The Chargers made general manager Tom Telesco available on Wednesday afternoon. Telesco's end of the season press conference is where he usually talks about positives/negatives from the season and what to look for in the future.
This press conference was different because the team fired head coach Anthony Lynn on Monday morning.
Telesco was asked various questions ranging from his job security to what he is looking for in a head coach.
Here are some of the news and notes from the presser:
- Telesco started by acknowledging Lynn. He stated that he was so appreciative to Lynn for ushering them during a difficult period of moving from San Diego to Los Angeles. He believes that Lynn made him a better general manager and is hopeful Lynn will get another opportunity.
- The Chargers have some coaches under contract still from the Lynn era. Telesco stated on Wednesday that the new head coach would have a say on his new staff. The general manager said he would make suggestions but ultimately up to the new man in charge.
- Telesco made it clear they want to hire a head coach. Someone to overlook the entire team, not just one side of the football. He said they are open to anyone as long as they have strong leadership, good communication skills, and high character.
- Telesco was asked about his job security after not winning the division in his tenure, reaching an AFC Championship or Super Bowl. Telesco said he understood that but that he feels "we have an opportunity to ascend and ascend quickly."
- He said he understood the fan frustration but felt like the team has so much talent, especially with a franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert on offense. On defense, he pointed to linebacker Kenneth Murray, safety Derwin James, and defensive end Joey Bosa.
- When asked to describe Herbert, "he had a heck of a year." The general manager pointed to the young quarterback's poise and his play this season. He finished it off by saying, "He has a really, really bright future here."
- Lynn being a first-time offensive coordinator then turned head coach doesn't mean the Chargers will only be looking for coaches with experience, "what you don't want to do when you're hiring a head coach is look back and see exactly, 'hey, this is where we missed on this, this has to change, you have to go for the exact opposite.' That's not really how it works, you're looking for a lot of the same things."
- Telesco was asked about the offensive line struggles. He pointed to injuries, new players coming in, and players having to switch positions. He gave props to offensive line coach James Campen for the job he did with all the moving parts.
- Telesco did say, "I think there's a lot of improvement that needs to be made in that area." Speaking about the offensive line.
- He believes that defensive tackle Jerry Tillery took "a huge step" this last season. He also thought safety Nasir Adderley, "I think he's going to keep getting better." Telesco finished off talking about both of his highest draft picks in 2019, "I've got high hopes for those guys."
- Telesco mentioned that the decision to fire Lynn came after the Kansas City game, and he noted it wasn't just one reason why.
- The general manager gave the team credit for bouncing back after the 45-0 New England loss, "our coaching staff and the players at that point, we were out of it, obviously, could have just mailed it in, and nobody did. We won those last four games."
- Telesco said while they did win those final four games, they needed to look at the whole body of work.
- Telesco was asked what he would tell the fan base to give them confidence going into his third head coach hire, which Telesco said he feels like "there's some exciting portions to it," basically meaning that the team has exciting pieces to it. He also added, "I've got a lot of work to do. I've got a lot of work to do with the next staff. But I certainly appreciate the confidence that ownership has shown me."
- During the final two seasons of Mike McCoy and Anthony Lynn, they were a combined 14-33 in one-score games while Telesco didn't like the comparison of two coaches he said, "it's not something that you can just teach the team, how to win close games, okay, but you can work with each individual player and work on that, try and develop that player individually and then collectively like I said before, collectively, that's going to make team improvement, but it's the individual improvement that's going to get you there."
- When asked if the team has considered the fifth-year option for safety, Derwin James, Telesco said, "probably the easiest decision of the week."
- When asked about the special teams, "I need to do a better job staking that group. And I will, but yeah, from really from top to bottom, it just wasn't nearly good enough."
- Just because the Chargers have a young talented quarterback in Herbert doesn't mean they are looking for an offensive-minded head coach, "So no matter who the head coach is, he's going to have to have a really good offensive plan. There's no doubt about that. But I think if you do your research and your homework, you'll see in the last 15 years, a dozen or more defensive coaches or special teams backgrounds that develops young quarterbacks."
- Telesco was asked about free agency, "a lot of our decisions as far as what we do going into next year be based on number one, what's the salary cap going to be? Because every decision we make, there's the salary cap component, and then to know who the head coach is, and after he evaluates the roster, what his thoughts are." Telesco mentioned the salary cap would be coming down, so they will monitor that.
- Telesco on Pep Hamilton, "had not worked with him before but had heard great things about him. His work with all of our quarterbacks, not just Justin but all three quarterbacks, his work on the field with those guys is impressive to watch."
- Telesco was asked if the team is willing to wait for a candidate even if it means until after the Super Bowl, "if he is the right guy, you wait."