ESPN is reporting tonight that tempers between A.J. Smith and Marty Schottenheimer have boiled over, with the latter relieved of his San Diego Chargers head coaching duties.

Needless to say, this is an interesting development after Schottenheimer turned down an extension last month. And consider the following item by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Nick Canepa that ran earlier today.

Four assistants have left for better jobs. The offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, has become head coach of the Dolphins. The defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, has become head coach of the Cowboys. The tight ends coach, Rob Chudzinski, now is Cleveland’s offensive coordinator. Linebackers coach Greg Manusky has left to run San Francisco’s defense.

What a nightmare.

œThe guy you’re talking to is not panicking, says head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who’s already filled all but one of the positions and is working on a successor to Phillips. œPeople are running wild in the streets. The house isn’t on fire.

Maybe I look at football with a different eye than most. I believe it’s easier to find good coaches than good players.

œI’m not so sure of that, Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith says. œLet me think about that one.
Of course, in four years, Smith has managed to build the most talented roster in the sport, so he can find terrific players. But not everyone can, or every team would be good.

It’s not a big deal “ if Schottenheimer indeed finds qualified coaches, who are out there. But Smith thinks losing both coordinators, especially, is a blow. He figured he’d lose one, maybe, not two.

œBoth of those guys are gone. Whew! Smith says. œIt happened in New England, but they had three championship rings. This is bizarre. We’re taking a hit and we haven’t won anything. We have nothing. Two playoff appearances and we can’t get out of the gate. To take a hit like this is hard, especially without having a ring.