterans are a prime example why with the victory, General Manager A.J. Smith became the franchise’s all-time winningest GM in team history.
“I’m very proud of the milestone in Chargers history,” said Smith. “93 wins are a lot of wins, and a lot of talented people were involved in reaching that number. Career wins in our business always get mentioned with general managers, head coaches and quarterbacks. That’s just the way it is. But really, it’s about the entire organization.”
That starts at the very top with Chairman of the Board and President, Dean Spanos.
“I think it’s a great accomplishment, and it says a lot about A.J.,” said Spanos. “He’s been here a little over nine years, and he’s brought a tremendous amount of stability to the organization. He’s a man of strong principles, and he hasn’t deviated much from his belief in terms of how you build a championship team. He believes you do it through good drafts and really prudent free agent moves. I think one of his best qualities is that he’s not afraid to take a chance and make a change and do something that may not be the most popular thing, but he believes that if it gives us the best chance to get to the playoffs and win a Super Bowl, then he’ll do it. He strongly believes in the saying, ‘If you want to be good, play it safe. If you want to be great, you’ve got to take chances.’ That’s sort of been his motto.”
Smith himself is grateful for Spanos’ support, explaining that his encouragement and assistance has allowed him to reach this significant milestone.
“When you have an owner that gives you the resources and support and is with you every step of the way, then you always have a chance to be successful,” he said. “As a general manager, that’s all you can ask for.”
Norv Turner was also impressed with Smith’s feat, emphasizing how much time and effort he puts into making sure the team is constantly at its very best.
“A.J. works as hard as anybody in the game,” said the head coach. “Obviously what we’ve been able to do this offseason with the additions we’ve had in putting this group together, it’s great that he was able to get it right away.”
Despite the accolade, Smith is very much focused on the task at hand, preferring to focus on the team as a whole rather than himself.
“Right now, this organization is focused on winning number 94.”
If the past is any indication, that win should come sooner rather than later.