Los Angeles Chargers general manager, Tom Telesco, has gotten a lot of praise after the 2018 season and with good reason. But he has a secret weapon that has not been spoken of enough.
Although his first coaching hire was a flop, it appears that he found a real leader with his second hire, coach Anthony Lynn. Lynn appears to be a candidate for Coach of the Year, and together with Telesco, a 12-4 regular season was crafted.
Furthermore, all five of Telesco’s first-round draft picks have been starters for a decent amount of time. While many bemoan his first pick, D.J. Fluker, even Fluker has started several games this season for the Seattle Seahawks.
Telesco has perhaps been even better in later rounds, finding hidden gems such as third-rounder Keenan Allen, sixth-rounder Darius Philon, and fifth-rounder Desmond King II. He has also rightfully earned the nickname “Coupon God” by getting great deals in free agency such as Mike Pouncey, Casey Hayward, Matt Slauson, and Danny Woodhead.
Just thinking about these deals and steals should make any Chargers fan ecstatic about the offseason. Imagine what this team could do with another offseason of steals like Hayward, Pouncey, or a Derwin James.
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While Telesco has had his share of bad moves (see: kicking and punting situations), he has done more than enough to be considered among the better GMs in the NFL. And we still haven’t mentioned one of his best weapons: secrecy.
Telesco has been the NFL’s model GM when it comes to keeping his team’s decisions and opinions private. Don’t believe me? Here is a collection of projections for the Chargers’ first pick in 2016. None of them predict the Chargers will take Joey Bosa. This tweet perfectly describes that situation.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) April 29, 2016
Telesco has also done a good job keeping free-agent pursuits as quiet as possible. While this may just seem annoying to fans, it can be a significant advantage when it comes to these transactions. Don’t believe me on this either?
Remember that in 2017, the Chicago Bears traded the No. 3 overall pick along with their third and fourth-round draft picks to the San Francisco 49ers to move up one spot to the No. 2 pick. The 49ers likely had no interest in the eventual second pick, Mitchell Trubisky, and gained two picks due almost totally to their secrecy around their interests in prospects.
While situations like this rarely present themselves, it is always a good idea for a team to keep their player interests secret. And “Coupon God” Telesco is an expert at keeping his team from leaking information. That is just another reason why Telesco is the right person to lead personnel decisions for the Chargers and another reason why we should be excited about this offseason.