Last week Jim Harbaugh had the chance to stand in front of the media and answer questions as he was introduced as the next head coach of the LA Chargers. This week it was Joe Hortiz turn after Hortiz was officially hired to replace Tom Telesco as general manager.
Hortiz spent over two decades in the Baltimore Ravens organization and is going to play a key role in rebuilding the culture alongside Harbaugh. After watching how Tom Telesco operated for the last 11 seasons, Chargers fans are excited to see how Hortiz changes things for the better.
Fans got their first real taste of Hortiz on Tuesday and it is safe to say that any excitement around the new GM has been multiplied. Hortiz said all the right things in the introductory press conference and had two revealing quotes, in particular, that fans are excited about.
Chargers GM Joe Hortiz proves he is no Tom Telesco
The first statement that got Chargers fans excited was Hortiz explained his thought process on making trades to improve the roster. Hortiz affirmed that he would not shy away from making trades that improve the Chargers at any point of the calendar.
For those unaware (or who were simply trying to forget) making in-season trades to improve the roster was not something that Telesco did often as the GM of the Chargers. In fact, Telesco just made one in-season trade for talent in his entire tenure and it happened in his first season.
Telesco went a decade without making an in-season trade for talent even when the Chargers desperately needed it. He was not shy about trading the likes of Desmond King or J.C. Jackson, but he did not trade draft assets in-season to improve the team.
Nor did he ever trade back in the draft to pick up more capital. That is something the Ravens did a lot of while Hortiz was with the team, and fans are hoping that continues with the Chargers.
That leads to the second statement that Hortiz made that fans are excited about. During the press conference, Hortiz stressed the importance of compensatory picks in the NFL Draft. Compensatory picks are awarded when a team loses a player in free agency, and where the pick falls depends on how much that player was signed for by their new team.
The Chargers did not make many compensatory picks in Telesco's tenure even though he rarely re-signed draft picks. This was because the team would often offset the compensatory formula by signing overpriced, over-the-hill veterans.
Having these compensatory picks is not only a way to boost a draft class in any particular season, but it opens the door to trade draft picks for in-season help knowing that there are more picks coming in the pipeline. That is the big-picture view that Telesco never seemed to grasp.