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Just Win Baby

*** Official 2019 Chargers Thread ****

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18 hours ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

The Athletic's Vincent Bonsignore reports the Chargers "would listen" if the NFL approached them about relocating to London.

According to Bonsignore, the possibility "has been broached among league personnel" and owners are "concerned enough about the Chargers’ situation in L.A. that they would provide the necessary support for a relocation to London if the Chargers pursue it." Tottenham Hotspur Stadium opened earlier this year with the NFL in mind and hosted two of the four London games this season after the across-the-pond series concluded this past Sunday. It seats over 62,000, and the Chargers are currently playing in a tiny soccer stadium is Carson, Cali. that seats a mere 27,000 where the Chargers are essentially the road team every week as it gets flooded with opposing fans. The Chargers are slated to join the Rams in their new $4.5 billion venue, but L.A. has not embraced the Bolts as it has the Rams. Moving to London would make a whole heck of a lot of sense, as the fans over there have totally embraced the NFL. It would likely require the Chargers switching divisions.

This would require Dean growing Man sized balls. Not happening in his lifetime. Those who have met him would know he is no risk taker. I mean look - he is a squatter in another mans billion dollar playground. No risk all reward. They would have to pay him a LOT of money and pay for everything and even then the answer is: "ummmmmmmmm ....no."

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I've said this before, and I'll say it again: the Chargers would be better of in Albuquerque than they would anywhere else, and that includes London!

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They had 60 seconds to get 50 yards. I don't think he completed a pass in like 8 attempts. He wasn't even really close to doing so either.

I'm ready to see what comes next, even if it's Craign Whelihans for a while.

Time for a rebuild. Well, can you call it a rebuild for a team that's never won anything?

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Tonight is last chance to put season on track.....just don't know if it will be good Phil or bad Phil who shows up......

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8 hours ago, DanFouts said:

Tonight is last chance to put season on track.....just don't know if it will be good Phil or bad Phil who shows up......

I'm preparing myself for an epic beatdown.

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2 minutes ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

be very charger esque to win this game

True

I still prefer to anticipate the worst.

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16 hours ago, Gr00vus said:

I'm preparing myself for an epic beatdown.

It was bad Phil....very bad Phil that showed up.....

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7 hours ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

freaking phil...he has lost it.....

Let's look at three Phils: 2019 Phil, average Phil, and all-time worst Phil...

Completion percentage
2019: 64.4
Average: 64.5
Worst: 60.4 (2016)

TD %
2019: 3.6
Average: 5.2
Worst: 3.6 (2019)

INT %
2019: 3.4
Average: 2.6
Worst: 3.4 (2011/2019)

Adj. yds/att.
2019: 6.8
Average: 7.7
Worst: 6.3 (2007)

Passer Rating
2019: 85.5
Average: 95.0
Worst: 82.4 (2007)

Not to suggest that these numbers tell the whole story, but other than completion percentage this year's Phil looks a lot closer to the all-time worst version than the average one.

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12 hours ago, DanFouts said:

It was bad Phil....very bad Phil that showed up.....

He wasn't alone in disappointing play last night, but he was the leader in the clubhouse.

How much longer for Lynn - rest of season?

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4 hours ago, Gr00vus said:

He wasn't alone in disappointing play last night, but he was the leader in the clubhouse.

How much longer for Lynn - rest of season?

I think it's Phil's last year...:(

And Lynn will get his hand with new QB next year in make/break season for him....

They have lots of other young talent on both sides, but either need more Oline, or mobile QB that can cover up for lack of O line....

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8 hours ago, DanFouts said:

I think it's Phil's last year...:(

And Lynn will get his hand with new QB next year in make/break season for him....

They have lots of other young talent on both sides, but either need more Oline, or mobile QB that can cover up for lack of O line....

this franchise is about to enter a dark phase, I don't trust em to get the next QB right, I suspect if Phil is gone, they play Tyrod next year while drafting someone. 

Also I expect a nasty hold out with Joey Bosa soon.

And with the whole no home field thing, its just depressing to be a bolt fan, we are a long way from the playoff pistol whipping of Lamar Jackson.....

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11 hours ago, DanFouts said:

I think it's Phil's last year...:(

And Lynn will get his hand with new QB next year in make/break season for him....

They have lots of other young talent on both sides, but either need more Oline, or mobile QB that can cover up for lack of O line....

I feel more comfortable betting Rivers will be there in 2020 than Lynn. Typically when a coordinator gets fired, its a sign the HC is on his last legs. I'm I were putting odds on it, I'd say:

70-30 Rivers is the QB next year, though that decreases with every 4 turnover game.

40-60 Lynn is the HC, which decreases with every loss.

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48 minutes ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

Fire Lynn? I don't see that happening, 

He's signed through next season. Ugh.

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50 minutes ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

Fire Lynn? I don't see that happening, 

I think he should be fired but agree he probably won't be. Ownership generally does not like to fire coaches when they still owe them money.

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8 hours ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

this franchise is about to enter a dark phase

The last ten years have produced:
* One season of double-digit victories
* Two playoff berths
* Zero postseason victories
* Zero division titles

... And NOW it's about to enter a dark phase? Well, this ought to be fun.

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5 hours ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

Fire Lynn? I don't see that happening, 

I don't either. Heading into this season, he was considered one of the bright, young minds - the guy who took a team that had won a total of nine games in its two previous seasons and guided them to twenty-one wins in his first two seasons. 

Now, I'm not arguing that he SHOULD keep his job, I just doubt he'll be shown the door.

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At the start of the season I had a notion that this team might make some sort of playoff run. Turns out, they're the worst team in the division, probably with the most bleak future too. :kicksrock:

After this many close losses, don't we need to start pointing the finger at leadership? Getting rid of Whisenhunt doesn't seem to have been the cure all.

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On 12/2/2019 at 7:03 PM, Gr00vus said:

After this many close losses, don't we need to start pointing the finger at leadership? Getting rid of Whisenhunt doesn't seem to have been the cure all.

Here's each season's W/L record in one-possession games over the past twenty years:
2019: 2-7 (Lynn)
2018: 6-1 (Lynn)
2017: 3-5 (Lynn)
2016: 4-9 (McCoy)
2015: 2-10 (McCoy)
2014: 5-2 (McCoy)
2013: 4-6 (McCoy)
2012: 2-5 (Turner)
2011: 3-5 (Turner)
2010: 2-5 (Turner)
2009: 8-1 (Turner)
2008: 2-8 (Turner)
2007: 2-2 (Turner)
2006: 4-3 (Schottenheimer)
2005: 4-5 (Schottenheimer)
2004: 6-3 (Schottenheimer)
2003: 3-5 (Schottenheimer)
2002: 5-4 (Schottenheimer)
2001: 1-8 (Riley)
2000: 1-7 (Riley)

I don't mean to come off as the Anthony Lynn apologist, but losing close games is simply this franchise's signature move.

Edited by Despyzer
Went back 10 more seasons to include some "glory years."
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On 12/2/2019 at 7:03 PM, Gr00vus said:

 

After this many close losses, don't we need to start pointing the finger at leadership? Getting rid of Whisenhunt doesn't seem to have been the cure all.

point the finger at phil and his lack of mobility and awful decision making....not sure what happened to him after that great season he had last year

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23 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

the marlon mcree blunder was awful....that was their best chance to win it all.....hiring norv was just awful 

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Of course you can't really assume too much from a win against the Jaguars, but it's just like the Chargers to remember how to play football after being mathematically eliminated.

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I'd like to put off drafting a QB for another year. The Chargers need to draft about five offensive linemen first. Next year can be some combination of Rivers, Taylor, and Stick at QB. If that works out, great. If it doesn't work out, they should have a good pick in 2021 to use on a QB.

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27 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

I'd like to put off drafting a QB for another year. The Chargers need to draft about five offensive linemen first. Next year can be some combination of Rivers, Taylor, and Stick at QB. If that works out, great. If it doesn't work out, they should have a good pick in 2021 to use on a QB.

What you say makes sense if you have any faith in Telesco and his staff evaluating offensive linemen. They really haven't invested much draft capital at that position at all, but they've screwed the pooch with virtually every selection.

2013 - Fluker looked like he was at least a quality starter at the beginning of his career, and I credit Telesco for getting rid of him when they did, but it would be hard to argue he was worth the 11th overall pick.

2014 - 3rd-rounder Chris Watt could only muster eight starts in two years and is out of the league.

2016 - 3rd-rounder Max Turk only played in one game in his entire career and is out of the league.

2017 - 2nd-rounder Forrest Lamp has been too injured to start any more than two games in three years.
            3rd-rounder Dan Feeney has managed to start 38 games, so that's something.

2019 - It's too early to evaluate 3rd-rounder Trey Pipkins, but so far he has only started one game, and it's not like the competition is fierce.

Former Chargers OC Joe Gibbs once said that the quarterback position is so important that a team ought to draft one every year.

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5 hours ago, ShamrockPride said:

@Just Win Baby when you get a chance would be interested in your opinion on the (for now) purely hypothetical of Cam leading LAC.

I can't imagine JWB liking that plan in any way.

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7 hours ago, ShamrockPride said:

@Just Win Baby when you get a chance would be interested in your opinion on the (for now) purely hypothetical of Cam leading LAC.

I think it is a terrible idea, but, in fairness, I have never been a fan of Newton's QB play.

Throughout his career, Newton's value has been tied more to his running ability than to his passing ability. But he is coming off a Lisfranc injury and a shoulder injury before that. It is questionable how much he can be counted on to stay healthy going forward, much less deliver great running value.

Newton is not an accurate passer. I would expect using him at QB would diminish the effectiveness of the Chargers' best WR, Allen. Maybe Ekeler, too.

Newton is under contract for $20M next year, not exactly the same level bargain as a draft pick QB. Plus, Carolina wants to trade him, meaning the team that acquires him has to give up something valuable. IMO the Chargers have too many issues to give up valuable draft capital. 

So I don't really see much to like, other than that he is a QB more in the mold of what Lynn apparently prefers.

I think the Chargers should sign Rivers for 2 more seasons. But, even if he decides to retire or the team decides to move on, I think trading for Newton is one of the worst possible alternatives.

Heck, all things considered (quality of play, health, contract value, trade capital), the Chargers would be better off starting Tyrod if RIvers isn’t back.

:2cents: 

Edited by Just Win Baby
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23 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

I'd like to put off drafting a QB for another year. The Chargers need to draft about five offensive linemen first. Next year can be some combination of Rivers, Taylor, and Stick at QB. If that works out, great. If it doesn't work out, they should have a good pick in 2021 to use on a QB.

I think that's o.k. as long as you stay flexible enough to take a Lamar Jackson or Aaron Rogers if they fall into your lap. Not saying it's likely, but if an opportunity like that comes along you need to take it. That also is dependent on having a scouting staff who can accurately identify opportunities like that.

Edited by Gr00vus

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On 12/9/2019 at 2:39 PM, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

gonna beat the Vikings......calling it 

 

I know it doesn't apply to every player, but that sure looked like a team that has quit out there yesterday.

Here's something I didn't expect - Football outsiders had the Chargers offensive line ranked 11th as of last week.

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I wonder if Spanos watches games like today's and thinks "yeah, I'm making good decisions with this franchise."

It's nuts that the league allowed the Chargers to move to L.A. and have the Raiders moving to Vegas.

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On 12/16/2019 at 12:22 PM, Gr00vus said:

I know it doesn't apply to every player, but that sure looked like a team that has quit out there yesterday.

Here's something I didn't expect - Football outsiders had the Chargers offensive line ranked 11th as of last week.

I can't put any real stock in Football Outsiders. Not sure if you were referencing adjusted line yards for rushing or adjusted sack rate for pass protection here.

Through 12/17, they had the Chargers #13 in pass protection, with an adjusted sack rate of 6.5%. But their adjusted sack rate does not account for any of the following: pressures other than sacks, penalties, batted passes, or throwaways. It does not account for how a veteran QB like Rivers can be pressured on 204 dropbacks and only get sacked 31 times, due to Rivers' football IQ and savvy.

Worse, through 12/17, they had the Chargers at #11 in adjusted line yards. I don't even know what to say to that.

These FO rankings suggest the Chargers have a top 12 OL. That is about as far off base as one can be. Meanwhile, PFF has the Chargers run blocking at #28 in the league and their pass blocking at #29. Those rankings are for the offense as a whole, but those grades are mostly based on the OL. These grades actually make sense. Give me PFF over FO any day.

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9 hours ago, Gr00vus said:

I wonder if Spanos watches games like today's and thinks "yeah, I'm making good decisions with this franchise."

It's nuts that the league allowed the Chargers to move to L.A. and have the Raiders moving to Vegas.

freakin bafoons.....not having a homefield has killed this team....thatgame yesterday was the least inspiring performance i remember since the riley era

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34 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

I can't put any real stock in Football Outsiders. Not sure if you were referencing adjusted line yards for rushing or adjusted sack rate for pass protection here.

Through 12/17, they had the Chargers #13 in pass protection, with an adjusted sack rate of 6.5%. But their adjusted sack rate does not account for any of the following: pressures other than sacks, penalties, batted passes, or throwaways. It does not account for how a veteran QB like Rivers can be pressured on 204 dropbacks and only get sacked 31 times, due to Rivers' football IQ and savvy.

Worse, through 12/17, they had the Chargers at #11 in adjusted line yards. I don't even know what to say to that.

These FO rankings suggest the Chargers have a top 12 OL. That is about as far off base as one can be. Meanwhile, PFF has the Chargers run blocking at #28 in the league and their pass blocking at #29. Those rankings are for the offense as a whole, but those grades are mostly based on the OL. These grades actually make sense. Give me PFF over FO any day.

That's why I was surprised to see those football outsiders rankings - they don't line up with what I'm seeing when I watch the games.

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33 minutes ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

freakin bafoons.....not having a homefield has killed this team....thatgame yesterday was the least inspiring performance i remember since the riley era

They're done. I don't see how you keep Lynn at this point (if you were a competent owner who can actually afford to run an NFL franchise), they're not playing for him.

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My bad... I forgot about Frank Leahy. This goes to show you how insignificant the NFL was considered even as recently as the 60's. Leahy left the Chargers in order to manage a vending machine distributorship in Portland, OR.

Average lifespan = 6 3/4 seasons.

Here's the record for each Chargers GM:
Frank Leahy: 10-4; 0-1 post
Sid Gilman: 81-50-9; 1-3 post
Harland Svare: 19-49-2
Johnny Sanders: 86-79; 3-4 post
Steve Ortmayer: 20-27
Bobby Beathard: 75-101; 3-3 post
John Butler: 13-19
AJ Smith: 95-65; 3-5 post
Tom Telesco: 53-58; 2-2 post

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On 12/23/2019 at 1:55 PM, Gr00vus said:

They're done. I don't see how you keep Lynn at this point (if you were a competent owner who can actually afford to run an NFL franchise), they're not playing for him.

IF Rivers retires and Lynn is gone, boy gonna be a long year next year. While he didn't have a great season this year (Lynn) he is just off of a 12-4 year and stopped the current MVP in the playoffs....new stadium and a holdout from Bosa probably coming soon. No Melvin either, teams gonna be a lot different.

 

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On 12/27/2019 at 7:09 PM, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:
On 12/23/2019 at 1:55 PM, Gr00vus said:

They're done. I don't see how you keep Lynn at this point (if you were a competent owner who can actually afford to run an NFL franchise), they're not playing for him.

IF Rivers retires and Lynn is gone, boy gonna be a long year next year. While he didn't have a great season this year (Lynn) he is just off of a 12-4 year and stopped the current MVP in the playoffs....new stadium and a holdout from Bosa probably coming soon. No Melvin either, teams gonna be a lot different.

Lynn is going nowhere. I watched Telesco's season end press conference yesterday. He was typical Telesco, basically evading all questions about player situations. The only thing he really said that seemed meaningful is that he absolutely loves Anthony Lynn and wouldn't want to "go into battle" with any other coach.

He also said he loves the culture of the team/organization, and I'm sure that reflects on Lynn as well. Finally, he said he believes the team has built a championship foundation, which was a separate thing from Lynn, so I assume that to mean he thinks they have a championship caliber core of players.

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2 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

Lynn is going nowhere. I watched Telesco's season end press conference yesterday. He was typical Telesco, basically evading all questions about player situations. The only thing he really said that seemed meaningful is that he absolutely loves Anthony Lynn and wouldn't want to "go into battle" with any other coach.

He also said he loves the culture of the team/organization, and I'm sure that reflects on Lynn as well. Finally, he said he believes the team has built a championship foundation, which was a separate thing from Lynn, so I assume that to mean he thinks they have a championship caliber core of players.

this team supposedly has had a title core since the marty era.....so sick of that...win one for ####s sake

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Posted (edited)
On 12/27/2019 at 4:47 PM, Despyzer said:
On 12/27/2019 at 11:51 AM, Just Win Baby said:

The average lifespan of a Chargers GM is 7 1/2 years. We're at the end of Telesco's seventh.  Beatherd, Johnny Sanders, and AJ share the record with eleven seasons.

Not sure if the few Chargers fans here who read this thread will read that fan post I made at BFTB, so decided to repost it here. It's pretty long...

Quote

For those who don't know, here are the current roles of Spanos family members within the Chargers organization:

  • Dean Spanos - Controlling Owner and Chairman of the Board
  • Michael Spanos (Dean's brother) - Vice Chairman
  • A.G. Spanos (Dean's son) - President of Business Operations
  • John Spanos (Dean's son) - President of Football Operations
  • Michael Spanos II (Michael's son) - Salary Cap

Due to the heavy involvement of the Spanos family, particularly John Spanos, it is difficult to know how many of the franchise decisions normally made by the General Manager are truly made by GM Tom Telesco and how many are shared or wholly made by the family.

Other senior personnel who could be involved in various football decisions include:

  • Ed McGuire - Executive VP of Football Administration/Player Finance
  • Fred Maas - Chief of Staff
  • JoJo Wooden - Director of Player Personnel

It seems reasonable to assume that Telesco has sufficient authority over those personnel.

Regardless, for purposes of the rest of this post, I am going to reference Telesco, when, in fact, some of these others, particularly John Spanos, may have been instrumental in various decisions. We can reasonably assume that none of the Spanos family members are ever getting fired, so Telesco is fully accountable for their collective front office performance.

---

With that out of the way, I'd like to take a look at Telesco's track record.

Team Performance

First, let's start with the bottom line -- the team's performance since his arrival. Telesco has been on the job for nearly 7 years, including 7 seasons, with 1 regular season game remaining in the 7th. In the 7 seasons prior to Telesco's arrival:

  • 70-42 regular season record
  • 3-4 postseason record; made the playoffs 4 times
  • 30-12 division record; 4 division titles
  • Only losing season was the last one of that 7 year period - at 7-9 - which resulted in both the head coach and GM being fired

In the 7 seasons since Telesco arrived:

  • 53-59 regular season record (35-45 in past 5 seasons)
  • 2-2 postseason record; made the playoffs 2 times (1-1 with 1 playoff appearance in past 5 seasons)
  • 14-28 division record; no division titles (8-22 in past 5 seasons)
  • 3 losing seasons, which included a 4 win season, a 5 win season, and a 5 win season (all 3 losing seasons within past 5 seasons)

Let that sink in for a minute. Now realize these things:

  • Telesco is responsible for this entire roster and coaching staff. Rivers and Ingram are the only two players who pre-dated Telesco, but he extended both of them. None of the coaches pre-dated Telesco.
  • Telesco has had a HOF QB throughout his tenure, and has not been forced to significantly address the QB position yet, which should have provided him an advantage over many of his peers. Unfortunately, he seems to have squandered that advantage.

This is a results-oriented business. Those are bad results.

Coaching

Telesco has at least had a hand in hiring two new head coaches, McCoy and Lynn.

McCoy seemed okay in his first 2 seasons, posting 9 wins in each season, though there were some troubling signs. Then his teams fell off to 4 and 5 win seasons, and he was fired.

Lynn seemed good in his first 2 seasons, posting 9 wins but finishing 9-3 in his first season, followed by 12 wins and winning a playoff game on the road in his second season. But again, there were some troubling signs. Then his team fell off to 5 or 6 wins in season 3. And then...?

Beyond the head coaching, the quality of assistant coaching has in some cases been pretty bad. Consider the offensive line coaching. Consider the special teams coaching. Ugh. Telesco generally seems like a hands off GM who will let his head coach make his own coaching decisions. That seems fine philosophically but enables bad coaching decisions, like Lynn hiring George Stewart because of a personal relationship rather than because he is a good special teams coach.

McCoy was bad, and the jury is out on Lynn, though he is trending in the wrong direction. Overall, this does not reflect well on Telesco.

Team Weaknesses

When Telesco took over, the team had two primary weaknesses: OL and interior DL. 7 years later, the team has two primary weaknesses: OL and interior DL.

First, the OL. Consider these PFF pass and run blocking rankings for the past 7 years:

  • 2013 – pass blocking #25, run blocking #12
  • 2014 – pass blocking #20, run blocking #27
  • 2015 – pass blocking #32, run blocking #31
  • 2016 – pass blocking #26, run blocking #28
  • 2017 – pass blocking #29, run blocking #26
  • 2018 – pass blocking #31, run blocking #17
  • 2019 – pass blocking #30, run blocking #26

Those grades are for the entire offense, but obviously the OL is the most significant contributor. Apologists will tell you that Telesco has tried to fix the OL. The short answer to that is that he has failed. The longer answer requires examining the decisions made (or not made) on OL in both the draft and free agency. Suffice it to say, the longer answer does not change the short answer.

It is harder to gauge the interior DL as a group, but perhaps we can consider interior DL to be a significant contributor to run defense, a somewhat lesser contributor to pass rush, and a minor contributor to tackling. Here are those grades during Telesco's 7 seasons:

  • 2013 – run defense #28, pass rush #26, tackling #15
  • 2014 – run defense #25, pass rush #24, tackling #10
  • 2015 – run defense #32, pass rush #19, tackling #30
  • 2016 – run defense #8, pass rush #9, tackling #22
  • 2017 – run defense #26, pass rush #4, tackling #25
  • 2018 – run defense #28, pass rush #17, tackling #16
  • 2019 – run defense #19, pass rush #18, tackling #28

It must be noted that Bosa began playing for the Chargers in 2016, which is a significant contributing factor to the improvement in these pass rush rankings. (And Telesco deserves some credit for that.)

These rankings are not as bad as OL, yet they make it appear that the interior DL has only possibly been above average in one season - 2016.

This season looks like an upward trend, but, looking more closely at the interior DL, it seems these grades are being propped up by other position groups. Out of 197 graded interior DL, here is where the Chargers primary interior DL rank in PFF overall grade:

  • 101T Square
  • 127 Jones
  • 167 Mebane
  • 192 Tillery

Still looks like a problem to me.

How long does Telesco get to fix these weaknesses? He has had 7 years and hasn't gotten it done yet.

Free Agency and Contracts

It is a bit difficult to separate free agency and contracts, so I will address them together. One of Telesco's biggest problems has been his track record on significant contracts. Here is the list of 20M+ contracts he has given in his tenure:

  • CB Cox – 4 years, $20M in 2013, released after 2014 season
  • LB Butler – 7 years, $52M in 2014, released after 2015 season
  • QB Rivers – 4 years, $83M in 2015, played out contract, future unknown
  • LT Dunlap (second contract) – 4 years, $28M in 2015, released after 2016 season
  • LG Franklin – 5 years, $36.5M in 2015, released after 2016 season
  • CB Flowers (second contract) – 4 years, $36.4M in 2015, released after 2016 season
  • DT Liuget – 5 years, $51M in 2015, team declined option after 2018 season and let him walk
  • RT Barksdale (second contract) – 4 years, $22M in 2016, released late in 2018 season
  • WR Benjamin – 4 years, $24M in 2016, likely to be released after 2019 season
  • WR Allen – 4 years, $45M in 2016, still WR1 and likely to be extended
  • Edge/OLB Ingram – 4 years, $64M in 2017, starting Edge/OLB
  • LT Okung – 4 years, $53M in 2017, starting LT when healthy, but having trouble staying on the field
  • SS Addae – 4 years, $22.5M in 2017, released after 2018 season
  • CB Hayward – 3 years, $33.25M in 2018, starting LCB

There are a number of bad contracts on that list. One possible way to look at this positively is that most of the bad contracts were in Telesco's first 4 seasons on the job, so one might choose to believe he has gotten better at evaluating these decisions.

Telesco has been better on lower value contracts, signing players such as:

  • RB Woodhead
  • OL Slauson
  • OL Schofield
  • DT Mebane (the first time)
  • RT Barksdale (the first time)
  • CB Hayward,
  • LB Toomer,
  • DT Square
  • FS Boston

But he also made some (IMO) bad signings on lower value contracts:

  • QB Taylor
  • RB Donald Brown
  • DT Mebane (the second time)
  • LB Perryman (second contract)
  • LB Pullard
  • OL Ohrnberger
  • OL Rinehart
  • RT Barksdale (the second time)
  • S Lowery

There are some others who haven't been particularly good or bad, like LB Davis and TE Green. I'm sure I missed some other names, but hopefully no one glaring.

Telesco has a solid track record with UDFAs, but I view that as being more closely associated with the draft and associated scouting than with signing veteran free agents. More on that below.

Other contract issues include:

  • The Joey Bosa rookie contract situation was a fiasco that made the Chargers and Telesco look foolish and petty, and also arguably contributed to Bosa missing 4 games in his rookie season due to a hamstring injury. It remains to be seen if that history will be a problem with Bosa going forward.
  • The Chargers exercised the 5th year options on Fluker, Verrett, and Gordon. In hindsight, those were all bad decisions. The Chargers got out of Fluker's, but could not get out of paying Verrett $8.5M to not play in 2018. And exercising Gordon's option set the stage for his holdout that had a profound negative impact on this season. Next up: Joey Bosa...

Altogether, Telesco may be close to 50/50 on his success rate with veteran free agents and contract extensions, but his misses have tended to be expensive misses that have hurt the team’s cap situation. Overall, this area is not a strength for Telesco.

Draft

In theory, this is Telesco's strongest area, so let's review. Here are Telesco's drafts so far.

2013:

  • 1.11 (11) OL D.J. Fluker
  • 2.6 (38) LB Manti Te'o
  • 2.13 (45) Traded to Arizona to move up to 2.6 to draft Te'o
  • 3.14 (76) WR Keenan Allen
  • 4.13 (110) Traded to Arizona to move up to 2.6 to draft Te'o
  • 5.12 (145) CB Steve Williams
  • 6.11 (179) Edge/DE Tourek Williams
  • 7.15 (221) QB Brad Sorenson

In hindsight, this was a terrible draft with one great pick -- Allen. The trade to move up for Te'o was a bad decision. This was Telesco's first time managing a draft, and it showed.

Telesco did sign SS Jahleel Addae as a UDFA. While I was happy for Addae to be released last offseason, he delivered excellent value during his time with the team considering he was undrafted.

2014:

  • 1.25 (25) CB Jason Verrett
  • 2.18 (50) Edge/OLB Jeremiah Attaochu
  • 2.25 (57) Traded to Miami to move up to 2.18 to draft Attaochu
  • 3.25 (89) OL Chris Watt
  • 4.25 (125) Traded to Miami to move up to 2.18 to draft Attaochu
  • 5.25 (165) Interior DL Ryan Carrethers
  • 6.25 (201) RB Marion Grice
  • 7.25 (240) WR Tevin Reese

In hindsight, this was worse than the 2013 draft. Not a single impactful player was drafted. Verrett might have been that had he been able to stay healthy, but Telesco drafted him with full knowledge of his extensive injury history in college, so he gambled on that and lost. And this draft included another bad draft day trade to move up in the second round for a LB.

The Chargers signed S Adrian Phillips, RB Branden Oliver, interior DL Tenny Palepoi, and OT Jeremiah Sirles as UDFAs. That helped this class to a D grade rather than a F.

These first two drafts set the stage for the abysmal 2015 and 2016 seasons. It is rare that a team can survive getting just one player above replacement level out of two consecutive drafts. The salary cap, free agency, and the high rate of injury make it absolutely necessary to get multiple quality players out of every draft in order to be successful.

2015:

  • 1.15 (15) RB Melvin Gordon
  • 1.17 (17) Traded to San Francisco to move up to 1.15 to draft Gordon
  • 2.16 (48) LB Denzel Perryman
  • 3.19 (83) CB Craig Mager
  • 4.18 (117) Traded to San Francisco to move up to 1.15 to draft Gordon
  • 5.17 (153) Edge/OLB Kyle Emanuel
  • 6.16 (192) Interior DL Darius Philon
  • 7.19 (236) Traded to Dallas in 2013 for Edge/DE Sean Lissemore

Another year, another bad draft day trade to move up in the draft. IMO Gordon was not worth a first round pick, much less the price Telesco paid. But at least he wasn't a complete bust.

For the third straight draft, Telesco used a second round pick on a LB. Perryman was better than the other two, but that is a fairly low bar. And Perryman continued Telesco's trend of drafting players who would have trouble staying healthy.

Mager was a complete reach, and a bust. At least Emanuel and Philon delivered good value based on where they were picked. This draft provided the first glimmer of Telesco having some ability to find late value.

Telesco continued his positive trend with UDFAs, signing WR Tyrell Williams, PK Josh Lambo, and LB/ST Nick Dzubnar.

This was really Telesco's first draft class that could be considered solid. It seems reasonable to think he was improving with experience. Unfortunately, it seems likely that none of these players will remain with the Chargers after the 2019 season, so there was no long lasting effect.

2016:

  • 1.3 (3) Edge/DE Joey Bosa
  • 2.4 (35) TE Hunter Henry
  • 3.3 (66) C Max Tuerk
  • 4.4 (102) LB Joshua Perry
  • 5.3 (142) Traded to San Francisco to move to 1.15 in 2015 draft to draft Gordon
  • 5 (175) LB Jatavis Brown - compensatory pick
  • 6 (179) P Drew Kaser
  • 6 (198) FB Derek Watt - pick obtained from Minnesota in exchange for Sirles
  • 7 (224) G Donavon Clark

This was easily Telesco's best draft to date, though it is reasonable to point out that drafting from the #3 position makes a draft easier. (And also reasonable to point out that "best draft to date" for Telesco at this point was a low bar.)

Bosa was a nobrainer, and, frankly, there were other great choices there, notably Jalen Ramsey and DeForest Buckner. Given the Chargers did not need a QB, it would have been hard to miss on that first round pick.

Telesco whiffed on his 3rd and 4th round picks and strangely decided to actually use draft picks on P and FB, when he could have likely signed them (or equivalents) as UDFAs. These things kept this draft from being a home run.

However, he did make a good decision to draft Henry, and he also got late value in Brown. He also signed CBs Trevor Williams and Trovon Reed and OL Spencer Pulley as UDFAs... unfortunately, it would have been better not to sign Pulley...

2017:

  • 1.7 (7) WR Mike Williams
  • 2.6 (38) G Forrest Lamp
  • 3.7 (71) G Dan Feeney
  • 4.6 (113) S Rayshawn Jenkins
  • 5.7 (151) DB Desmond King
  • 6.6 (190) T Sam Tevi
  • 7.7 (225) Edge/DE Isaac Rochell

This draft was a mixed bag. Williams has not played up to his draft choice. Optimism was high on Lamp and Feeney, but, frankly, they have both been busts. King was a stellar pick, and Rochell was excellent value in the 7th. Tevi has been below average as a starter, but would have been a good value as a depth player in the 6th round.

The Chargers also signed UDFAs RB Austin Ekeler and CB Michael Davis. Unfortunately, they also signed PK Younghoe Koo, setting the stage for the great 2017 placekicking debacle.

Overall, this draft looked a lot better in the immediate aftermath; not so much today. Don't get me wrong, it was much better than the 2013-2014 drafts and a bit better than 2015.

2018:

  • 1.17 (17) S Derwin James
  • 2.16 (48) Edge/OLB Uchenna Nwosu
  • 3.20 (84) Interior DL Justin Jones
  • 4.19 (119) LB Kyzir White
  • 5.18 (155) C Scott Quessenberry
  • 6.17 (191) WR Dylan Cantrell
  • 7.33 (251) RB Justin Jackson

James was a gift that fell in Telesco's lap... a top 5-ish talent who fell to #17. Good for Telesco. It has a non-trivial effect on propping up Telesco's overall draft performance, even though arguably it was another Bosa-like nobrainer pick.

Cantrell could not live up to the hype. Some of which was laughable.

The jury is out on the rest of these guys, though early returns on them is generally positive. We'll see how they pan out.

The UDFA class signed by the Chargers probably did more harm than good, since it included T Trenton Scott. The team did sign PK Michael Badgley about a month into the season, which was positive.

2019:

  • 1.28 (28) Interior DL Jerry Tillery
  • 2.28 (60) S Nasir Adderley
  • 3.27 (91) T Trey Pipkins
  • 4.28 (130) LB Drue Tranquill
  • 5.28 (166) QB Easton Stick
  • 6.27 (200) Edge/LB Emeke Egbule
  • 7.28 (242) Interior DL Cortez Broughton

Unfortunately, at this point, it looks like Tranquill could be the only impact player from this draft. In fairness, the jury is still out on all of these guys, and we will need at least another season to judge.

That said, this draft continued a trend for Telesco of continually reaching with his 3rd round picks. It appears he thinks that he should draft conservatively in the 1st and 2nd rounds, then reach in the 3rd for the (theoretical) big payoff. This strategy generally has not paid off.

The team signed UDFAs S Roderic Teamer and P Ty Long. Teamer was underwhelming when pressed into action, but Long has been a nice addition.

Overall:

It seems to me that Telesco's draft prowess is overrated. In terms of stud players, he has drafted two - Bosa and James. Both fell into his lap.

His first 3 draft classes yielded a combined total of 1-2 players who should be expected to be with the Chargers in 2020: Allen and possibly Phillips. Assuming the team re-signs Henry and Watt, they should have 3 players from the 2016 draft on the roster in 2020. It is harder to judge the last 3 draft classes, since all remain on their rookie contracts.

The bottom line, as mentioned early in this post, is that this is a 5 or 6 win team in year 7 of Telesco's tenure, with a roster completely constructed by him. That reveals a lot about his draft performance. Some people (looking at you, Daniel Popper) seem to think Telesco is great at managing the draft. But the evidence just isn't there to back that up.

Other Stuff

I can only think of one other major thing that I attribute to Telesco -- his handling of the Weddle situation.

While it is very reasonable to think that both Weddle and McCoy handled the situation poorly, Telesco handled it even worse. The team should be expected to handle it better than the player, since the team should be a bit more dispassionate in that situation, having to deal with so many player situations. Even if this was driven by McCoy for some bizarre reason, Telesco should have exerted more control in this situation. Even if he knew he did not want to extend Weddle, it was his job to defuse the situation before it became toxic.

Summary

Overall, I don't think this paints a flattering picture of Telesco's performance with the Chargers. In fact, IMO it suggests he is one of the worst GMs in the NFL.

Your mileage may vary. If you disagree with my overall assessment, I'd like to hear counter arguments. Thoughts?

 

Edited by Just Win Baby
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Following up that post about Telesco/the front office, I find this article to be an indictment on Telesco: Chargers 2010’s team of the decade

Here are their choices:

Offense:

  • Quarterback: Philip Rivers (2010-2019)
  • Running Back: Ryan Mathews (2010-2014)
  • Wide Receivers: Keenan Allen (2013-2019) and Malcom Floyd (2010-2015)
  • Tight End: Antonio Gates (2010-2018)
  • Flex O: Austin Ekeler (2017-2019)
  • Left Tackle: King Dunlap (2013-2016)
  • Left Guard: Kris Dielman (2010-2011)
  • Center: Nick Hardwick (2010-2014)
  • Right Guard: Louis Vasquez (2010-2012)
  • Right Tackle: Jeromey Clary (2010-2014)

Defense:

  • Edge Rushers: Joey Bosa (2016-2019) and Melvin Ingram (2012-2019)
  • Defensive Interior: Corey Liuget (2011-2018) and Damion Square (2014-2019)
  • Nose tackle: Brandon Mebane (2016-2019)
  • Linebackers: Donald Butler (2011-2015) and Takeo Spikes (2011-2012)
  • Cornerbacks: Casey Hayward (2016-2019) and Quentin Jammer (2010-2012)
  • Strong Safety: Derwin James (2018-2019)
  • Free Safety: Eric Weddle (2010-2015)

Special Teams:

  • Kicker: Nick Novak (2011-2014, 2017)
  • Punter: Mike Scifres (2010-2015)

Telesco  has been the GM for 7 of the 10 years in this period. Yet just 8 of the 24 players named here were acquired by Telesco. And those 8 include T Dunlap and interior DL Square, who should be on no franchise's all decade team, and DT Mebane, who arguably should have been second to DT Garay.

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