The Los Angeles Chargers named Anthony Lynn the 16th head coach in franchise history on Friday. Here are five things you need to know about the new head coach:
- Super Bowl Champion –Before entering the coaching ranks, Lynn played six seasons in the NFL after a standout career at Texas Tech where he rushed for 1,911 yards and 17 touchdowns. He played six years in the league, appearing in 83 career games for the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. The pinnacle of Lynn's playing career came in 1997-98 when he helped the Broncos capture back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
- The Coaching Tree – Lynn learned from some of the game's top head coaches on his way to landing the Bolts' top gig. Mike Shanahan gave him his first chance as he transitioned from player to coach for the Broncos from 2000-02. After serving as an offensive and special teams assistant in Denver, Jack Del Rio gave Lynn his first crack as running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He then served in that same role under Bill Parcells (Dallas Cowboys), Romeo Crennel (Cleveland Browns) and Rex Ryan (New York Jets, Buffalo Bills).
- Ground and Pound –With 17 years of coaching experience, Lynn has a well-earned reputation when it comes to running the football. His teams annually rank among the best in the NFL, and that continued the past two years in Buffalo. The Bills led the league each season in rushing yards (2,630 in 2016 and 2,432 in 2015), rushing touchdowns (29 in 2016 and 19 in 2015) and average yards per carry (5.3 in 2016 and 4.8, tie in 2015). Adding in his previous five years with the Jets, Lynn's teams have the most combined rushing yards over the last seven seasons (18,218).
- Stars Shine – Some of the NFL's top running backs the past two decades have thrived under Lynn's guidance. In his first season coaching the position, Lynn helped Fred Taylor set a career-high with 1,572 rushing yards for the Jaguars in 2003. Taylor also caught 48 passes that season, one shy of his personal best. With the Cowboys, Lynn oversaw one of the top one-two punches in the NFL in 2006 as Marion Barber led the NFC with 14 rushing touchdowns and Julius Jones ran for a career-high 1,084 yards. While with the Browns, Jamal Lewis posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, helping Cleveland to a 10-6 record his first year in 2007. Lynn's longest stint was with the Jets as he coached LaDainian Tomlinson, Danny Woodhead, Thomas Jones, Bilal Powell, Shonn Greene, Chris Ivory and others. In his first year in Buffalo, the team had three players rush for at least 500 yards (LeSean McCoy-895, Tyrod Taylor-568, Karlos Williams-517) for the first time since 1962. The Bills also had 70 rushes of at least 10 yards, which were most in the NFL.
- Attacking Defense – While Lynn's background is on offense, he made it clear in his first interview what he'll demand out of his team's defense. He expects the Bolts to always be on the attack. Lynn doesn't want a defense that is on it's heels, reacting to what the other team wants to do. Instead, he plans to turn the table and dictate how the opposition operates.