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IFallsRon

Cottrell fired; who would have guessed?

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Norv Turner, of all people, came up with the San Diego Chargers' hardest hit in weeks when he fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell on Tuesday.

Cottrell was sacked by the head coach in large part because his defense couldn't get to opposing quarterbacks, the most glaring shortcoming for a unit that has had little spark since losing star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman to season-ending knee surgery after the first game.

Cottrell was replaced by inside linebackers coach Ron Rivera, a Super Bowl winner with the Chicago Bears in 1985. Rivera will have the bye week to figure out why the Chargers (3-5) have underperformed.

"Probably the things that we have needed to improve in are the same things that affected us in Week Two and so on," Turner said. "The same things have been an issue throughout the first eight games, at different times."

Any kind of week-to-week improvement "hasn't been there," Turner said. "We've been inconsistent and we've had the same things happen to us over and over in terms of teams throwing for a lot of yardage early in games, making big plays in the passing game and keeping the football."

Cottrell didn't return a call seeking comment. This is the third time he's been fired as a defensive coordinator. He was let go by the New York Jets after the 2003 season and by the Minnesota Vikings after Brad Childress took over as head coach following the 2005 season.

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The only thing good Cottrell ever did for us was helping us sneak in at the eleventh hour to sign Winfield away from the Bills.

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