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Bolts' Bold Decisions Earning High Praise in League Circles


Joey Bosa isn't worthy of being the third-overall pick.

Casey Hayward can't possibly be a team's primary free agent target.

There's no way Anthony Lynn should be hired as a head coach with that level of experience.

While those opinions seem asinine right now, that was the general sentiment at the time.

Well, the Chargers couldn't have cared less about those opinions, and the results speak for themselves. In fact, that fearless attitude has been mentioned time and time again by those in league circles at the Combine. 

There's something to be said about staying true to your convictions no matter what, which is why the Bolts have received high praise for how they go about their business. That includes SiriusXM's Adam Caplan, who has been an NFL insider for decades.

"(Their fearlessness) is something very important to understand because in the National Football League, fans want you to take the obvious choice," Caplan said. "And (General Manager Tom) Telesco's been great. Look, he got criticized for a lot of those decisions. Like Joey Bosa, it was, 'What is he? Is he a standout defensive end (or a) linebacker?' Well, it didn't matter to him. He's a football player, and Tom got it right. Same with Casey Hayward. He had an injury history and the Packers didn't want him. (Hayward) was out there still and it's just worked out. So, credit to John Spanos and the Spanos family for letting Tom do his job. To be aggressive."

Count NFL Network's Ian Rapoport as another who went out of his way to praise the Bolts' bold thinking.

"What's interesting to me is we do so much with the coaching searches all year, and who's getting hired where, and I'm not sure how many people saw Anthony Lynn go from running backs coach to interim offensive coordinator (in Buffalo) to head coach for the Chargers and be so successful right away," Rapoport said.  "And that's a testament to those who hired him. They knew what they were looking for. It's the same with Bosa. Here's how I view this guy. You view him differently? Ok. We're confident in what we think. And that's one thing I hear a lot (about the Chargers) in league circles."

"(The Chargers have been great finding) the right guys in free agency that maybe other teams didn't want," added Bleacher Report's Matt Miller. "Bringing in a Casey Hayward, who the Packers didn't want, and he comes in and is an All-Pro player in his own right. So, I think they've done a great job. I would say there was some cynicism around the league about the job they would be able to do, but finding the right head coach in Anthony Lynn, finding the right staff that they put together (has worked)."

So, what does Telesco think about their reputation for being bold and fearless?

Well, it's a badge of courage as he admits it's exactly what he preaches to his entire staff.

"I always tell the scouts, 'Don't scout scared,'" Telesco said. "There is a fearless attitude that we have. I think it's important in sports to have that attitude, and we certainly have that. I tell the players, 'Don't play scared.' There is a confident aggressiveness you have to have, and we have that. And we don't really care what people think outside the building. I think that's pretty easy to see."

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