SAN DIEGO -- While the Chargers officially changed their name once they decided to relocate to Los Angeles, players and coaches still remain in San Diego for offseason workouts at Chargers Park.
Players have faced an awkward transition, answering questions from San Diego media on the odd notion of practicing here while the team will eventually play and practice in Los Angeles in a few months.
However, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said on The Mighty 1090 AM radio that the organization is not using the uncomfortable transition as an excuse if his team performs poorly in the coming season.
“No. 1 you embrace it -- I think that’s the biggest thing,” Telesco said. “There’s no excuses, no explanations. You just get your work done. We have a really talented staff in this building, and everybody has their role that they have to take care of.
“Now, for us on the football side right now, it’s been business as usual. Nothing has really changed for us -- for the players and the coaches. But we know coming this summer and then going into the fall, there’s some changes that are going to happen when we start to move up there. I think our head coach (Anthony Lynn) has the right mentality, and it’s about trying to take care of the things we can take care of. And really a lot of this is relying on some people in the building to help out with this transition to get everybody situated up in Los Angeles.
“It’s a new beginning. It’s a new chapter for everybody in this business, both professionally and personally. But we have a pretty strong group of guys. Last year was a difficult year on the field with the win-loss record, but I was proud of the players as far as how they handled last year mentally. I think we have a pretty strong-minded group, and we’ll be able to handle the move up there.”
As far as the team’s first-round selection, Telesco said he’s not overly concerned about rookie receiver Mike Williams missing time during offseason work due to back tightness.
Williams suffered the injury during the first day of rookie minicamp two weeks ago and has not practiced since. However, Lynn told reporters that he expects Williams to return to practice next week.
“Just right now it’s probably erring on the side of caution with Mike,” Telesco said. “He’s a player that’s coming from a big level of competition at Clemson, from an offense that threw the ball a lot.
“But I will say this: For a receiver to come into the NFL, there is an adjustment period. We’ve seen it for a lot of players. Every now and then you get a player that can step in right away like OBJ (Odell Beckham Jr.) with the New York Giants and really contribute big time right away, but it’s a tough position to come in.
“I think after the quarterback, it may be the second toughest position to come in and play at a high level. There’s a big adjustment period, and there’s a big transition period from college to the pro game as far as the passing game is concerned and the coverages you’ll see. That all being said, he is very smart and he knows the game well. He prepares very well, and I think that’s going to help him make the transition in his rookie year.”
Telesco said he’s been pleased so far with the way Lynn has handled the Chargers during offseason work.
“I think the first thing when he walks through the door there’s a presence about him,” Telesco said about Lynn. “He’s knows what he wants to get done. He has a plan, and from what we’ve seen so far he knows how to execute that plan.
“He’s been very direct with the players. He’s been very firm with the players, but fair. I love his background, the fact that he played in this league and as a player and really had to earn his spot every years, both as a running back and special-teams player.”
And Telesco also has been happy with the addition of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
“He just has tremendous energy and tremendous communication skills with the players -- when to push, when to prod and when to pat them on the back,” Telesco said about Bradley. “His defense is actually a fun defense to scout for. It’s very active, a lot of movement and a lot of athletes. We’re very lucky to hire him, and we’re very lucky to have some players that fit his scheme very well. So it was just a great fit and a great marriage for us.”