Tom Telesco taking steps to improve the San Diego Chargers franchise off the field

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

It's been just a few months since Tom Telesco was hired as General Manager of the San Diego Chargers, and he's already done more to improve the franchise off the field than anyone could've expected.

It's Sunday. There's not a lot of San Diego Chargers news going on today. I want to take the opportunity to point out the ways in which Tom Telesco has dragged this franchise out of the dark years of A.J. Smith, because fans may not have noticed all of them.

  • The Head Coach that doesn't call plays: I was told by people who would know that this would never happen. Dean Spanos didn't see the reason to spend the money and A.J. thought that it meant paying a coach to do nothing. As soon as A.J. hit the door, Dean was open to the idea. Enter, Mike McCoy and a renewed focus on fundamentals.
  • All new everything: Don't be shocked if you see a bunch of upgrades at Qualcomm Stadium this year, including to the home locker room, even if it is on its way out. As far as I knew, nobody was complaining about the facilities (including the field) at Chargers Park. Yet, before Mini Camp even started, there was the new sod being laid down and new paint going on every wall.
  • Treating alumni with respect: Here's the impetus to this post being written. Training Camp is now two weeks old, and has already included visits from LaDainian Tomlinson, Donnie Edwards and Luis Castillo. On Saturday, the Chargers hosted a few dozen former players during the team practice (including one that was once escorted off of the practice field at the behest of A.J. Smith for not being a part of the team).

A.J. Smith always had an "us against the world" mentality that seemed very old-school. With free agency and the way players jump from team to team these days, rarely playing on the same team for their entire career, writing off players once they no longer a part of the San Diego Chargers sent a poor message to the current players and the fans of this franchise.

So, thank you Tom Telesco. I am crediting you (although I'm fairly certain that John Spanos, A.G. Spanos, Dean Spanos and Mike McCoy have each played a part) for what I perceive to be an upgrade from a second-class operation to a first-class operation. The fans have noticed, the media has noticed and the players have certainly noticed. This is exactly what I was hoping to see from the new General Manager of the Chargers.

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