The Chargers brass decided that head coach Anthony Lynn wouldn't be a part of their future moving forward on Monday morning. After four seasons, they fired their head coach and finished with a 33-31 record.
Lynn was a different style of head coach that the Spanos family hired. He was genuine, spoke his mind, and really cared about his players.
When Mike McCoy was fired in 2017, it felt like the mood in the locker room was indifferent.
On Monday, speaking to the players before they conducted their exit interviews, you could tell they liked Lynn as a person, which if anyone knew him on a personal level, they could understand.
Chargers safety Derwin James spoke to the media for the first time in a while, and after answering rehab questions, he spoke about his former head coach. James told a story about how the day after he got hurt in training camp, he got a call from his security at the main gate, and they told him he had a visitor.
It was Lynn. He wanted to check up on James and see how he was doing mentally.
"That meant more to me as a player than any play," said James.
The former head coach was also very close to his players. After Jacob Blake's shooting by a police officer, Lynn decided to cancel their practice at SoFi Stadium. Instead, the players and coaches had open dialogue in the locker room. They went to the field and together took turns speaking to NFL Network about the events taking place in the country at the time.
"I'll speak for myself and meant a lot to me, you know, I know, that takes that takes a lot to you know, put some things on the line, and stand up for something that you believe in," said running back Justin Jackson. "He was always willing to do that, you know, he did some amazing stuff in the offseason, you know, overseas, and Africa and other places, you know, build in school, like all just all type of stuff that, like you said, on the human level is just, it's just incredible."
Lynn's foundation is involved in many different projects because, like the players, he feels like he is more than a coach. He wants to make the world a better place.
"As a man just teaching us how to go about our business and just be accountable and just fight for one another," said free safety Nasir Adderley. "I got a tremendous amount of respect for him and appreciation of him just the way he just helped me adjust to the NFL and stuff like that. So, he definitely going to be missed."
Lynn was tasked with developing rookie quarterback Justin Herbert while also trying to stay competitive in the NFL. He signed quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton to help him with it.
The young quarterback put up historical numbers throughout the year and put his team in positions to win. It was hard for the young quarterback to see his head coach go.
"I really believe in Coach Lynn," said Herbert. "I enjoyed our time working together. Tough situation, but I believe in this locker room, I believe in this organization, and I know going forward, we're going to be better."
When coming out of college, one of the knocks on the young quarterback was his quiet demeanor. His NFL head coach encouraged him to speak up.
"Being a leader, and he forced me to step up and be more vocal," said Herbert. "I appreciate the most because he pushed me every day."
A little over five weeks ago, the Chargers suffered a 45-0 franchise-worst loss to the New England Patriots. That is when the questions about Lynn became loudest. Instead of the team unraveling, they decided to come together and go on a four-game win streak.
"He was definitely a guy that never lost the focus of the team," said cornerback Chris Harris Jr. "We had some tough times, but he was able to get us to fight together, still play hard for him. That's the type of leadership he had on us that kept that accountability."
The players know the kind of person Lynn is and the kind of coach he has been for them. The feeling during the press conferences on Monday was that the players would genuinely miss their head coach.
They all thanked him for what he had done for them.
"I'm forever grateful to Coach Lynn," said linebacker Drue Tranquill. "Due to him and Tom Telesco, I have the opportunity to be out here with the Chargers. So, I'm forever indebted to him, and I wish him nothing but the best moving forward."