One day after dismissing Mike McCoy as Chargers head coach, President of Football Operations John Spanos and General Manager Tom Telesco addressed the media to discuss their decision and lay out a blueprint for the future.
Here are key takeaways from the nearly 30-minute press conference about the impending head coach search:
- The decision to part ways with McCoy wasn't an easy one, nor was it made in haste. While the Chargers organization thinks highly of McCoy, the bottom line is they didn't win enough games over his tenure. The final decision was made by Chargers Owner Dean Spanos, John Spanos and Telesco, with the President of Football Operations outlining how it was made:
"For me in my role, I think you have to always be evaluating, observing (and) gathering information whether you're having a good year or a bad year…. That being said, I'm of the mindset that a decision isn't really made and final until it's announced. Purely from that standpoint, I would say it was made last night. But I would supplement (how) this was a very comprehensive decision that was not made impulsively."
- This offseason will be a pivotal one for the Chargers, and Telesco believes it all hinges on who they hire. In fact, he called it "the biggest decision this organization will make":
"This is a big offseason for us obviously starting with the head coach. Hiring the head coach will be the biggest decision this organization will make. He will be the face of the franchise and the leader of the football team. We've got a lot in front of us, but we're also excited about moving forward and the future."
- To that end, Telesco explained the Bolts aren't ruling out any type of coach to fill the vacancy in what will be an extensive search:
"Our pool is pretty wide open – previous head coaching experience, sure. If not, a coordinator is fine. Offense. Defense. Special Teams. College coach. Our pool is pretty big right now. That's why these interviews are not 45 minute – one hour interviews. These are long interviews. We'll go over a lot of things with guys and try to make the best decisions possible."
- While the Chargers have a long list, Spanos explained it is in the team's best interest to keep it close to the vest for the time being:
"We're going to keep the list between us. When you're going through the process it can be advantageous to keep those things kind of behind closed doors initially. Right now, we won't be revealing any candidates' names… I'd love to be able to discuss all the candidates we're talking about, but for right now, it's not something that we're going to get into. Possibly down the road though."
- Having previous head coach experience would be a plus, but it won't be the deciding factor when it comes to identifying the 16th coach in team history according to Spanos:
"It's certainly a factor we're going to look at. We've run a lot of numbers in terms of looking at new hires and what makes a successful head coach. Previous head coaching experience is beneficial. I wouldn't call it a deciding factor or a deal breaker, but it's something that we're definitely going to keep in mind."
- Meanwhile, Telesco explained the three qualities he finds most important in a head coach:
"I think a teacher, a communicator, a motivator – those are three really big things. You're looking for a leader. It's not always just about the Xs and Os; it's about really being able to take in a lot of information and manage a lot of people. Just like being a general manager sometimes you manage a lot of people. (We're looking for) a genuine leader who can lead people. I will say, when I give all those things, it's not like we're saying that Mike didn't have any of those. These are the same things we were looking for when we hired Mike. But the head coach is a big job. The head coach wears a lot of hats in this organization. Between working with the players and his assistant coaches and his support staff, you have to have a lot of skills and qualities. That's why this interview process is so important."