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Chargers former GM AJ Smith lifeless at 75, household proclaims

Chargers former GM AJ Smith lifeless at 75, household proclaims


A.J. Smith, the winningest basic supervisor in Los Angeles Chargers historical past, has died, the household introduced Sunday. He was 75.

Smith had been battling prostate most cancers for a number of years, his household famous of their announcement.

“Belying a tricky, matter of reality and no nonsense persona – one synonymous with that of a real soccer man – was A.J.’s softer aspect which included an incredible love for his household, the NFL and the Chargers. The architect of one of many biggest chapters in franchise historical past, A.J. made everybody round him higher with a singular focus and depth that elevated our group,” Chargers proprietor and board chair Dean Spanos mentioned in a press release.

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A.J. Smith (Kent C. Horner/Getty Pictures/File)

“Our hearts are together with his spouse Sue, son Kyle, daughter Andrea and your complete Smith household throughout this troublesome time.”

Smith’s journey within the NFL didn’t begin on the prime as he labored his method up from a part-time scout of the then-San Diego Chargers to basic supervisor in 2003.

Smith constructed the franchise to its greatest years from 2003 to 2012, when it received 98 video games throughout his 10 seasons.

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One of the vital notorious strikes in NFL Draft historical past got here with Smith on the helm in 2004, when Eli Manning and his father, Archie, requested the Chargers not draft him first total out of Ole Miss. However Smith did it anyway and orchestrated a commerce with the New York Giants to have them draft Philip Rivers whereas additionally buying extra draft picks.

Smith would use these to draft three-time Professional Bowl linebacker and 2005 AP Defensive Rookie of the 12 months Shawne Merriman in addition to two-time Professional Bowl kicker Nate Kaeding.

A.J. Smith looks on from balcony

Chargers basic supervisor A.J. Smith is proven throughout coaching camp in San Diego on July 31, 2006. (Donald Miralle/Getty Pictures)

Rivers, after all, went on to be the most effective Chargers quarterback in staff historical past, although Manning would go on to win two Tremendous Bowls with the Giants. Rivers set franchise data with 59,271 yards and 397 landing passes throughout his illustrious tenure with the staff.

Smith additionally made the decision to signal Antonio Gates as an undrafted free agent in 2003; Gates is the all-time franchise file holder with 955 receptions, 11,841 receiving yards and 116 touchdowns.

Smith additionally employed Norv Turner because the staff’s head coach in 2007, who changed Marty Schottenheimer. Smith and Schottenheimer didn’t have a superb relationship, and Smith knew he wanted to make the proper rent to maintain the Chargers shifting in the proper trajectory. 

Turner would go 56-40 throughout his time with the Chargers, however after no Tremendous Bowls, Spanos determined to go in a special route altogether, firing each the coach and Smith in 2012 after the staff went 7-9. Nevertheless, it was simply Smith’s second shedding season as GM.

A.J. Smith addresses media

A.J. Smith (Kirby Lee/Getty Pictures/File)

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Smith’s son, Kyle, adopted in his father’s footsteps and is now the assistant GM for the Atlanta Falcons.

He’s additionally survived by his spouse, Susan, his daughter, Andrea, his son-in-law, Noah, and his three grandchildren.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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