It's a little after 8:00pm Wednesday night, and at last, Anthony Lynn has a chance to breathe.
In fact, the Chargers head coach is finally able to grab a bite to eat after another busy day at the Senior Bowl. Nonetheless, Lynn took some time from his hectic schedule to provide fans an update on the Bolts.
Chargers.com:So this is your first real event as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. How is the Senior Bowl going for you?
Lynn: Well, the Senior Bowl is the Senior Bowl. The only difference is everyone here knows I am trying to complete my staff. I am getting stopped a lot. There are a lot of good coaches here looking for jobs. This is the place to be to meet with people. So I'm trying to complete my staff as my first priority, and at the same time, watching practice to find some good football players.
Chargers.com:One member of your staff that has been announced is Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley. Why was he the man for the job?
Lynn: It's pretty obvious. His record speaks for itself. He did a hell of a job as defensive coordinator with Seattle. He finished sixth in the league in defense last year in Jacksonville with some young players. So his reputation speaks for itself. But the thing that drew me to Gus Bradley the most is that I interviewed with him a couple years ago. We ended up not agreeing on me coming in to be his offensive coordinator. There were certain things I wanted that he couldn't do. But we had dinner and spent eight hours together. We really hit it off. We see things similarly, and it was the first time I ever left a football conversation and felt like a better father. I like what he brings to the table as a man, and his coaching career speaks for itself.
Chargers.com:It's obviously been a whirlwind few weeks for you. What is it you look for as you put your fingerprints on this organization?
Lynn: I'm trying to find guys who are capable of carrying out my vision and this organization's philosophy. That means guys who get the most out of their players and help develop them. Sometimes we put a lot of emphasis on football knowledge on what a coach knows, and I think that's very important, but I put a lot of emphasis on connecting with players. It's important to relate to players. So communication skills are very important. I look for all of those things in the two or three hour interviews with (candidates). I want to make sure they fit.
Chargers.com:How important is the Senior Bowl for a prospect, and why is this a valuable tool for you?
Lynn: It's big. For me, it's getting to watch them practice and interact with their teammates. You get to see their work ethic. The scouts do a good job all year long, and we have a lot of information already, but it's different seeing someone in person than on tape. For coaches, this is our first chance to see them in person.
Chargers.com:What is it that you specifically look for in a prospect?
Lynn: Every position has critical factors and position specifics. We have all the height, weight stats. But I want to see someone compete. I want to see them give effort in each practice and how they react to different situations. It's about how these young men compete and use the skills they have.
Chargers.com:For the last few months, our scouts were looking for prospects for a different system than what you may run. How does what you want to do on the field impact, or change, what you want our scouts to look for?
Lynn: We do have a system for sure, but we are going to be personnel driven. That's why it is important for me to get the right coaches, because coaches need to be flexible in their styles. They are not going to tolerate good players if they don't fit your system. We are going to have flexibility in our system to fit our players. That's the way I coach.
Chargers.com:Finally, you come back from the Senior Bowl and finalize the coaching staff. What's on deck for you between then and when you leave for the Combine at the end of the month?
Lynn: We are going to work! We are going to look at our football team, and evaluate what our needs are and what our wants are. We need to figure out what to look for going into free agency. So we'll do a lot of film study and breakdowns. Then we also have to put together our playbook. There are going to be some changes. The defense is going to have a little more to do than our offense because our offense has a little more continuity. So our days are going to be football in the morning, and personnel in the evening. We are going to griiiind all the way up to the Combine.