The personnel changes came at a rapid pace early in the week. Fans here in southern California were counting the minutes until the San Diego Chargers parted ways with Norv Turner and A.J. Smith. Those fans raised their eyebrows and exclaimed “Huh?” when it was announced on Tuesday that the embattled coach and GM would be retained for 2012.

You can count me among them. Of course, the Chargers performed their annual late-season charge with another big December. Unfortunately, they fell short of an entry into the AFC Playoffs and will sit home while the Broncos represent the division.

It was another topsy-turvy season for the injury-riddled San Diego squad. San Diego raced out to an uncharacteristic 4-1 start before sliding into a six-game losing streak after the Chargers’ Week 6 Bye. That 34-point barrage and dismantling of the Ravens in Week 15 came too late for a playoff berth, but Dean Spanos and the Chargers’ fans were reminded about how good this team can be down the stretch.

I guess it came down to a simple question. Was there a better option on the board to coach the squad if Turner had been relieved of his job? Jeff Fisher is the “name” guy being followed in the interview process. All of the usual suspects, Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden (although MIA has been rumored), Brian Billick and Tony Dungy, are all expected to remain in their respective television roles.

The Week 17 victory over Oakland to knock them out of the playoffs couldn’t have hurt the cause.

We know that Philip Rivers and fantasy owners are happy. What changes can this squad make to put them over the top and capitalize on the unit’s potential?