A.J. Smith presided over the most successful 10-year stretch in San Diego Chargers history. Smith's time as general manager of the Bolts is over, and he understands why team president Dean Spanos made the decision to move on after a third dark postseason in a row.
"When you win, you do things right. When you lose, you do things wrong," Smith told UT-San Diego's Kevin Acee in an entertaining Q&A. "Whatever we were all doing -- front office, coaches, players -- was not good enough. A new era in Chargers history is underway because of it -- as it should be. Ultimately, it's all my responsibility to make it happen.
"We are in a bottom-line business. Results are the only things that matter," he said. "Get to the playoffs often, win in the playoffs and ultimately win a Super Bowl. Our last three years tells you Dean was right."
Norv Turner also was shown the door Monday. Smith feels responsible for that while also taking credit with the steady criticism Turner faced during his entire run as Chargers coach. Smith was asked if his hiring of Turner was the beginning of his own downfall.
"No, he is an outstanding coach," Smith replied. "The disrespect aimed at him throughout his career has always bothered me. If I had done a better job, he would still be here. Together, we did not win."
As for what's next, Acee asked Smith if he could imagine himself getting into television. Smith certainly has the wit and sharp tongue for the job.
"You have to know everything about everything to have a job like that," he said. "I'm not qualified to enter that line of work."
There's that wit we were telling you about.