SAN DIEGO -- Out with the old, in with the new.
That should be San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco's motto as he watches the 2015 season wind down.
At 3-9 and losers of 12 of their last 16 games dating back to last season, the Chargers are heading nowhere under coach Mike McCoy. In fact, they have regressed this season.
Buoyed by the three-year contract extension he signed this summer, Telesco is closely evaluating players and coaches during the backstretch of 2015, deciding what changes are needed to get the Chargers back to sustained winning.
But we’re not talking about some tinkering here and there. Wholesale changes are necessary if Telesco wants the Chargers to seriously contend with the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs for AFC West supremacy.
It’s clear San Diego does not have the talent and depth on the field, nor the core philosophy directing them off of it to put forth a consistent, winning effort on game days -- no matter how great McCoy says his team’s game preparation was during the week.
In San Diego’s latest loss, a 17-3 setback to Denver, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak called off the dogs in the second half, content to run the ball and run out the clock with the Chargers' offense posing no real threat against Denver’s dominant defense.
It’s a shame to watch one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Philip Rivers not have enough playmakers at his disposal to move the ball.
“That’s for anybody else to interpret and say what they think,” said Rivers when asked if his team was limited on offense by the lack of healthy, frontline playmakers. “We have 11 out there every play. And we all just have to play better.”
Like Rivers, inside linebacker Manti Te’o is focused on everyone executing more consistently on the defensive side of the football.
“You spend months and months grinding and training, going through those pains to play 16 games,” Te’o said. “You know that there’s no more after those four. We’ve got four left, so let’s make the best of it.
“Anybody can win and anybody can lose at any time. There’s little things that we have to correct. It’s all about being consistent and playing complementary football. Come back, watch film and get better.”
Regardless of what Rivers or Te’o believe, Telesco will make the call on what direction the Chargers will go this offseason.
How the Chargers perform over the last four games should go a long way in helping Telesco shape his vision for where he wants this team to be in 2016 and beyond, whether the Chargers remain in San Diego or move to Los Angeles in 2016.