The saying goes that if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. It appears that the San Diego Chargers are taking that to heart this offseason with their massive amount of turnover at several key positions of authority. Let’s take a closer look at just how many new faces will be seen on the sidelines next season when the Chargers try to buck the trend of missing the playoffs for the past three years.
Obviously the changes started with both General Manager A.J. Smith and Head Coach Norv Turner getting the boot. The replacements in Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy signal a new dawn for the organization. At a combined 80 years of age between the two, they are the youngest head coach, GM combination in the league.
Much of the coaching staff under Turner is now working elsewhere or looking for work as McCoy announced several changes over the course of the past week. Long-time offensive line coach and offensive coordinator this past season Hal Hunter will not be back in 2013. Neither will Hall of Fame wide receiver Charlie Joiner. Hunter was with the team since the days of Marty Schottenheimer while Joiner coached receivers for the team from 1987 to 1991 and 2008 to 2012 for a total of 10 years. He played 11 of his 18 NFL seasons with the Bolts.
The new faces are recognizable mostly from the Arizona Cardinals’ former staff surprisingly enough with Ken Whisenhunt taking over as coordinator and Frank Reich, former Cards’ receivers coach, coaching quarterbacks for the Chargers. Rumors are that Russ Grimm, a Hall of Famer himself, may come over from Arizona as well to coach the offensive line in San Diego. The only Bolts coach coming back on the offensive side of the ball will be Jason Michael, the tight ends coach who began his time in San Diego back in 2010.
On the defensive side of the ball, things will remain pretty much the same however with John Pagano set to continue the wonderful work he did last season with the team as well as linebackers coach Joe Barry and assistant linebackers coach Greg Williams. In the weight room, the players will have to get used to new faces though with strength and conditioning coach Jeff Hurd and his assistant Vernon Stephens being shown the door.
Perhaps the Bolts defensive guru Pagano summed it up best saying: “Change always brings excitement. Still, the bottom line is we’ve got to win games.” That’s all there is to it, this is a bottom line business for sure. With the youth infusion that this organization has undergone this offseason however, the level of optimism is higher than it has been in quite some time. There’s no reason to think that these sweeping changes won’t bring a complete change in results sooner rather than later for the franchise.
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