By Cameron Buford, Whatsgoodinsports.com
Just like every team in the NFL, the Los Angeles Chargers are anxiously anticipating Week 1 of the regular season to get underway. After overcoming the challenges of the odd off-season, the start of the NFL season would surely add a sense of normalcy to not only their coaches and players but to this country as well. No doubt that when the league Kicks Off on Thursday night the heart and minds of this country will gravitate back to the NFL.
However not having any pre-season games the task of narrowing their roster to the required headcount this past weekend was made even more daunting for each team in the league, the Los Angeles Chargers are no different. Tom Telesco, Chargers GM, addressed this topic and more in his state of the team press conference over the weekend.
On Keenan Allen Extension-
Telesco: “Secondary focus anything contracts related. Yesterday was a pretty tough day, when you’re letting kids go, it was a bright spot to have Keenan come in and sign. His game is very polished, down in and down out. He’s a big-time, playmaker in this league and someone we’re thrilled to have for a long time.”
On signing former XFL Players-
Telesco: “Our Pro Scouts did a great job in the XFL. They scouted that very heavenly. They had a real training camp and played real games. Not every player comes into this league ready to play! Player needs development, they all grow at a different speed.”
Experience with Hard Knocks around during Training Camp-
Telesco: “From a player and coaches’ standpoint I think they handle it very well. Our guys are mature enough to handle cameras around. There are always positives and negative for doing something like that and I think in this situation there is a couple of negatives, the positives far outweighed the negatives I think it was great for the whole country to see Anthony Lynn. They really get to see what we all see every day; the type of coach and person he is.”
In regards to COVID-19’s impact on the season-
Telesco: “I’m really pleased in the way all 32 teams have handled this. I thought it may have been a lot worse, and it hasn’t been. Everyone has followed the protocols very well and as we stand here right now, I’m really confident for [completing] a full season as normal; obviously won’t be as normal well as far as attendance and fans in the stands, but as far as we’re concerned, we’re very optimistic about 16 games and the playoffs.”
On Rookie Linebacker Kenneth Murray’s development and impact-
Telesco: “I don’t know about the impact yet. But he’s very mature for his age, and which for a young player that’s almost a requirement. Just listening to his coaches as far as how he’s picked up the defense, he’s picked it up very well, what impact he makes is to be determined. But he’s fit in very well with us.”
24 short hours later, Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn was made available to the local media. Lynn, in his fourth season as the Head Coach, seemingly has the support of management and appears to have the attention and respect of the players on his team. As he is very familiar with the rigors of the NFL from his six seasons as a player and his experience on back to back Super Bowl Championship teams.
Understanding this coming season would be just as awkward has the past 6 months in the country, as we’ve dealt with this pandemic, his message to the team was clear “the most responsible team” this season will likely be the winners of this NFL season, in an earlier zoom call with the media. Summarizing Coach Lynn’s most recent zoom call, I’ve highlighted the most relevant comments he shared with us.
Embracing chaos was another message to his team through training camp-
Lynn: “I’ve been very pleased with the way the guys have handled the protocols. Their patience, their persistence; you know we went through training camp without one person getting infected; knock on wood. We can’t get tired of these protocols, it part of our lifestyle now. We have to embrace it.”
On getting Keenan Allen signed before the season begins,
Lynn: “One distraction we don’t have to deal with. Keenan’s happy, we’re happy; He’s one heck of a football player and we’re glad it worked out.”
On Rookie Linebacker Kenneth Murray-
Lynn: “I’ll tell you what, he’s getting better every practice man. He’s a sharp young man he works hard, he was here early this morning, came the same time as the coaches studying tape. I have every confidence in the world when the lights come on Kenneth Murray will be ready to play football.”
On Bengals Running Back Joe Mixon-
Lynn: “He’s going to challenge our tackling I’ll tell you that! He does a heck of a job breaking tackles, he has great field vision and he can run. He was one of the top backs when he came out of Oklahoma, I like him a lot then. He’s had a heck of a career in Cincinnati, he’s one of the top backs in the game, in my opinion.”
After reviewing their record for this upcoming season, I have the Chargers finishing with a 9 win 7 loss season. This will have them just shy of reaching the playoffs, but it would be progress from the tough season the struggled through last year. Stay locked in all season long, as I will bring interesting insights from this Chargers team all year. Feel free to challenge my predictions as long as you share your predictions. Additionally, I am open to hearing what topics you would like to have me discuss in future weeks. Send all suggestions to email@example.com or tweet us at @whatsgoodnsport. I look forward to hearing from each of you Los Angeles Chargers fans in the coming weeks.