First impressions go a long way in Tinseltown, and thus far, the new kid-on-the-block Los Angeles Chargers have gotten off to an underwhelming start.
Considering that the franchise was coming off a 5-11 season, lacked much of a fanbase in Los Angeles, and came out with a new logo that already has drawn criticism, the Chargers needed to make a splash this offseason with both their coaching hire and their player acquisitions in order to start winning over the city.
They certainly don't know how to do themselves any favors.
Today, the Bolts made their first official transaction, naming little-known Anthony Lynn as the team’s new head coach. Lynn, 48, joins the Chargers after serving as the Buffalo Bills Assistant Head Coach and Running Backs Coach in 2015-16.
“I’m having a hard time even putting into words how excited I am to be the new head coach for the Los Angeles Chargers,” said Lynn. “This is really a dream come true. I want all of our fans to know that we’re going to start by putting together a great staff and we’re going to put together a team with the heart and will of a champion. I know there’s a lot of work to be done and I’m going to give everything I have to the Chargers, the Spanos family and the City of Los Angeles.”
Lynn may turn out to be a fine head coach, but at this point he is not the type of splashy, established name that local LA fans, so accustomed to success, expected to see on the sidelines. Lynn will need to get off to a good start if he is to make believers out of Southern California's fans.
Lynn has minimal experience as a head coach, but Chargers management is convinced that he possesses the necessary intangibles to right the ship.
“One thing that’s very clear about Anthony Lynn is he’s a leader. He’s a natural-born leader,” said Chargers President-Football Operations John Spanos. “As you can tell, I am very excited about the leadership qualities he’s going to bring to our team. He is really going to communicate and connect with our players. He’s had a number of great coaching influences in his life and as a former player who won two Super Bowls, Anthony knows first-hand what championship pedigree is all about. We couldn’t be more excited to have him lead our franchise into this exciting new era of Chargers football.”
After winning back-to-back Super Bowl rings with Denver and then retiring in 1999, Lynn jumped right into the coaching ranks, spending three seasons (2000-02) with the Broncos as an offensive assistant and assistant to special teams.
In 2003, he landed his first full-time position gig as the running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-04). That was followed by similar positions with the Dallas Cowboys (2005-06), Cleveland Browns (2007-08), New York Jets (2009-14) and the Bills (2015-16). Lynn carried the title of assistant head coach in New York in 2014 and with the Bills for his two seasons there.
Lynn spent the last two seasons (2015-16) with the Bills, including the final game of the 2016 season as the team’s interim head coach. Buffalo led the NFL in both of Lynn’s seasons with the Bills in both rushing yards (2,630 in 2016 and 2,432 in 2015) and rushing touchdowns (29 in 2016 and 19, tie in 2015). The Bills also led the League in average yards per carry (5.3 in 2016 and 4.8, tie in 2015).
In Los Angeles, Lynn will take over a team with a young running back in Melvin Gordon, who broke out with 997 yards on the ground, 1,416 yards from scrimmage, and 12 total touchdowns in 2016.
“Our fans are going to be very excited with Anthony Lynn taking the reins here with the Chargers,” said General Manager Tom Telesco. “Anthony has a commanding presence and brings a no-nonsense approach. He is going to be a great leader and we’re confident he’s going to lead the Chargers to great success that our fans have come to expect out of this organization.”
Lynn was an All-Southwest Conference running back as a collegian at Texas Tech University, where he rushed for 1,911 yards and 17 touchdowns on 481 carries. Lynn played in 83 career NFL games.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services