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Mailbag: New Coaching Staff & Draft Targets

Q: Who are the Chargers gonna take in the draft?  – Laura Owhady

A:  It wouldn't be an offseason without an onslaught of questions about who the Bolts will draft.  Almost a quarter of the submissions for this week's edition asked who the team will select third overall.  Any prediction at this point would be nothing more than speculative conjecture, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun to check out the mock drafts.  We posted our first edition at the end of January, and another one is on the horizon slated for next week.  Draft experts and pundits have identified a number of candidates for the third overall pick, but in my interview with Tom Telesco last week, the general manager said the team will weigh all their options until it is time to submit a name:

*"Picking third overall doesn't really change anything when it comes to evaluating the player. Now, as it gets into April, it will change the process a little bit in terms of how we decide where we go with the first pick. Right now, that is still to be determined, but that is a lot easier to determine when you are picking at three than at number 23.  So our pool for that pick will be much smaller, but you also have to factor in if you trade down. If that happens, then the pool has to be much bigger.  That's why our process won't change a lot for how we scout because there is no guarantee we are picking number three on draft day if we choose to trade down." *

Q: Now that the 2015 season is over, who do you think will have the biggest comeback year in 2016?– Brayden McCoy

A:  There are many Chargers I'm looking forward to watching in 2016, but I'm most eager to see Keenan Allen back on the field.  I shake my head thinking what type of numbers he could have posted had he not suffered a kidney injury midway through Week 8's loss in Baltimore.  He entered that game leading the NFL in receptions, and was on pace for a 143-catch season which would have shattered LaDainian Tomlinson's team record of 100 set in 2003.  KA13 finished with 67 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns, and his 67 catches are the third most over the first eight games of a season in NFL history. What is even more impressive is that he basically played only seven full games after missing time in other matches with other injuries.   So while there are a number of players set to come back from injury, I can't wait to see what Allen can do in 2016.

Q:  What's the inside scoop on the new coaching staff? You like them?– Michael Porter

A:  There are still a few additions yet to be hired, but there is a buzz in the building over the new staff.  The team has a lot of respect for the coaches that were let go at the end of the year, but knew a change was needed to bounce back from a disappointing year.  One word that comes to mind with the staff is energy.  When I spoke with Head Coach Mike McCoy in the midst of the hiring process, he explained how he felt rejuvenated by the new staff:

*"We were looking for energetic, passionate coaches who are very hardworking and detailed. We wanted teachers who will not only develop younger players, but make every single player better. I believe the coaches we've hired have all those qualities." *

Q:  Alright Henne, who you got in the Super Bowl?– Larry Webster

A:  You really have to ask?  #KeepPounding

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