This is an exchange between my friend Mike and I at the end of the last game against the Raiders. Mike “Money” Caplan is depicted in my book, but I didn’t really get into his life as a Jet fan. He’s been incredibly supportive of my self-destructive habits with the Chargers since we met thirty years ago. “Exhausting” is the best way to describe being a Charger fan. Lynn refused to go against Oakland twice on their side of the field while Gruden went three times. Let’s be honest, if the Chargers had gone they would have run some stupid play into the line as he texted to me. I looked back at my post from after the Panther game today. That was when attention to Lynn’s idiocy really started. At that time, Daniel Popper of The Athletic said that there was a less than one percent chance of Lynn being fired and that Telesco was more likely to go.
Since the Buffalo game, Lynn’s inability to coach has gotten national attention. In fact, the Jet game from the week before highlighted it perfectly. The fact that Lynn didn’t challenge the fourth down pass on the sideline was pretty bad. Since then, he’s fucked up against the Pats, Bills, and Falcons. I don’t care if Shane was the one who should have gotten the call in or whatever against Atlanta. Lynn is supposed to be the head coach and has seemed less in control than any coach in recent memory. If he can’t make in game decisions and insists on playing not to lose, then what exactly is he good at and why does he still have a job? It’s like keeping Badgley when we know he can’t kick off or make big field goals (besides Atlanta). The Raider game was a perfect example of what is wrong right now. The Raider pass defense was even worse than ours that night and that is saying quite a lot. Yet, Lynn and Shane refused to go for the jugular and punted twice on the Raiders side of the field. They ran their stupid wildcat play and tighten up every time the game needs aggression. When asked about “taking” a sack on the third down play, Herbert seemed a little miffed. He said he didn’t “take” the sack. He doesn’t call the plays and since the Chargers ran on the first two downs it didn’t take a genius to figure out he’d be throwing. Of course, it would have been better if he’d thrown the ball away. But you could see that Lynn was settling for the field goal. Badgley had already missed one in the game.
From the moment he punted against Kansas City, people have wondered aloud if Anthony Lynn is holding the Chargers back. There have been so many glaring examples of him doing just that since then it’s mind boggling. Despite Daniel Popper saying fans should prepare themselves for the possibility of him returning, I don’t think it will happen. Charger fans don’t need to prepare themselves, anyway. They are always bracing for the worst.
If anyone should get credit for coaching up Justin Herbert, it should be Pep Hamilton, not the guy who said “backup for a reason.” Defense and special teams are also horribly coached and the entire staff should be fired. As for Telesco, it will be interesting to see if he really gets a reprieve. He did draft the last two coaches. Kevin Acee wrote this article before McCoy was hired. In it, he explained that John Spanos was indeed qualified to have a football operations job but that he also couldn’t be fired from it. It’s similar to Jerry Jones’ kids. Of course, Jerry Jones has 3 rings. I don’t know what the dynamic is within the Spanos family. I do know that Justin Herbert has been everything this team could have asked for and more. Even more than the injuries, the coaching has been abysmal. I know it’s hard to distinguish what a good coach actually is. Before Mahomes came along, Andy Reid couldn’t manage the clock. Of course, he had reached the Super Bowl with the Eagles. I think Lynn is way worse than Reid ever was as I am sure you do, FAITHFUL READER.
But close games, especially the amount the Chargers have had and lost, are usually indicative of bad coaching. If you watch them play, as my friend Mike did, you can see where Lynn’s losing ways almost always doom the Bolts. I can’t see how any of the games after he’s fucked the season mean anything. If Dean Spanos needs even more evidence that Lynn is a loser then I hope Drew Lock and Melvin Gordon shit all over them tomorrow. I hate saying that, but hate even more that I would have to in order for us to have a future. The reality is that even with Derwin James, Drue Tranquill and Mike Pouncey being out for the year, this team could have made the playoffs. Even with Bulaga and Turner (besides getting into a fight on the final play of the last game) doing nothing, this team could have made the playoffs. Tampa with Tom Brady is in. Buffalo and Cleveland are in. Miami will probably get in. Phil and the Colts will get in. The Chargers have been eliminated for a FUCKING month. We’re running Herbert out there with Feeney, Lamp, Tevi, etc. Guyton is becoming the new Tyrell Williams and we haven’t taken advantage.
Everyone keeps saying how we have Justin Herbert on a rookie deal. Some teams, like the aforementioned Bills, Browns, and Dolphins, spend years looking for the right QB. It would seem as if the Chargers have gone from Brees to Rivers to Herbert. In some ways, we’ve been lucky. But we will piss it all away if we bring the same clowns back next year.
I don’t think for one second that what I do has any effect on the Chargers. It’s taken me over 40 years to figure it out. Honestly, the best way to ensure that the Chargers lose is for me to root for a win. Atlanta and the Raiders have gotten Herbert’s confidence back. As much as I hate Denver and KC (even with their scrubs playing), I can’t imagine Lynn ever being a good coach for this or any other team. This isn’t like Miami last season where they ended the year strong and kept it going this year. They have a real coach. We have a guy who coached a single game as an interim replacement in Buffalo. Lynn would be a great guest speaker who comes in to say shit he never has to make happen. That’s it.
It’s a miracle that the Raiders didn’t recover Herbert’s goal line fumble and even crazier that we called the exact same play afterwards. Herbert needs a coach who understands that throwing the QB in harm’s warm isn’t smart. It’s not that a big an ask, even if we are Charger fans.
Yes, my friend Mike’s contact info includes the fake ID picture of Cooper Hargrove from Dead Man On Campus. Thanks for noticing.
So just like last year, I’ll be watching but not hoping for a win. It shouldn’t have to be like this, but it is. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year.