“In past due January, at that time we knew that Philip wasn’t going to be again, in order that was once a large a part of the offseason program,” Telesco mentioned. “So far as my plan transferring ahead on offense, you need to enhance it. A part of that was once understanding if there was once a possible quarterback to be had longer term, a tender man who’s going to be there [in the NFL draft].”
No longer simplest did Telesco succeed in what he sought after at quarterback through settling on Oregon’s Justin Herbert with the 6th pick out, however he was once in a position to perform many of the different issues on his to-do checklist, too. The Chargers traded for five-time Professional Bowl guard Trai Turner and signed proper take on Bryan Bulaga. Austin Ekeler was the primary operating again after signing a four-year, $24.Five million contract extension. And so they added to a skilled protection with a couple of high quality veterans: internal lineman Linval Joseph and cornerback Chris Harris Jr.
It will now not have labored out precisely how Telesco envisioned in January, however it was once beautiful shut.
“You by no means know the plans you set in combination and the way they are going to end up,” he mentioned. “You’re by no means going to head from A to Z and do the whole lot you need to perform.”
The end result was once that the Chargers put in combination one of the crucial very best offseasons within the NFL. After all, it was once wanted. Twelve months got rid of from a 12-Four season, the Chargers had completed Five-11 and ultimate within the AFC West, the department this is house to celebrity quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Tremendous Bowl champion Kansas Town Chiefs. In addition they need to compete with two different groups which were competitive in overhauling their rosters during the last two years: the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders.
Crucial a part of the offseason was once zeroing in on Herbert as a possible franchise quarterback, then protecting stable with the 6th pick out and now not seeking to business up forward of the quarterback-needy Miami Dolphins, who wound up taking Alabama passer Tua Tagovailoa 5th. There was once some pre-draft hypothesis that Miami most well-liked Herbert to Tagovailoa and that the Chargers may want to business with the Detroit Lions for the 1/3 pick out to safe their quarterback.
Because it became out, Telesco’s stable manner ended up serving to the Chargers later within the first around, after they traded their second- and third-round alternatives — choices they may not have had if that they had moved up from the 6th pick out — to the New England Patriots for the 23rd pick out, which they used to choose Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray.
“Kenneth was once a participant who had an overly, very top worth,” Telesco mentioned. “We knew, clearly, in the event you move quarterback early … Murray was once now not going to be there for us with the second-round pick out. We wouldn’t have [traded up] for terribly many gamers, however the aggregate of his bodily talent and his intangibles football-wise and his taste of play and the way he suits on our staff is truly interesting.”
Although it was once at a decrease spot within the first around, the transfer was once very similar to what the Pittsburgh Steelers did ultimate 12 months in transferring as much as the 10th pick out within the first around to take linebacker Devin Bush, a identical form of sideline-to-sideline defender who has taken on added worth because the NFL has grow to be extra pass-heavy.
Telesco sensed that, to land Murray, he needed to transfer forward of the New Orleans Saints, who had the 24th pick out. He began making calls to groups within the most sensible 20 and in any case labored out a maintain New England.
“Clearly, every pick out you move down within the first around, the repayment around the board is a bit bit much less, so there was once a undeniable level the place it would had been an excessive amount of to surrender. However there was once a undeniable time that you simply say, ‘K,’ ” Telesco mentioned.
In an AFC West this is loaded with offensive ability, Telesco couldn’t merely pay attention to making improvements to his offense. Along with Murray, the Chargers added Joseph to a line of defense that already options edge rusher Joey Bosa and Harris to a secondary led through Derwin James and different gifted playmakers.
“[Joseph] provides us a special taste of defensive take on,” Telesco mentioned. “He’s a large, tough internal take on who can push the pocket. He’s excellent on passing downs. He had a pleasing occupation in Minnesota.”
Getting Harris was once a aid on account of how neatly he had performed in opposition to the Chargers for years with the Broncos.
“Chris Harris is clearly a participant who we’ve observed so much, and of course we have been getting bored with taking part in in opposition to him,” Telesco mentioned. “You’ll be able to by no means have sufficient excellent corners on this league. He simply has nice instincts for the location.”
Telesco sought after a minimum of two additions to solidify the offensive line and feels nice about Turner and Bulaga.
“We jumped in in an instant as a way to business for Trai,” he mentioned. “As for the take on place … usually yearly there don’t seem to be a large number of tackles in unfastened company. This was once a robust take on draft, however we have been in a position to get Bryan in our pocket.”
Whether or not the Chargers will also be again within the postseason combine this season continues to be observed. It generally is a specifically difficult first offseason for rookie quarterbacks corresponding to Herbert, given the limitations caused by the unconventional coronavirus pandemic. Whilst the staff has professed self belief in veteran starter Tyrod Taylor, the Chiefs gained’t make a turnaround simple. Neither will the Broncos, who made a number of upgrades on offense round second-year quarterback Drew Lock, or the Raiders, who added a number of attainable starters in unfastened company and the draft.
“When the staff that gained the Tremendous Bowl is for your department, that truly simply raises the bar for everyone,” Telesco mentioned. “After which we’ve were given [Raiders Coach] Jon Gruden within the department, after which we were given Denver, who’s truly, truly come alongside. I assumed that they had a really perfect offseason, too. … And so I feel all of us make every different higher as we’re seeking to get within the playoffs, and whoever will get to the playoffs from our department will likely be battle-tested.”
However this offseason set the Chargers up for attainable long-term good fortune as neatly. They have got the second-most wage cap room within the NFL for 2021, and they are going to have Herbert on his rookie contract for the following 4 years, releasing up house so as to add ability round him — a type that has been used effectively through a number of groups, together with the Chiefs, in fresh seasons.
“The typical philosophy is you attempt to construct the staff as deep as we will be able to ahead of the draft, so after we hit the draft, we don’t need to draft for explicit positions and particular want,” Telesco mentioned.
That’s Telesco’s imaginative and prescient — person who seemed unusually identical in past due April to the way it seemed in January.