The Dean Spanos Chargers fans had come to know did not inspire confidence. He seemed to be a risk averse man that was bad at gauging risk. He earned this reputation with his handling of all of the high profile decisions he had faced since the death of John Butler.

When his Head Coach, Marty Schottenheimer, and General Manager, A.J. Smith, were unable to work together, Spanos refused to act, instead waiting until Schottenheimer forced his hand. In the resulting Head Coach search Spanos allowed Smith to conduct a farce of a coaching search in which the decision to hire Norv Turner appeared to have been made in advance by Smith.

When his team missed the playoffs for a second straight season, but "finished strong," Dean Spanos blinked and was unable to pull the trigger on firing Turner and Smith. This failure to act gave Chargers fans another year of lame duck Head Coach and GM and another wasted year of Philip Rivers' career.