The year 2017 will be a pivotal one for the now Los Angeles Chargers.
New city, new fans and a new head coach. Anthony Lynn will have his work cut out for him in his first year as a head coach in the NFL, for a variety of reasons.
He will have to find a way to keep pace in what could be the toughest division in the NFL, the AFC West. Those six games could decide whether the Chargers are a playoff team or not.
So, in order to be competitive and ultimately win games, what will be Lynn’s biggest challenge this season?
In an interview earlier this year on the On Air with Ryan Seacrest show, Lynn said acclimating to the team’s new home will be his biggest challenge.
“The whole relocation, would be number one. Operating in different facilities until we get our permanent facilities built. Other than that, I don’t see much else. We’re football coaches and football players and we’re going to play wherever. We don’t care if there’s 300 people, 30,000 or 80,000. We’re going to show up and we’re going to play, but once we get into our routine I think all the distractions will fall by the wayside and it will become all football”, said Lynn.
That’s all well and good, but I feel like that’s a pretty generic answer. How about something that relates to the field of play itself?
How many times has this team been on the cusp of winning games in the last few seasons and it just wasn’t able to close it out? Too many to count. That’s almost entirely on coaching and if you can point to one thing that cost Mike McCoy his job, it was the fact that his squad routinely took its foot off the gas pedal.
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Lynn will need to instill a killer instinct. He will need to teach his team to play 60 minutes and keep laying it on even if you have a big lead. That’s what this team needs, and bringing it out will be Lynn’s biggest challenge.
You’ll notice that there was very little turnover within the team this offseason. General manager Tom Telesco didn’t go crazy on the free-agent market. That shows that he believed in the team that he already had, just not the coach that was in place. Lynn has been charged with getting more out of virtually the same group. The team is capable of scoring points, building leads and taking it to most teams in the league. Is it capable of closing most of those games out?
Well, Mr. Lynn, that ball has bounced into your court.