Over the next few weeks the fanfare around getting Jim Harbaugh, the new GM and the coaching/staff buildout will rage on, and for good reason - this is absolutely GREAT. The main question not being addressed is "what does the President of Football Operations do in the new Chargers organization?" Or more so, should there even be a role like this at all?
We've all heard the Spani are willing to give up control, and Harbaugh wouldn't have come here if he didn't have the control he needed to be successful. That's a good start, but it's not enough for me, because 1) there are no details of this control (what it entails and what it doesn't); 2) I don't believe the Spani have the judgment and humility to correct their own failures, and 3) I'd like to know definitively if John has any space to tinker with this team - hiring, player decisions, roster structure, etc. NO MORE HIDING.
Although Daddy Spanos got mad and wants changes, and John Spanos said he learned a lot from his tenure in his current role, neither of them implicated John in the poor performance of the team, even indirectly. If one were to ask John about his list of mistakes, it would likely be only one thing...relying on the wrong people. This way, blame is completely deflected.
But whatever, when you own the team you control the narrative. The REAL issue is Dean has too many kids and he ran out of executive positions to give them. Deano obviously needs more imagination here.
John Spanos needs to be promoted to some role that minimizes the damage he can do. Something like King of Super Cool Non-Football Things. He'd be awesome in that role, I'm sure. And why not a role like that? He's already in a made-up one. If you look at four NFL organizations largely considered top tier (49ers, Ravens, Steelers, Chiefs), none of these teams have a President or VP of Football Operations nor do they separate any related responsibilities from the GM (John Lynch is GM/Football Operations).
So what happens in Chargerville? What does 'lil Johnny do now? Does he act more like an owner than front office staff and manage the accountability and governance for Dean? That wouldn't be so bad. Then just call him the President and drop the Football Operations tag.
The press and the fans cannot let ownership sweep this detail under the rug while we all do cartwheels for the new regime. The specifics of relinquishing control need to be clear.