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Anthony Lynn Reveals Plans for Rookie Class

Anthony Lynn sits in his office, furiously writing into a notepad. 

On his desk to his right is a stack of binders.  To his left, a TV with game film frozen mid-play.

Determined to build the Chargers in his vision, Lynn's worked virtually round the clock from the moment he was hired on January 13.  Five days removed from a hectic draft weekend, the head coach still barely has time to breathe.   When told the rave reviews the Bolts' seven-member draft class is earning from media pundits, he merely lets out a chuckle.

"Take all that with a grain of salt," he laughs.

As he notes, how can you really grade a draft until the players actually take the field?

For Lynn, that's where the fun begins.

Now he gets to mold these prospects into not only NFL players, but Chargers.

His staff spent a lot of time with scouts identifying players they believe possessed the traits worthy of donning the lightning bolt.

So what does it mean to be a Charger?

"It means being a guy who loves football.  Someone who comes in with his work hat on.  Someone who has a strong work ethic.  That's the culture of the standard and expectations we have.  Those guys have those traits.  That's why we picked them. Coming from the coaches and watching them on tape, everything is consistent. When you get the guys in the building who you like, and who you wanted, and you get to jumpstart their NFL careers in the community and also on the field; it's a privilege."

Every player the Bolts drafted stuck out to Lynn when he watched them on tape.  If they didn't, he would have immediately taken them off the board.

"I envision (how a player will fit in)* when* I'm watching him on tape," he explained. "As we watch a guy on tape, if we don't start creating a vision for him, he's probably not a good fit.  When I was watching Mike (Williams) I was already seeing how I wanted to use him. If we can't see it, we're not going to draft him."

Lynn also has a clear vision of how he plans to assimilate the 22 rookies into the team now that they are officially Chargers. Basically, they are going to be thrown right into the fire.

"As soon as we get them in here, we'll just plug them right in," he said bluntly.  "These guys are used to being in a team environment.  This isn't new. When they left high school and went to college, they were with different teammates.  There's nothing (new) that these guys aren't used to.  We'll get them plugged right in. It might be quite different than what they did in college.  Right now they can't get enough exposure with the offense and reps on the field."

Lynn understands that all rookies face varying degrees of a learning curve.  However, it's on them to pick up the slack.  After all, once they take the field for OTAs they'll be expected to keep up as the vets won't be slowing down.

"That's going to take some time.  But, the more we can put them through (the better).  They're going to get some OTA exposure, some mini camp exposure and then we take them to training camp.   They get team exposure three times in that period.  But what they do on their own is going to be critical. How they study, prepare, and learn that playbook.  That's why when you draft these guys, you want guys who love football.  You don't want them, when they get the summer break, to close the playbook and never look at it again until we come back. We like the guys we have.  They have good study habits and are professionals."

That doesn't mean there won't be hiccups along the way.  Lynn notes the speed at the NFL level will take all 22 players by surprise.  It always does.  The only way to get acclimated is through repetition.

"Speed is the (hardest thing).  When you watch a college game, you can see who the elite athletes are.  There's a difference in play speed (and) quickness.  Just flat out speed.  But in the National Football League, when (the players) are all elite, sometimes it's hard to tell how fast the game really is.  Speed is the biggest adjustment for guys.  The terminology that they're going to have to learn now is probably five times what they're used to."

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