The San Diego Chargers have made it clear that they would like to have a new general manager in place before they hire a head coach.
Indianapolis Colts director of player personnel Tom Telesco and San Diego’s own director of player personnel Jimmy Raye are reportedly the frontrunners for the job. Another name in the mix is San Francisco 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble, who the Chargers are scheduled to meet with today. Gamble has also been heavily courted by the New York Jets.
Whoever is chosen as general manager will likely have a huge say in who becomes the next head coach. But the Chargers should choose quickly before all their head coaching candidates sign elsewhere.
The Chargers have already lost out on three candidates they reportedly were interested in. The Chargers met with Syracuse University football coach Doug Marrone and planned on having a formal interview with him, but Marrone decided to join the Buffalo Bills as their next head coach.
The Chargers scheduled an interview with former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, but he decided to become the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs took the opposite approach as the Chargers, as Reid will be given a say in who becomes their new general manager after the Chiefs agreed to fire GM Scott Pioli, probably at Reid’s request.
Bill O’Brien decided to stay in at the college level and return for his second year resurrecting the Penn State football program. O’Brien was reportedly on the Chargers wish list, but decided to remain at Penn State before the Chargers could convince him otherwise.
Choosing a general manager first could also hurt the Chargers chances at getting a coach like Mike Holmgren. Holmgren, who led the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl as head coach, is an offensive mind who could help Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ 31st ranked offense. However, Holmgren, who was President of the Cleveland Browns last season, would probably want more control in personnel decisions and a say in who becomes the team’s general manager.
The Chargers are expected to name a new general manager sometime this week. Hopefully, they do so before their top coaching candidates choose other alternatives.