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Embattled Coach-Provocateur Says He Laments Injuries, Refuses to Blame Woes on Players, Expects Better Things in Near Future

"I'll miss Cutler, but have you seen Tebow's numbers over the past couple of weeks? Kid is on fire!"


INSIDE THE SITUATION ROOM IN "TURNER'S FOLLY" - Chargers Coach Norv Turner has had a rough season this year, no question about that. But he's kept at it, and when I spoke with him last night, he declared that his efforts were ready to bear fruit. "There have been a lot of sleepless nights, and a lot of days when I didn't see the sun because I was poring over stats and developing new data models, but I'm pretty sure it was worth it," said Turner with a smile. "I call my new athletic-analysis software Final Fantasy Football, because it's the last word in player selection and deployment. Yessir, things are gonna change for Team Turner. I guarantee it."

Turner cracked a cold one, settled back into his Charger-blue leather Barcalounger, and pressed a button on the armrest. Instantly, one of the room's 60-inch plasma screens sparked into life, displaying Turner's player page on Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. "For instance, who could have known that a shaky, Jesus-happy rookie like Tebow would be putting up top-flight numbers at this point in the season? Me, that's who. He had 16.9 against the Jets - best of anyone in the game. Against the Raiders, he had 24.76! And I have high hopes for this Sunday."

When this reporter reminded Turner that Sunday would pit Tebow and the Broncos against San Diego, the coach of the 4-6 Chargers paused a moment. Then he smiled again and said, "Don't I know it."

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