By Travis Duncan
Who is Tom Telesco?
Likely the newest general manager of the San Diego Chargers. According to various reports he is expected to be named to the position at any time.
Telesco spent his first season as the Indianapolis Colts Vice President of Football Operations, and 14 seasons prior within the Colts organization learning under one Bill Polian. Polian's ride in Indianapolis ended rocky but is generally regarded as one of the best GMs every to hold that title in the sport.
Telesco is originally from Buffalo New York. He is 40-years old meaning he got his start early, working as a summer intern from 1991-1994 in Buffalo where Polian served as GM for many years. Then also moving with Polian, in 1995 as a scouting assistant for the Carolina Panthers, then joining the Colts as an area scout in 1998, eventually moving up to director of player personnel in 2005.
He played college football as a wide receiver at John Carroll University and has a degree in business management. More importantly, the Colts thought enough about Telesco to retain him after they fired Polian a year ago and he thought enough about the Colts and future opportunities to take his name out of the St. Louis Rams general manager search a year ago.
There is not a lot written or said about Telesco's ability or skill per se as a personnel director, but one can gather his background as a scout, and as a Bill Polian understudy may guide his thinking. In general Polian emphasized the need for players with the right mental disposition, the enjoyment of the game, guys who liked to play the game and played hard, and guys who were football players as opposed to guys who played a position well-or drafting players who were highly recognized in college.
Logic generally states the GM has to be named first and then the general manager has a say in who is hired, or very likely is the one who makes the final decision.
With that being said, two names have been keyed in on as the Chargers next head coach. Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
Arians worked wonders for the Colts, not only guiding Andrew Luck through a successful rookie season, but also stepping in for Colts head coach Chuck Pagano who went on leave to battle cancer, and guiding the team to the playoffs.
Zimmer has long been mentioned as an NFL head coaching candidate and is generally regarded as a man of integrity and as someone who has earned great respect throughout the league.
Meanwhile, the Chargers allegedly contacted UCLA head coach Jim Mora as well. There is also a report that former Packers and Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren is a candidate. Holmgren generally demands a say in personnel matters and likely is not a fit for the Chargers if the idea is to bring a young energetic general manager such as Telesco. Mora has been down the NFL road more than once and has twice been burned-you wonder if he would know better than to leave a pretty good thing in Los Angeles.