(Photo Credit: Chargers)
By Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
COSTA MESA, CA — After a disappointing loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, the Los Angeles Chargers under head coach Anthony Lynn managed to finish with a 12-4 regular season record. The Bolts also made the playoffs for the first time since 2013 which only provides encouragement to the general manager Tom Telesco who feels the team is moving in the right direction.
Telesco truly believes they have found their leader in Lynn, who’s guided this team in a remarkable direction in the last two seasons since relocating to Los Angeles.
“To me, he was the Coach of the Year this year with what he did,” Telesco said of Lynn. “I know he doesn’t want to hear that, but to me, he was. Certainly the last two years, but I know it’s a yearly award. What he has done with this team – the vision he has brought, the toughness he has brought, the unique challenges that we have with building this team and building this fan base – I think he was just tremendous. Our players really believe in him. They really believe in him and he believes in the players. If you don’t have that, you have nothing. We have our leader.”
Quarterback Philip Rivers is also coming off a terrific season, and at one point could’ve been mentioned in the MVP conversation. Rivers is as tough and competitive as they come under center, however as his contract is set to expire in 2019, how much longer will he play?
“He’s not going anywhere…. You’ll have to ask Philip [Rivers]. I don’t know. I have to almost think year to year, but I know he has more than that but for planning purposes you’re always looking just to make sure. I couldn’t put a number on it but I haven’t seen drop off in Philip since I arrived here six years ago. In the six years I’ve been here, he’s even playing better now than when I first got here so I guess the sky’s the limit.”
Don’t let the 0-8 lifetime record against Tom Brady fool you, Rivers can compete with the best in the league, however it will come a time where the Bolts will have to search for his replacement at QB. Don’t be surprised if this franchise offers Rivers a two-year extension especially with them moving into a brand new billion dollar stadium in Inglewood in 2020.
The Bolts also have other needs that need to be addressed such the extension for RB Melvin Gordon.
“He’s a huge part of our offense,” Telesco said regarding Gordon’s future. “He’s a warrior for us. He does all of the little things to be a great player that you don’t see in this room — all of the little things you need. I love having him. We’re happy to have him. It’s probably something that we’ll look at in the offseason.”
Along with a great deal of focus on the linbacker position this off season that will require Telesco’s attention. Between the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine and free agency, Telesco looks to guide this team towards Super Bowl 54 next year.