New Regime Looks To Super-Charge San Diego
By Andrew Burer
Chargers president Dean Spanos made a dramatic change this offseason, but it wasn't firing head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith.
Spanos declared that he'd adopted a new, youthful philosophy, and it could bode well for the Chargers.
Year after year, the NFL reminds us a previous season’s record isn’t necessarily an accurate indication of a team’s future. Neither is a head coach's or GM's experience.
So good-bye, Turner; hello, Mike McCoy. S'long, Smith; howdy, Tom Telesco.
They couldn't be more different than their predecessors. They’re young, they articulate themselves well and neither has been an NFL head coach or GM. But they could be a perfect fit for an organization desperate for new life.
McCoy, the former Broncos offensive coordinator, signed a four-year deal with the Chargers to become the 15th head coach in team history. McCoy began his coaching career with the Carolina Panthers where he held several offensive positions over nine years. He joined the Broncos in 2009 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
McCoy's known for his ability to get the most out of his players. Jake Delhomme’s best years in Carolina came during McCoy's tenure. And he changed his offense three times in three seasons in Denver to match the styles of Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning.
Factor in the deteriorating play of QB Philip Rivers, and the Chargers may have found the perfect candidate to fix, so to speak, their shaky linchpin.
Telesco, who spent 15 years with the Indianapolis Colts, is everything A.J. Smith wasn't. He’s personable, speaks candidly, and has an aura about him that demands attention. Last season, he was the Colts' VP of football operations. Before that, he spent six years as the team's director of player personnel. Like McCoy, Telesco signed a four-year deal with San Diego.
After the Colts' 2-14 crash in 2011, Telesco oversaw the team's resurgence last season. With 14 rookies and a basketful of new starters on offense and defense, Indianapolis went 11-5 before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the playoff's first round.
McCoy and Telesco have never worked together, but they seem to be a good fit — at least on paper. Both are young and ready to take the next big steps in their careers. And they possess a different feel for the game then Turner and Smith did.
That said, Spanos is banking a lot on their ability to super-charge a franchise that had lost a lot of its spark over the last few years.