It was exactly one week ago that the Chargers met with Anthony Lynn for the head coach vacancy. The Bolts asked him countless questions while presenting various scenarios and hypotheticals over an interview that lasted all morning and into the afternoon.
As a scout, General Manager Tom Telesco is taught to evaluate everything before making a decision. While citing numerous qualities Lynn displayed during the interview, he pinpointed one specific answer that resonated above the rest, showcasing the new head coach's attention to detail and passion for the job.
"When you come up as a scout you are taught to not be an instant evaluator, so I like to let the process play out," Telesco said. "But the one thing he said that really got me was talking about how he wants to run the scout team during practice. So, say our first team offense is working against our scout team defense. He is going to coach the scout team. He is going to hold the cards and tell everybody what to do. I've only been around one coach who did it like that, and that was Tony Dungy."
Lynn has only been around one head coach who also ran the scout team as well. That was George Seifert. Usually, it is a quality control or position coach who leads the scout team, but Lynn got an up close look at Seifert doing it when he played for the legendary San Francisco 49ers head coach from 1995-96. He believes it is invaluable to a franchise in a multitude of ways.
"It's big for player development," he said. "I can't think of a better way to develop players than going up against number ones every day in practice. Coaching them on technique, skills and fundamentals against the number one group is (important). You instill the pride in guys that it is an important position on the team. And, you get to coach the heck out of them. They are getting live reps on the scout team. George Seifert did a heck of a job when I played for him. He coached the scout team and we had scout team depth charts. Guys took pride in it. I was on the scout team, and I felt on game day that I was more prepared than the starters."
With all the advantages that come along with running the scout team, Lynn can't think of a reason why it isn't commonplace in the NFL.
"I don't know why more don't. I really don't. But maybe that's why George Seifert was so successful."
There are many reasons why the Chargers believe Lynn is the right man for the job. Chiefly, his leadership ability, communication skills and motivational tactics are second to none. According to Telesco, all those traits are represented by his taking charge of the scout team.
"I love that he is going to do that," Telesco said. "Number one, that scout team is going to practice hard because the head coach is leading them. And two, it is great for player development. He is watching the young guys every day. I thought that was impressive. That is the sign of a coach. To have our head coach invested in that is priceless. The scout team is a really big part of the preparation. They have to be sharp to get the starters prepared. When the head coach has a handle on that, it's a pretty good sign."