Here is what he had to say.
Question: Talk about the process that led you from Indianapolis to San Diego.
Telesco: Well, it’s been a long week and a half. The interview process here was long and detailed, but fun nonetheless to get a chance to sit down and talk football with Dean Spanos and John (Spanos) and Ed McGuire and Ron Wolf. It was pretty exciting for someone like me. But it’s been a long three or four days and a long process. But it’s been fun and I can’t wait to get to work here.
Question: You’ve been with the Colts for 15 years. Fill in the fans here in San Diego about you.
Telesco: I was with the Colts for 15 years. I came from the Carolina Panthers. I was there for three years, and before that I interned with the Buffalo Bills. So I’ve kind of always been in professional football from college until now. But the last 15 years I’ve been with the Colts. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I’ve worked in everything as a scouting assistant on the college side, to a college scout to a pro scout and director of player personnel. You take on a little more responsibility with each step up the ladder to the last couple years running the draft and this year essentially being the assistant general manager for the Colts to Ryan Grigson, the general manager. I’ve kind of seen all aspects of the organization from the bottom to almost the top. And now the top.
Question: What has been your impression of San Diego and the organization?
Telesco: Well from afar, with the Colts we had a lot of games against the Chargers and we lost some big games against you guys. So it wasn’t always a favorable impression as far as how good you guys were. You guys always played us really hard. I know the game up in Indianapolis when
Question: What really makes a good General Manager?
Telesco: Well, we’re going to find out soon! But I think really the one thing is you’ve got to have a philosophy and you have to stick to it. There’s so much that goes on day-to-day, adversity that goes on, the ups and downs, that you’ve got to kind of stay to your core values. And that sometimes is a little hard to do, but that’s been my philosophy. That’s the way I’ve worked for 15-years plus, and that’s my plan here.
Question: In terms of your philosophy, what is important in building an NFL roster?
Telesco: Well I think one is everyone has to have a common vision. We’re all in this together. Ownership, the front office, the coaching, all the way down to P.R., the equipment and training. Everyone has to have that same vision. As far as building the team, you’re really looking at a draft developed atmosphere. You want homegrown people form the draft. That will be the main focus. Now we’ll use free agency as a compliment and supplement to the roster if it works and the economic investment works. We will certainly do that. But really just work 365 days a year trying to find talent. Never give up on trying to find talent and make sure that talent fits with what the coaches want in their scheme.
Question: What qualities are you looking for in a head coach as you try to fill that spot?
Telesco: You want a leader, number one. And with our philosophy we have to look at the draft and get some young talent on this team. We really want a teacher; a head coach that can not only teach the players but teach his assistant coaches what he wants. That’s going to be a big key. We want a teacher. We want a good communicator. I deal with the head coach every day. And he deals with the staff every day. We want to have clear communication of what he’s looking for so we can find it. And we want a motivator. We want someone that can motivate the players, because if it’s not a lot different in the talent level (between two teams), maybe the coach, more motivated, push you over the top.
Question: It’s a long way from Indianapolis. What will be the biggest challenge for you?
Telesco: Well it’s a long way from home for us. We’re originally from New York and lived in Indiana for 15 years. But we’re looking forward to the city, getting to know the people and the community. Obviously it’s a wonderful place to live. The people that have been here at the facility have been great so far. But probably getting used to the southern California way of life. Us being from the northeast and living in the Midwest, it will be a nice chance and we’re looking forward to it.
Question: You’ve barely had time to get comfortable before you have to make a lot of big decisions . Talk about the timeline coming up.
Telesco: Immediately as soon as we get done here we’re going to get started working on the next head coach of the Chargers. I already started working on that. I had some list of people and have done some research, and they had some list of people and done some research and luckily our lists are very similar. So that’s priority number one. And number two is I need to get a better look at this roster from the inside. I know it as an outsider, but I need to know it as the GM of this team. So that is the first two steps.