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Coach Lynn Discusses the Young Players He Hopes Can Make the Next Step


It's been a hectic week in Indianapolis for Head Coach Anthony Lynn, who has barely had a moment to himself between scouting prospects, evaluating talent, conducting player interviews, meeting with the media and more.

However, Coach Lynn once again wanted to make sure he heard directly from you, the fans.

Here is what he had to say as he answered a few of your burning questions:

Q: How do you mitigate our guys getting over confident next season after a 12-4 season? – Chuck Hader

Lynn: The way we ended the season wasn't the way we wanted to end the season. I don't see anybody going into this year being complacent. Guys know that we think we can be one of those top tier teams, but our focus is to get over the hump. I think everybody's buying into coming back here and giving 100 percent to try and make that happen, but I don't think anyone is complacent right now.

Q: I was really bummed when Artavis Scott got injured. I think he has a chance to be a great player. How excited are you to have him back this offseason for 2019? – Taylor Alderson

Lynn: We're very excited to have him back. He was having a good camp, and he certainly can help us. He's certainly going to have the opportunity to compete with the rest of the guys. It's a good position and he'll have to earn it, so we'll see.

Q: I'm a diehard Buckeye fan. Last year when asked about drafting quarterbacks you mentioned you may have one already in Cardale Jones and that he could be our quarterback of the future. After a year on the practice squad and not the actual roster, how has he developed? – Ganya Geronimo

Lynn: Cardale's doing all the things he needs to be doing to be an NFL starting quarterback. He has a tremendous skillset. And finally his life has some stability. For the first time in his life, he's been in the same system in back to back years. So, we're expecting Cardale to take that next step this year, and we'll see if he can be the quarterback of the future. We're going to find out.

Q: Coach! We've hit on a bunch of guys like Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Detrez Newsome. What do you look for in running back prospects? – James Karnowski

Lynn: I look for guys with the abilities to win one-on-ones. If we can get the pocket schemes done correctly and they get to their one-on-ones, that's what separates the good backs from the great ones. Vision, instincts. There are a lot of position-specifics you look for; a guy who can receive out of the backfield (or) show you some versatility. You love to have that home run threat. Who wouldn't? (But I look for) guys who can move the chains. Durability is really important. Sometimes that's the best skillset, a guy who can stay on the field. Our guys, they do a pretty good job at that.

Q: How do you feel about our offensive line, especially how Sam Tevi has developed at right tackle? – Andy Lyons

Lynn: I feel good about the o-line. At the end of the season, we weren't playing our best ball and there are some reasons for that and those will be addressed. But overall, I thought the offensive line played pretty good football. And with Sam Tevi, I'm pleased with his development (but) he's got to keep developing. Last year, he played a lot, and hopefully he can build off of that and be the solid right tackle we need him to be."

Q: What role do coaches play evaluating players for the draft? How often do you go toe-to-toe with the scouts and stand on the table for your guy? – Marc Flaherty

Lynn: "We have a really good scouting department. Tom Telesco does a really good job leading that. Our scouts, because they've been looking at these players all year, they really help us get acquainted with these guy this time of year. As coaches, we know exactly what we're looking for at our position. And our scouts, they know exactly what to look for. So, we have really good, clear communication with our scouting department and that makes things so much smoother. When it comes time to picking players, we're all on the same page. We're not afraid to have healthy conflict with one another if we're not on the same page. At the end of the day, we just want the best player. And that's what we'll get.

Q: I coach high school ball. How do you deal with someone who has lost confidence? – Colton Worsley

Lynn: You have to encourage them. You have to make sure that he's getting the reps that he needs to rebuild that confidence. But a lot of it goes back to focus. What are you focusing on to lose your confidence? I think we can get guys focusing on the right things they get the confidence back quick!

Q: What single quality do you look for in a prospect that makes you say that that guy is a Charger? – Adamanti Baker

Lynn: Here at the Combine, you can only evaluate so much. You watch the tape and that's where you learn what type of football player a guy is. But you're just looking for things you heard about and what you saw on tape. When you see guys doing that and then go back and study the tape some more, you're just looking for that consistency. Guys who will come here and compete are probably the ones who are competing on tape. Guys when they come in, you watch how they interact with their teammates here and you can see if that guy is going to be a good teammate. It's a lot of little detail things like that.

Q: During the hectic pace of the game, what primary thought do you want the players to focus on? Do you criticize mental lapses or do you try to keep your message positive? – Lenny Zacher

Lynn: I try to keep players in the present during a game. It doesn't matter what happens, good or bad, we've got to stay present and go onto the next play. We'll evaluate after the game but during the game, we try to keep everybody's focus right where it needs to be. I learned that from playing the game. When you're playing, you need to stay present and (addresses the negative) after the game.

Q: What have you been busiest with this offseason so far? – Eric Prynata

Lynn: First, we evaluate our team and see where we're at as a football team and the things we can improve on and get better at. Then we try to figure out the things that we need and we start looking at other (impending free agents) with free agency starting on March 13. Unrestricted free agents is where our primary focus is. But at the same time, we're working on projects, our system and how it'll benefit our players moving forward. Then of course, we go into the draft. This is one of the busiest times of the year for us. We don't get much time off, people think we go on vacation, but no! February, March and April are three of the busiest months for us.

Take an exclusive look behind the scenes of Anthony Lynn and Tom Telesco's journey at the 2019 Scouting Combine.

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