clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

4 takeaways from Joe Hortiz’s introductory press conference

New Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz met with the media on Tuesday morning for the first time since being hired.

Introductory press conference of Chargers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh at YouTube Theater in Inglewood Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

New Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz held his introductory press conference on Tuesday morning. It was his first appearance in front of the media since being hired as he took questions for around 45 minutes.

The live stream of the presser did not start out well as most watching online likely received an error message on a black screen that lasted through most of John Spanos’ introduction and into Hortiz’s opening comments. After the technical difficulties were ironed out, we were finally able to listen to the Bolts’ new team builder.

Here are my three biggest takeaways from the presser:

1.) Hortiz wants to get the “comp pick cycle” started immediately

When the topic of conversation turned towards the NFL’s comp pick structure, you could see Hortiz’s eyes light up instantly. If there is anyone who understands just how important comp picks can be when it comes to building and sustaining team success, it’s the Ravens.

Since the system was instituted in 1994, the Ravens have received the most comp picks in the entire NFL with 55. Following the 2022 season, the Ravens were set to receive zero comp picks in that year’s draft, the first time in over 13 years they went without.

When asked about how he views player acquisition and development, Hortiz said he is “a big fan of comp picks” and went on to explain how once you get the cycle started of signing, developing, and making smart business decisions, you can set your franchise up for success for years to come.

2.) Hortiz knows he’s landed in an ideal general manager position

Hortiz said that if you were to ask anyone vying for a general manager spot about the two things they look for the most in an opportunity, they’ll tell you that they want a great head coach, a great quarterback., and great ownership. Hortiz stated that the Chargers check all three of those boxes, calling it a “dream job” for any former scout in the NFL.

He also noted that a ton of his friends and colleagues that he’s made throughout the years as a scout have reached out and voiced their excitement for him and what they believe the Chargers are building this offseason.

If that’s the case, it’s good to know it’s not just the fans who feel that way.

3.) Hortiz has wanted to work with Jim Harbaugh for a long time

Hortiz and Jim Harbaugh’s history goes a further back than most probably knew.

When asked about how his feelings on getting to work with Harbaugh as his head coach, Hortiz said that he’s been near the top of his list for a long time. One of the earliest memories he has of Harbaugh is a comical anecdote of a 22-year old Hortiz getting the chance to play racquetball with the Harbaugh brothers. Hortiz thought it was such a cool experience getting to “compete with a starting NFL quarterback.”

Well, Hortiz was run ragged in the competition, but that cemented an impression on him that has apparently lasted well over two decades later.

4.) Hortiz wants good players, but they’re nothing if not committed to the TEAM

When asked about the traits he looks for in the prospects that he scouts, Hortiz brought up some of the usual keywords: Tough, fast, big, strong. These are simply what they are and what people expect to hear. But Hortiz then elaborated that these prospects are only 50 percent the talent they bring to the field. The other half is the person. Their persoanlity and traits that make up who they are. Hortiz covets those that are “committed to team” which is a mindset that both him and Harbaugh have carried with them from their previous teams.

When media members, pundits and the players themselves discuss what ultimately makes the best teams the best in the league, they often mention an overall “buy-in” from everyone into the identity and goals of the whole. This has been synonymous with franchises who see sustained success so it’s no surprise the Chargers are in pursuit of just that.

This topic should hit home a bit more for Charger fans who saw what many believed to be a chasm in the locker room with Brandon Staley and his players towards the end of his tenure. It wasn’t until after he was fired that ESPN’s Kris Rhim reported on the divided locker room and how that led to the downfall of the Chargers’ previous coach.

As of now, it looks like Hortiz and Harbaugh are getting as much of a jump as possible on making sure everything is as close to a well-oiled machine as possible when the staff and roster finally become complete ahead of the 2024 regular season.