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Playoff-Less Eagles, Chargers Retain Coaches After 8-8 Years

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Head Coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers
Head Coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers. Photographer: Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Coaches Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles and Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers retained their jobs after missing the National Football League playoffs.

The Chargers also said General Manager A.J. Smith will be back in 2012, and the Minnesota Vikings announced that Rick Spielman would take over that same position.

The Chicago Bears fired General Manager Jerry Angelo and said Mike Martz won’t return as offensive coordinator. Lovie Smith will return for a ninth season as head coach after the Bears lost five of their final six games to finish 8-8.

Reid, 53, led the Eagles to an 8-8 record in a season that began with his team among the favorites to win the Super Bowl. He has the NFL’s longest current coaching tenure, going 126-81-1 in 13 years in Philadelphia, where he has won seven division titles.

“This season was without question the most disappointing season since I’ve owned the team,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said at a televised news conference. “There’s no doubt in my mind if our focus is on trying to win a championship next year, the best coach for that is Andy.”

Philadelphia has made the playoffs nine times under Reid and reached the Super Bowl once, losing to the New England Patriots after the 2004 season. The Eagles were tied as the third favorite to win the Super Bowl entering this season, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers.

When quarterback Michael Vick signed a six-year contract that may be worth $100 million before the season, he said the Eagles’ expectations were to win a championship. Philadelphia, coming off a 10-6 season, bolstered its defense with the acquisition of free agents Nnamdi Asomugha at cornerback and Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin on the line.

Eagles’ Slow Start

The Eagles got off to a 1-4 start and were 4-8 before finishing the season with a four-game winning streak with a victory against Washington.

Chargers President Dean Spanos stressed continuity as he announced that both Turner and Smith will return after San Diego missed the playoffs for the second straight year.

“Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs,” Spanos said today in a statement released by the Chargers. “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’s Record

Turner, 59, who took the Chargers to the playoffs in his first three seasons there as head coach, is 49-31 in the regular season in five years with San Diego, which ended its season with a 38-26 win at Oakland that knocked the Raiders out of playoff contention.

“Two years ago we were 13-3, and since that time whether it be for circumstances with contracts, injuries or guys leaving the team, we have not been able to keep that team on the field for an extended period of time,” Turner said during a news conference in the final week of the regular season.

Turner took over in San Diego after seven seasons as head coach with the Washington Redskins and two years leading the Oakland Raiders. He also has been an offensive coordinator for four NFL teams, including the Chargers.

Turner led the Chargers to three straight American Football Conference West division titles in 2007-09 and was chosen NFL Coach of the Year by USA Today in 2009. San Diego reached the AFC Championship game in his first year as head coach.

Spielman’s promotion from vice president of player personnel was announced by the Vikings in a statement.

“Rick has proven to be a valuable member of the organization since joining the Vikings in 2006,” team President Mark Wilf said in a statement. “With Rick’s and Coach (Leslie) Frazier’s leadership, the Vikings are well-positioned to win next season and beyond.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net; Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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