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Anthony Lynn's Whirlwind First Month

From interviewing and hiring a new staff, evaluating the roster he inherited, attending draft meetings on prospects and identifying free agent targets, Anthony Lynn has barely had a chance to breathe.

Oh, and he's also been busy cultivating a playbook and preparing installs for an offseason program that is just over a month away.

"It's OK," the Chargers new head coach says, flashing an ear-to-ear grin. "You rest when you die. It's a grind, but it's been fun. It's funny because I have friends calling me asking to come do this, come do that, play some golf.  But really, you don't have any time off.  I mean, I am just as busy now as during the season."

It's clear Lynn wouldn't want it any other way. The head coach speaks with passion and conviction, his enthusiasm is infectious as he recalls his first month on the job. 

It began with assembling a new staff, which took a full month to complete. According to General Manager Tom Telesco, the lengthy process was part of the plan from day one.

"We took our time hiring our coaching staff, and that was one thing we really wanted to do this time around," Telesco explained. "It's important to take your time and really get the right coaches with the right fit.  That is something I had written down from four years ago.  If we had to do it over again, I would do it that way rather than feel like we had to move as quick as possible.  Actually, when I was talking with Tony Dungy before we hired our head coach, he said, 'Hey, look. When you hire your coaching staff, just remember to take your time.' And I get it.  We took a lot of time to make sure we got the right fit at every position.  I think Anthony did a really good job with that."

"I feel really good about the men we have brought into the building," Lynn said.  "Now, we're busy making sure everybody is on the same page.  It's been good having everybody in the same room the last week or so."

Right now, Lynn and his staff are busy identifying possible targets to go after once free agency begins.

"We have a book right here on free agents and draft picks," he says in his office, patting a thick binder on his desk. "The coaches are looking at free agents. I'm looking at free agents. We evaluate all the free agents on their skill set. If their skill set fits what we are doing, we have to make sure to get that person. It's not like with rookies or draft (prospects) where you can develop him, train him and bring him up the way you want.  Some of these free agents are already set in their ways. You have to look at the intangibles that they bring to your team. I always ask myself this, 'Does this guy help us win a Championship?' If he has those types of intangibles, I am very interested."

Lynn is also buried in tape evaluating the roster he's inherited.  The new coach has spent weeks watching and re-watching film from the 2016 season, familiarizing himself with every single player on the Bolts. He watches multiple games on each player, jotting down notes and observations each step of the way.

"It's been a lot of film time for me, and I still have more to go. I am looking at these guys on an individual basis; you can't just base that off of two or three games. You have to look at the body of work, so I have pages of notes on all the guys. There are certain things that stick out, especially areas where we have needs. I don't want to assume anything on any of our players. I want everyone to have a fair opportunity to come in and compete. That is going to be one of our themes; we are going to come in and compete every day."

So what stuck out most after watching countless hours of film?

"After looking at the defense, I am encouraged from what I saw. After watching the tape on both sides of the ball and special teams, I am encouraged. There are some things that have to get corrected, but these guys played *very *hard. They had some injuries and all that, but they played hard."

Lynn has been busy preparing for next week's Scouting Combine.  While performances on the field are a piece to a prospect's puzzle, the head coach puts more stock in the film.  How someone performs between the lines on game day is worth more than what he does in gym shorts. 

For Lynn, the most important part of the Combine might be the 15-minute interviews when teams get to meet with many top prospects for the first time.

"Those 15 minutes are really important (because) I want to see what they know football-wise," he explained. "Where is he at as a football player? Do I have to teach him on the field? Do I have to teach him in a different way? I am trying to pick up on his learning style. Getting to know a man in 15 minutes is impossible, but you can learn a lot about his learning style and how to teach and develop him."

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