SAN DIEGO – Offensive Coordinator Clarence Shelmon cleared his office desk late Tuesday afternoon, preparing for a video interview.
Before recording began, something spawned a discussion about how the angle looked on camera. Shelmon remarked no camera could ever make him look good, punctuating his joke with a knowing twinkle.
The self-depreciation matches other insight into Shelmon, who created a scholarship in 1999 in memory of his mother. Shelmon and his wife help pay for the college education of four high school seniors every year from his hometown of Bossier City, La..
A former running back that racked up touchdowns behind Gary “Big Hands” Johnson in high school, Shelmon coached that position in the NFL from 1991-2006, helping four different backs reach a total of 11 Pro Bowls before becoming coordinator in ’07.
Shelmon oversaw 2,000-yard rushing seasons in San Diego during each of his five seasons as running backs coach and has completed 20 seasons in the NFL.
But his voice doesn’t sound aware of his accomplishments, spilling forth in a volume that requires focus to hear. Occasionally he allows a closed-lipped grin.
He’s not shy. During games, Head Coach Norv Turner and Shelmon work together closely on play calls. The two both coached for USC, the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys before converging in San Diego, where they’ve teamed since ’07 to produce one of the NFL’s best offenses.
“If he gets stuck and he needs runs, I’m probably the one he asks,” Shelmon said, adding that Turner calls all the plays. “You don’t interrupt his train of thought, but if I have an idea I mention it to him and if he wants input he’ll ask me.”
Find out more about the man who bears a large responsibility for making the Chargers’ offense go.