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A.J. Smith's Address: Moving Forward, Not Back
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As the Chargers begin the first of four straight days away from football per the NFL’s new policy regarding the bye week, General Manager A.J. Smith sat down with Chargers.com to discuss the state of the team.
Like everyone else, Smith is disappointed in the results of the last two weeks. Still, he is confident that head coach Norv Turner will turn the team around and get them back to their winning ways, starting with their next game against the Cleveland Browns.
“Things have not gone well for us in recent weeks,” he said from his office at Chargers Park. “But that’s in the past. It’s time to move on and do everything we can to try and get a win against Cleveland. The NFL is a tough league and disappointment is going to smack you in the face somewhere along the line. No team ever avoids it, but how teams handle the disappointment is always the key to a team’s success.”
To that end, Smith is proud of the Chargers resolve. When he looks at the team, he sees a group of men determined to learn from the previous two weeks and come back strong when they take the field on October 28 in Cleveland.
“We have a great group of guys in our locker room, and they are as upset as everyone else,” he said. “Our coaches are grinding away, and coach Turner is taking a real hard look at things in a number of areas as we move forward.”
According to Smith, the bye is coming at a perfect time for the Chargers. Despite losing two in a row, they are still in good shape in the standings and have plenty of time left to prove they are a force to be reckoned with in the league.
“We have 10 games left, and the last time I checked the standings, it says we are tied for first place with Denver,” he said. “Right now our team is reflecting back on our games played this season, and we are refocusing and resting. Then we will return to get ready for our next game.”
Overall, Smith wants Chargers fans to know he hears them, and understands how upset they are. He’s always been vocal about the passionate Bolts fan base and how their support means a lot to the organization. To that end, he is determined to put a product out on the field that they can be proud of.
“I know a lot of our fans are upset about our recent games and should be,” said Smith. “Their passion is what drives our sport. They can be critical, but I also know that they can be there with us with great support and enthusiasm. But it’s a two way street. We have to win games, turn the corner with consistent winning football. We have to give them something to believe in and get excited about. We are going to do that. We have to.”