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Looking for the Best 53 Players
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Thursday night came and went.
After the seats cleared and the lights dimmed at Qualcomm Stadium, the scoreboard read: Seahawks 31, Chargers 10.
Head Coach Mike McCoy and General Manager Tom Telesco’s first game at the helm was less than ideal, but still productive.
Looking past the score, the intention of the Chargers front office was to evaluate the 90 players that currently fill the roster sheet, and that’s exactly what they did.
“We played a lot of guys there,” McCoy said. “We’re trying to find out who are going to be the guys that we need to step up and who performed and raised their level of play when they got the opportunities. That’s what we’re looking for, who are the reliable backups going to be on this football team because there’s going to be injuries over time. We gave a lot of guys a lot of good opportunities and they did a nice job with it.”
After playing the starters for less than a quarter, McCoy called to the second and third teams to finish out the game. It was their chance to prove they were worthy of a roster spot and competing at the highest level.
“I thought the offense and the defense obviously got off to a good start for the first preseason game, kind of playing the game the way we want to play it,” McCoy said. “Moving on, after the first group kind of came out, there’s some improvement we need to make with the twos and threes that came in.”
But that is expected and raised no concern with McCoy. It is a brand new year and everybody starts off fresh, regardless of your past.
“We’re moving forward,” McCoy said. “With everyone on the football team, we said everyone was going to start with a clean slate here this year. Just go do what you can do. We’re moving on from the past here. Everyone’s got an opportunity, so you got to show us day in and day out that you can get the job done. That’s not just the young players, that’s the veterans, that’s everybody on the football team, so you got to step up and do your job every day.”
As the preseason continues and the regular season nears, the front office will continue to evaluate players and find the best 53 for the regular season roster. Now it’s up to the guys in that locker room to make the most of their opportunities, whether it’s on the practice field or in preseason games.
“We’re working day in and day out to try to figure out the best way to improve this football team,” McCoy said. “That was one of the big things we talked to the players about before the game is make the most of your opportunities. There’s some guys right now on this football team that have the opportunity of a lifetime and they got to take advantage of it.”