SBD/January 10, 2013/Franchises

Chargers Name Tom Telesco New GM As Franchise Heads In New Direction

Telesco just wrapped up his 15th season with the Colts, his first as VP
The Chargers yesterday signed Tom Telesco to a four-year deal to serve as GM, making the 40-year-old former Colts VP/Football Operations the "youngest to assume the position in Chargers history," according to Michael Gehlken of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Telesco said, "We will get to work right now. I’m probably going to stay in town and have my wife send some clothes so we can get this ... underway." Gehlken notes the team's "four-man interview committee was said to have walked away talking amongst themselves about how impressive he was." Chargers President & Chair Dean Spanos was "head of the selection group and had authoritative say in adding Telesco." Former Packers GM Ron Wolf was retained as a consultant with Chargers Exec VP/Football Operations and Assistant GM Ed McGuire and Dir of College Scouting John Spanos "rounding out the team." Telesco will lead them in the "search to find Norv Turner's replacement as coach." Telesco recently "finished his 15th season with the Colts and first in the VP position." He "previously served" as Dir of Player Personnel for six years before a '12 promotion. He was the "top adviser" to GM Ryan Grigson (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/10). In San Diego, Kevin Acee writes Chargers Dir of Player Personnel Jimmy Raye was the "favorite" to fill the GM vacancy. However, the first interview stop "for Spanos & Co. was Indianapolis, and that is where the thinking began to shift." Telesco "blew the Chargers search team away that first meeting and continued to do so right through his second interview on Tuesday night." Telesco got his "start as an intern" in Buffalo when former Bills, Panthers and Colts GM Bill Polian was running that organization's football operations. Telesco said, "Everything I’ve learned in how to build a football roster and a football organization is from Bill" (SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE, 1/10).

NEW KID IN TOWN: ESPN.com's Bill Williamson wrote the Chargers "badly need an influx of outside perspective." Had Raye been hired, the front office would have "largely remained the same outside of the firing" of former GM A.J. Smith. The Chargers "need a new set of eyes. ... They need a new philosophy." With new ideas and experience from another franchise, Telesco can "breathe new life into this program" (ESPN.com, 1/9). In San Diego, Nick Canepa writes there is a "sea change coming to this organization." Maybe not "much change in basic philosophy, but in how football business perhaps all business is run." Telesco is "qualified, at least on paper, and certainly by reputation as a football man." But there are "smart people who interview poorly and unqualified candidates who interview brilliantly" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/10).
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