Chargers general manager Tom Telesco took to the podium on Wednesday morning to meet with the media in what was being called his annual “combine” press conference. With the week-long festivities canceled this season in Indianapolis due to the ongoing pandemic, Telesco still wanted to give the media his normal availability to answer any and all questions we in the media have for him.
At least, only to the degree that he would allow.
Telesco is infamous for being fairly tight-lipped when it comes to any of his plans for the offseason. You could collect a 100 four-leaf clovers and still not be lucky enough for TT to let slip some tangible information on his strategies. So as much as I’d like to give you all some intriguing nuggets about what to expect over the next few months, I can’t. However we’ve still got some notable statements to touch on, regardless.
One of the first thing Telesco said in his press conference was that this Chargers team has plenty of areas to improve on this season, not just the offensive line, Of course the line was a hot topic on the call, but TT was constantly making sure all reporters knew that his view on the team’s “needs” were probably different from theirs and the respective public’s.
#Chargers GM Tom Telesco says the team needs to add more talent everywhere. Notes he doesn't believe the team is simply a better line away from becoming the team they want to be.— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) March 4, 2021
When discussing where he thinks the Bolts need to improve, he highlighted a handful of areas. First, Telesco pointed at the lack of efficiency running the football. He didn’t think the team got the necessary yards when they needed them on a consistent enough basis and that leads into the next area needing improvement: the red zone offense.
Telesco noted that not enough points were scored when inside the 20-yard line, which obviously wasn’t helped by the lack of short-yardage run game. Of course that area could be directly related to lack of blocking ability up front, but could this have been a hint as the team looking for some extra pop at the running back position? Maybe an upgrade at fullback, perhaps? TT left it all up in the air.
#Chargers GM Tom Telesco says the team must improve the following:— Fernando Ramirez (@RealFRamirez) March 4, 2021
On offense he wants to run the ball better and be better in the red zone.
Defense he wants to get consistent pressure and create takeaways.
Special teams he wants to improve field position.
The defensive side of the ball was not forgotten either, in case you were wondering. Telesco said that the two-minute defense “wasn’t up to par” and the unit’s ability to rush the passer and take the ball away was also lacking. With the team expected to let Melvin Ingram walk and other notable defenders potentially hitting the free market, the Bolts may have to re-tool the unit more than they’d like this offseason.
Lastly, Telesco made sure to reiterate the necessity of improving on special teams. Specifically, he noted that they need to be better at “gunner” on kicking coverages, stating that the team didn’t “fit that right.” As of the regular season finale, rookie receiver Joe Reed and cornerback Brandon Facyson were the team’s gunners on punt coverage.
Today's #Chargers word of the day out of the press conference -- adaptable.— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) March 4, 2021
Another note I think is worth shining a light on was the healthy use of the word “adaptable” whenever Telesco was asked about Brandon Staley and his coaching staff. Whether the specific topic was regarding the new coordinators or the expected strategies on either side of the ball, TT stressed the adaptability of the entire staff. Fans and everyone keeping tabs on the Chargers shouldn’t worry themselves with labeling the exact type of offense or defense we all expect to see in 2021. Whatever it ends up being, Staley and his staff will craft it all with their player’s talents in mind to create success with whomever trots out on the field later this year.
If you truly need a word to label it all, just know things will be very “multiple.”
Finally, we unfortunately didn’t get much in the way of teasers in regards to the team’s plans for this year’s draft. Telesco said there are plenty of deep position groups, as well as not so deep ones, but anything past that is up for us to guess. Again, going back to his earlier statements on how there is likely a divide between the needs he believes are at the top for the team and what fans and the rest of us believe, there’s a real chance we see a surprise selection within those first three rounds. In fact, it will probably be similar to last year’s event when the Chargers traded back into the first round to select an off-ball linebacker in Kenneth Murray Jr.