The second installment in our four-part fan Q&A session with Chargers brass at the NFL Scouting Combine continues with General Manager Tom Telesco.
Our kicking game was disappointing to be generous last year. What is your level of confidence in Kaser and Lambo heading into 2017? Where do they need to improve? – Arvanti Baumik
Telesco:It's just consistency with both of them. That's really the biggest thing (because they) had their up and downs last year. Josh started last year really strong, but then as the season went on he wasn't as consistent as we need him to be. With Drew, he had his ups and downs but had some really big bounce back games, too. The thing with both of them is they showed they have mental toughness. You have to have that as a kicker and punter. They are also young players, and consistency comes naturally with experience.
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule, we fans appreciate that! How do you balance injury history and current players with the draft board? – Vinnie Rondinelli
Telesco:That's a great question! We have a lot of discussions on their medical reports, physicals and their durability in college. Then we have to weigh it against their talent level. We have a lot of discussions on that because as we've seen, you can have all the talent in the world, but if you are hurt a lot, it doesn't help you in the NFL. So we have a lot of discussions with our medical staff and trainers like we do with our scouts. We combine everything and make a determination. The medical side of the puzzle is a big part of the draft process.
What is the team's biggest need in the offseason? – Nick Licerio
Telesco:Number one, we have to get healthy. The one thing with our roster is there really isn't a spot you look at where we couldn't use a guy. Whether it is the quarterback which is more down the road, or a more short-term need as far as some holes on our roster, there isn't just one spot we need to add. And there never is just one spot. We have a number of needs we have to fill, and we don't like to prioritize them because they need to be filled one way or another. As we had our draft meetings and met with the coaches on free agency the last couple weeks, I told them the same thing. There isn't a spot on the team where we couldn't use a player, and that makes the draft fun because it opens things up to draft the best players that are there.
Because of all the injuries, a lot of the younger players saw significant playing time last season. Which returning player impressed you the most when he had to step in during difficult times? – Steve Thompson
Telesco:There aren't many positives when a lot of front line players get hurt, but one is that a lot of younger players play earlier than anticipated. We did have a lot of guys step in and get really good game experience. The first one that comes to my mind is Trovon Reed. What he did in such a short period of time was impressive. He played really good football for us, and I'm looking forward to seeing if he can build on that for this next year.
Tom, I'm planning on pursuing a career in hopes of becoming where you are today. What is one regret that you wish you had done in preparation for your successful career? Go Bolts! – Sean Kirk
Telesco:Not sure it is a regret, but sometimes I wish I had a law degree. The higher you move up the chain, it's a business, and there are a lot of businesses that have law aspects to it. The contract part of it would certainly be one. The football part of the job I've done my whole life. But there is also the business aspect of it, and the law degree would be helpful.