LA Chargers general manager Tom Telesco spoke to the media on Thursday after his initial press conference was postponed from last week. This was a must-watch for many Charger fans as the team heads into an offseason that is going to be extremely important with the amount of money the team can spend as well as the amount of draft picks that the team has in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Of course, there is also a good portion of the fanbase that is not happy with Tom Telesco. Telesco has been the Chargers general manager for nine seasons, making the playoffs just twice in that span.
Speaking of the team's lack of playoff success since Telesco took over the helm, let's dive into our first takeaway from Telesco's end-of-season press conference.
Biggest takeaways from Chargers GM Tom Telesco's press conference:
1. Tom Telesco isn't worried about the past or his job security
To be fair, no general manager is going to come out and straight-up say that he knows that his seat is getting warm and he is worried about his future. That being said, Telesco went as far as to say that he does not even think of past years and is only looking towards the future of the team.
Telesco stated multiple times that he views this as a new beginning; a new beginning with a new coaching staff, a new stadium and excitement in the fan base that was caused by this new start. Job security is not even something that is on his mind.
2. Tom Telesco 100% supports Brandon Staley
Brandon Staley caught some heat at the end of the season for his decision-making on fourth downs as well as the Chargers' shoddy defense. Staley was touted as a defensive guru before the season and the fact that the Bolts had one of the worst defenses in the league (rightfully) does not sit well with fans.
Telesco was never going to come out to the media and publicly bash his first-year head coach but he still made it very clear that he supports Brandon Staley's decision-making and trusts his head coach to make the right decision.
Not only did Telesco say that he "100%" supported Brandon Staley's decision-making, but he also praised Staley for the establishment of a new identity on this football team. Telesco touted how close Staley is to the players and how he is the main reason for this new identity, which as he already said, is part of the start of a new beginning.
Telesco has to be all-in on Brandon Staley. Staley's future directly impacts Telesco's future. If Staley does end up being a bust (highly doubtful) then Telesco will absolutely get the boot.
3. Mike Williams is probably coming back
Tom Telesco didn't outright say that the LA Chargers are going to re-sign Mike Williams this offseason but he essentially said everything that he needed to say. Just about everyone from Brandon Staley to Justin Herbert has been extremely complimentary of Williams and it is clear that everyone in the building wants Williams to stay in the building.
Telesco praised Williams' performance in overtime against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18 and mentioned that if the Chargers would have won the game it would have been a story that everyone would still be talking about.
4. Tom Telesco does not believe in quarterback rookie contract windows
Telesco made sure to emphasize multiple times throughout the presser that there is always a sense of urgency in the building every single year and that they are trying to win a Super Bowl every single year (not sure I believe that considering the team decided to start Tyrod Taylor last year, but carry on). He made those comments to preface the fact that he does not view this offseason to be as "urgent" as he does not believe in rookie contract windows for quarterbacks.
Telesco mentioned the team's success with Philip Rivers (you only made the playoffs twice with him), the Colts' success with Peyton Manning and the fact that 10 of the 14 quarterbacks in the playoffs still are not on rookie contracts.
While that is all true, it is hard to deny the fact that you have a massive competitive advantage when you are paying your quarterback less than market value. Guys like Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff (as bad as he is), Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz (Nick Foles won but the team was so good because they had money to spend) are recent examples of this being the case.
Then you have Tom Brady, who constantly took pay cuts to help the Patriots spend elsewhere on the roster. Even now, Brady's cap hit is only $18.3 million, which ranks 17th among quarterbacks.
Does this mean that you can only win a Super Bowl if you are not paying your quarterback a top-tier salary? No. But it obviously is a competitive advantage that has so much recent history to back it up. To outright ignore that and say that you don't believe it is a thing is a concerning thing for Tom Telesco to say... unless it is just a smokescreen (hopefully).