Chargers president John Spanos after HC, GM firings: Ownership 'responsible for everything'
Los Angeles Chargers team president John Spanos, son of owner Dean Spanos, spoke for the first time since the club fired coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco last week, noting there will be “no limitations” on the hiring searches
“I think sometimes it’s maybe the misses that help you grow the most — that you can learn from the most,” Spanos said on Monday, via ESPN. “And I think we always have to be pushing ourselves as an ownership to get better, to be better.”
Spanos took over as Chargers EVP of Football Operations in 2013, with Telesco being his first hire. Over 11 seasons, the club has employed three head coaches, Mike McCoy, Anthony Lynn and Staley.
Each hire was a first-time head coach, which could lead Spanos to seek an experienced leader for his top-heavy team. The team president acknowledged experience could be a factor in their coaching search but added he’s “not going to limit the search in any way.”
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“I don’t think it can be the end-all, but absolutely it will factor. That’s an added bonus if someone does have previous head coach experience,” Spanos said, via the Associated Press.
The Chargers haven’t won an AFC West title since 2009, they’ve gone 2-3 in the postseason since 2013, and they haven’t had a coach earn three consecutive winning seasons since Marty Shottenheimer (2004-2006).
“My opinion is everything starts with ownership. Ultimately, we’re responsible for everything. What we’ve been doing has not been good enough,” Spanos said.
Missed opportunities and embarrassing losses characterized Staley’s tenure. Last year’s playoff collapse will go down as one of the most epic in NFL history. Then came Thursday’s 63-21 humiliation in Las Vegas.
Spanos said after last year’s postseason debacle, he stuck with Staley, believing things still looked promising with Justin Herbert ascending.
“As disappointing as that (playoff) game was, I looked at the whole body of work and where we were. Despite the way it ended, the trajectory at that point was still going up,” Spanos said. “So I didn’t feel a change then was in the best interest of the team.”
Fourteen games later, the organization will steer a new course.
With Herbert at the helm and other pieces under contract, the jobs in L.A. will be enticing, particularly for a veteran coach looking for another shot, despite the challenges ahead.
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