Earlier this week, CBS Sports’ Sean Wagner-McGough ranked the league’s front offices by their offseason work thus far. Predictably, the top two spots belonged to the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers (two clubs that had decidedly different versions of a perfect offseason). Somewhat more surprising was just how long you would have to scroll to find the Los Angeles Chargers. Even following what was widely hailed as one of the best hauls of the 2017 NFL Draft, Wagner-McGough ranked the Chargers’ offseason as one of the 10 worst in the league. He wrote of Los Angeles’ offseason:
Most of the Chargers' moves were related to their coaching staff. They hired Anthony Lynn as coach, Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator and Ken Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator. There's no way to know how Lynn will fare in his first stint as a head coach, but the experience of Bradley and Whisenhunt is reason for optimism. They weren't good head coaches, but thrived as coordinators.
Signing Russell Okung to replace King Dunlap is an upgrade, but Okung has his own injury issues. At least they signed their first-round pick, Mike Williams, early this year.
Now, Wagner-McGough glosses over the importance of the coaching staff changes made by Tom Telesco and co. The ability to go from Mike McCoy to, well, literally anyone not named Mike McCoy, is incredible. It is rare that you can upgrade any position let alone one as important as head coach by as much as you do simply by firing Mike McCoy.
And while Mike McCoy was one the worst head coaches of all time, the Chargers’ offensive line in 2017 was nearly as bad. In one offseason, the Chargers front office has turned over nearly the entire line and every change they made projects as an improvement if not a massive improvement. To talk about the Chargers’ offseason without mentioning the name Forrest Lamp is to miss the point entirely.
The Chargers have gotten notably better at key positions in the organization and on the roster. They have done so without ruining their salary cap for the future. It might not compare to the mastery of Bill Belichick, but bottom 10 seems a little low to me.
What do you think? Is the Chargers’ ranking fair? Too low? Too high?