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GM Tom Telesco Reflects on Chargers' Season and ‘Hard Knocks' Appearance

On Thursday afternoon Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco addressed several needs for the offseason including the draft, signing a kicker and his team's potential appearance on HBO's Hard Knocks series.

Telesco immediately admitted to failing first year head coach Anthony Lynn in the kicking game, yet remains optimistic about the future of Chargers. Telesco spoke with an extreme confidence when he mentioned Lynn and assessed his first year and his coaching style.

"I really saw a high level of grit and determination that I didn't see last year (2016)," Telesco said.

He went on to mention what his off-season plans would be especially concerning Antonio Gates, and Tre Boston, as both players' contracts are up with the Bolts.

"We'll probably let some time go a little bit now after the season's over, and then sit down with Antonio and just kind of talk with him, see what his thoughts are and what he's thinking, see what our thoughts are and what we're thinking."

Being in Los Angeles can change a perspective when it comes to elevating your brand, and in the case of the Chargers moving from San Diego, Telesco seemed a lot more open at the idea of the team being featured on 'Hard Knocks' series.



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"We have a really good relationship with NFL Films and Ross Ketover and his staff, they do really excellent work," Telesco said. "And that show is really good because they give great access."

Telesco did show a small amount of reserve when it came to cameras and microphones following the players and coaches arounds for several weeks.

However, if given the opportunity this would be a huge move to making Los Angeles know more about the Chargers and their players.

Other teams who are in contention for 'Hard Knocks' are the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and Washington.

Jason Verrett missed 15 games of the 2017 season due to a knee injury that required surgery, Telesco seemed pleased about the recovery of Verrett.

Based on his chronic knee problems over the past years, it's highly likely that Verrett will move to safety. Telesco was amazed on how much production his team received for all three cornerbacks.

Of course with a 36-year-old Philip Rivers come off another excellent season, however the question remained will the Bolts look for Rivers successor in the draft this year?

"It's been a priority every year to have the next guy," Telesco said. "Kellen [Clemens] is the backup, and he's older as well, so you have to have a future plan. And you just never know when that opportunity is going to be there. So you just can't sit back and wait and then decide when you're going into one year and say, 'You know what, this year we're going draft a quarterback,' because it may not line up for you. You don't go into a draft saying we're going draft a QB, a RB and a WR. You never know how it's going to play out. So we'll be prepared whatever year it is. If the right guy is there at the right spot, then we'll do it. Because as well as Philip is playing, we know he's not going be here for 10 more years."

With the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and Free Agency period coming up along with the NFL Draft, there is truly no off season for Telesco and his staff. He informed us on his itinerary for the future as they continue to build a contender in Los Angeles.

"Still assessing our current team, getting together with the coaches... and some of them, we've got to take a little bit of time off," Telesco said. "Not time off, but step away and not do some evaluations right away, right after the season is over, because I know for the coaches, it's a long year. It's a grind. We're all upset we didn't make the playoffs. In this month, we also have some college All-Star games (where we'll) do some college draft work. Scouts will be at different All-Star games. I'm trying to get to a couple as well. So January is a pretty big planning month except for the college work, that's a little more scouting. And then February is really a lot of the same thing, starting again in March."

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