1-Man’s Opinion Column–Wednesday “Grade the Chargers General Manager”

Posted by on April 27th, 2016  •  0 Comments  • 

“Report Card Grade-Tom Telesco-Chargers GM”

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It is a tough, pressurized and demanding job.

Be the General Manager of an NFL team. The glory, when it works out well, the gore, when it goes bad.

Meet Tom Telesco, heading into his fourth year as the leader of the Chargers. You know them, the franchise that gave us Sid Gillman, Don Coryell, Bobby Ross and Marty Schottenheimer.

The franchise that won an AFL-title, was ahead of its’ time in the world of the passing game, and the team that went to the Super Bowl.

Telesco is trying to build the Bolts into something good for the long-term, but like anything else, once your quarterback is gone, the job gets tougher. The favorite NFL phrase, ‘you’re on the clock’ certainly pertains to the star quarterback Philip Rivers, age 35, and definitely is linked to the very high third choice the Bolts have on opening day of the draft,come Thursday.

The GM inherited a fractured franchise, where age, attitude issues, a player-agent feuds eroded what many thought would be a good era, starting with prior GM-John Butler, continuing thru the early years of the AJ Smith regime. But if you screw up the draft if you lose players to age, injury and contract disputes, you make mistakes on coaches, then it is tough to put a run together. Feel free to google Norv Turner, Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles and so many others.

Alex Spanos,senior owner, did poorly, in the handling of the Coryell exit. Son, Dean Spanos, wrecked the momentum twice with the ugly divorces involving Bobby Beathard and his coach Bobby Ross, then Smith and Schottenheimer.

Hard as it is to believe, the Chargers have won 1-playoff game in the last 7-years, with future Hall of Famer Philip Rivers in the huddle. Almost as insidious as never getting to the Super Bowl while Dan Fouts was at the controls.

So how has Telesco done as he heads for his fourth draft? Here’s a report card, player and draft grade, on the picks he has made. And a look-see at who he passed up, who became instant starters elsewhere from rounds 1-2-3 of each year.

(2013-Draft)

DJ Fluker…(Grade A)..A strong right tackle, now moved into right guard. A real warrior-gamer
….Bypassed DT-Sheldon Richardson, OT-Kyle Long, DT-Sylvester Williams, LB-Alec Ogletree.
Mantei Te’o..(Grade C)…Hasn’t really stayed healthy…might be heady..not real quick
….Bypassed DT-Kawaan Short..RB-Le’Veon Bell..LB-Jamie Collins..TE-Travis Kelce..S-Tyrann Matthieu.
Keenan Allen..(Grade A)…Sleek and quick…Strong route runner-burst after catch
….Bypassed TE-Jordan Reed..OG-Larry Wartford.

Stevie Williams..(Grade C)..Special teams guy-part-time DB-still not consistent.
Tourek Williams..(Grade C)..Someone has to play gunner on special teams.
Brad Sorenson..(Grade F)..Released 3X.

(2014-Draft)

Jason Verrett..(Grade A)..Has proven he can play-hit-cover-needs to stay healthy
….Bypassed WR-Kelvin Benjamin..QB-Derek Carr..DE-Steven Tuitt.
Jerry Attaochu..(Grace C)..Still to fully develop-just a guy right now-but upside
….Bypassed WR-Davante Adams..OG-Jack Mewholt..WR-Jarvis Landry..WR-Alan Robinson
Chris Watt..(Grade C)…Injured-not proven big enough to hold up
….Bypassed WR-John Brown..TE-Rich Rodgers..C-Bryan Stork..WR-Martavis Bryant.

Ryan Carrethers..(Grade C)..Plays as backup-not much impact
Marian Grice..(Grade F)…Washout
Tavis Reese..(Grade F)..Released also

(2015-Draft)

Melvin Gordon..(Grade B)..Shows tremendous flash..yes fumbles..no help offensive line..Star in making
….Bypassed DT-Arik Armstead..CB-Marcus Peters.
Denzel Perryman..(Grade B)..Tough guy-run stuffer-not good in coverage-good first year-bad team
….Bypassed DE-Frank Clark..OT-Ty Sambailio
Craig Mager..(Grade C)..Injured-played some towards end of season-more snaps coming
….Bypassed RB-David Johnson.

Kyle Emanuel…(Grade C)…Made 1-play early in season…steady not spectacular…not much impact
Darius Philion…(Grade C)…Might turnout okay-played lots after coming off injury..see if he makes big jump this year.

Grading Telesco with an (A) worth 4 points..(B)-3-points…(C)-1 point….(D) 0-points…his GPA thru 3-drafts is …(2.11) for the 17-players drafted over three years. That just a shade over a (C) grade. Sure seems like the iffy drafts, and the free agent mistakes, are leading to this franchise, wasting away the career of that guy, QB-Philip Rivers.

Lots of work to be done. Invoking another NFL phrase….”you need to step up your game-Tom” now that you are on the clock.

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