Norv Turner on Offseason Additions, Peyton Manning in Denver and Improvements he Wants the Chargers to Make

May 17, 2012 – 7:45 am by Brad Gagnon

Norv Turner’s San Diego Chargers haven’t won a playoff game since Turner’s first year with the team, 2008. That has many believing that 2012 will be a make-or-break season for Turner. The problem is that with the Chiefs getting healthy again and the Broncos adding Peyton Manning, the AFC West might be stronger than ever.

Chargers head coach Norv Turner joined Seat Williams on ESPN 1100 in Las Vegas to talk about the upcoming season, looking specifically at offseason additions, the shape of the division now that Peyton Manning is involved and the improvements he hopes to see from his team in 2012.

On first-round pick Melvin Ingram:

“He’s everything as advertised. He’s a outstanding athlete, great first step. Very, very physical player. So we’re excited about our draft.”

On free-agent acquisitions Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal and Le’Ron McClain:

“He (Meachem) adds a real speed dimension to our offense. He’s got a different type of speed because there’s some quickness involved. Vincent Jackson, as much as I love him and had a great time with him, is a build-up speed guy. I think Robert gives us a bit of a different dimension. And then you talk about Eddie Royal, the stereotype slot receiver, great punt returner. The guy I’m really excited that we added in the offseason is Le’Ron McClain, because he’s a very versatile player and he’s a big old-school fullback. But he’s a good runner, he’s got good catching skills and I think he’ll be a big addition.”

On the addition of Peyton Manning to the AFC West:

“Well I’m excited about our division because to me it’s always been tough, and when you play within your division, everyone of those games is a knockdown, drag-out…Peyton brings a different dimension to Denver. Sometimes a different dimension’s great, sometimes it’s not as good as everyone wants. They’ve been a defensive team. Last year they did most of what they did on defense, ran the ball extremely well. So I just know our division’s gonna be good and I think it will translate not only into our games being more competitive but I think our division will have more success throughout the league.”

On what he wants the team to improve on going into 2012:

“Well there’s two areas and if our players were here they’d tell you exactly what I’ve been telling them since we got back together. We’ve gotta become a much better team on third down defensively. We were last in the league on defense on third down. And we were not only last in the league, we were really bad against the better teams, against the best passing teams. And then offensively…in every way we handle the ball we’ve gotta protect the ball better. Everyone talks about special teams two years ago, but over the last two years the turnovers and the timing of the turnovers have been our biggest problem.”

Listen to Norv Turner on ESPN 1100 here

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