With so much change in the air, the last month has been a busy but exciting one for the San Diego Chargers.
The activity reached new levels at Chargers Park the past two weeks with Head Coach Mike McCoy’s entire staff coming together and working tirelessly to get started on the 2013 season.
“Since day one, this staff has been hard at work,” said McCoy. “I’ve been impressed with their enthusiasm, knowledge and attention to detail. I wanted to bring in people who were not only outstanding coaches, but were outstanding human beings as well. And we did that. So I’m very pleased with the way we have been preparing these first couple weeks and the way we have all come together.”
It all started on January 28 when the entire coaching staff arrived at Chargers Park for the first time. It was a scene reminiscent of the first day of school, as they quickly got to know each other by spending countless hours at the facility together. Whether it’s pouring over game film, breaking down schemes or sharing two, sometimes three meals a day in the lunch room, the new coaching staff has been inseparable over the last ten days.
“Getting to know each other, building relationships and building friendships is a big part of what this thing is all about,” said Offensive Line Coach Joe D’Alessandris, who joins the Bolts this year after three seasons with the Buffalo Bills. “We spend a lot of time with each other and it’s going to be this group throughout the season. As Coach McCoy said at our first meeting, we better enjoy each other because we’ll be around each other all the time. We kind of become like family, and that’s important because we’ve got to be able to support each other through thick and thin and through good times and bad times. That’s not only on the field but off the field. So building these relationships are important.”
Of the 20 assistant coaches on the roster, 13 are new to the Bolts this season. While the adjustment to a new team and city can be a difficult one, the newcomers have been impressed by how inviting and welcoming the entire Chargers staff has been.
“Everyone has made the adjustment as easy as it can be,” said Special Teams Coach Kevin Spencer. “And that’s not just the coaches. Everyone in the front office has been welcoming and that has made it a lot easier for all of us.”
The coaches who were previously here have not only been helpful to the new coaches in the work realm but have also extended their welcoming attitude to help them feel at home in the San Diego community.
“(The new coaches) have been asking a lot about the city and stuff,” said Assistant Secondary Coach Greg Williams. “I’m just trying to be as helpful as possible. Actually, me and Coach (Ron) Milus might end up being neighbors. He’s looking into getting a house on my block so it looks like we will have him in the neighborhood.”
While it is an adjustment for the new guys joining the ranks, a number of the assistant coaches have also had to make changes as some have switched to new positions.
One such coach is Byron Storer, who has spent the last four seasons as an assistant special teams coach before transitioning this year to an assistant linebacker position.
“It’s been a challenge,” said Storer. “But that’s why I accepted the job. It’s going well. It’s exciting to be learning a new phase of the game. I was on offense before when I played fullback (for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). And then I was involved coaching special teams for four years. Now I’m jumping over to defense and I’m getting the whole perspective, so it’s exciting.”
Clearly, a lot of hard work and bonding has been going on within the halls of Chargers Park. If the dedication and work ethic being shown is any indication of what is in store for the 2013 season, the Chargers seem to be in good hands.