The San Diego Chargers hired Tom Telesco as their new general manager and Mike McCoy as the head coach this offseason in hopes of turning things around following a dismal season. Telesco and McCoy are young and will be a breath of fresh air to an organization that is looking for a new direction and philosophy.
The Bolts have been known for being one of the most talented football teams each year, but over the past few years, they have lost some of that talent to free agency and injuries, especially to the offensive line. The offensive line appears to be Telesco’s and McCoy’s top priority.
With the help of newly hired offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt, the Chargers have hired Joe D’Alessandris to be there new offensive line coach. D’Alessandris has been a coach for 35 years and comes with a wealth of experience having coached the past three seasons with the Buffalo Bills.
D’Alessandris is known for his zone-blocking scheme, and it appears that the Chargers are discussing the possibility of going in this direction. If they go that rout, the Chargers will look for personnel that is smaller and more athletic on the offensive line. Let’s take a look at where the Bolts may go regarding their tackles, guards, and center:
Jared Gaither was signed to a long term contract last season to solidify the teams left tackle position but Gaither can not be counted on due to injuries he has gone through. They may have a serviceable right tackle in Jeremey Clary if they can’t find a better option, but it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the Chargers will be looking for a left and right tackle via the 2013 NFL draft.
At the guard positions, the Chargers had Louis Vasquez and Tyrone Green, but there is a possibility they could lose both of them to free agency. Losing Vasquez could be detrimental to the team, so look for the front office to make it a priority to sign Vasquez and then decide what they want to do with Green.
Green could possibly be replaced by free agent Andy Levitre of the Buffalo Bills, who is also searching for a team. If D’Alessandris has his way, the Chargers would sign Levitre considering he has been in D’Alessandris’ system in Buffalo.
The Chargers appear to be set at the center position with Nick Hardwick. He was been with the organization since 2004 and is 31 years-old. However, he is still a productive player.
Telesco and McCoy have their work cut out for them, but they need to decide which scheme they are going with on the offensive line and then find the right personnel. The Chargers need to get better on the offensive line in order to protect their franchise quarterback Philip Rivers.
Robert W. Ekberg is a staff writer for SportsOutWest and Los Angeles Area-based sports journalist. Follow him on Twitter @Robek24