Tom Telesco sat down with Chargers team reporter Chris Hayre to discuss the 2019 Bolts’ progress as offseason workouts draw to a close.
Last Tuesday, NFL Network spent nearly three hours broadcasting live from Chargers minicamp. General Manager Tom Telesco was impressed with the Bolts performance in front of the cameras. In his interview on the “Chargers Weekly” podcast with team reporter Chris Hayre, Telesco said Tuesday might’ve been the Chargers best practice of the offseason.
“Both sides of the ball, offense and defense, very competitive. Great tempo, a lot of guys making a lot of plays, it was a good day”, said Telesco.
The Bolts’ 46-year-old executive emphasized how he believes Organized Team Activities (OTAs) present a unique opportunity for experimentation on both sides of the ball. Head coach Anthony Lynn has more room to try out new concepts during the Chargers’ 10 OTA practices and three-day minicamp period before players break until late July for training camp.
Telesco sees offseason workouts as a time for both young and new players to learn. Once training camp begins, the mentality shifts more toward competition. Chargers coaches and executives pay close attention to how players perform in training camp, as they formulate depth charts and prepare for the season.
In terms of the Chargers’ 2019 roster, Telesco prioritized adding players that would further the selfless culture Lynn has instilled within the locker room.
“The character part is just as important as the talent part. Coaching, front office, players, I mean, everyone’s going to make mistakes from time to time and learn from them. But as long as they have the right makeup as far as how they want to play this game, how they approach the game, how they treat people on and off the field, that’s what we’re looking for.”
One memory the Chargers will carry over from last season into 2019, according to Telesco, is the team’s season-ending loss to New England.
At the same time, Telesco discussed the importance of the Bolts being able to “flush” last season out. But, he wants the team to remember the bad taste New England left in their mouths and use it to fuel them in 2019.
“I don’t want anybody to forget that last loss last season. The wins and losses, they don’t carry over. But, the culture does.”
Telesco began shifting the Chargers culture back toward winning immediately after being hired in 2013. Hired at age 40, he became the youngest general manager in team history. The 2019 season will mark Telesco’s seventh season with the Bolts. He’s drafted multiple Pro Bowlers while leading the Chargers front office, including Keenan Allen, Jason Verrett, Melvin Gordon and Joey Bosa.