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Chargers fire assistant coaches

SAN DIEGO (Jan. 18, 2006) -- The San Diego Chargers fired offensive line coach Carl Mauck and assistant secondary coach Albert Lewis.

Each had a year left on his contract.

"At times this can be a difficult business and we have to make tough decisions," coach Marty Schottenheimer said in a statement. "These are good football men with valuable experience in this league. I thanked them for their hard work and wished them both well."

Mauck was hired last offseason after Hudson Houck took a big-money offer from Miami. The Chargers returned their entire line from the team that won the AFC West title in 2004, although left tackle Roman Oben got hurt on Oct. 30 and didn't play again.

The line struggled late in the season, when the Chargers lost three of their last four games to miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons, finishing 9-7.

Schottenheimer was irritated enough with the line after a loss at Kansas City on Dec. 24 that he spoke in the third person, saying: "We haven't run the ball as efficiently as Marty Schottenheimer would like to run the ball."

In the season finale against Denver on Dec. 31, Broncos safety John Lynch blew through the line to blindside quarterbacks Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. The hit on Brees caused him to fumble, and he hurt his shoulder in the scramble for the ball, requiring surgery.

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