General manager Tom Telesco is constantly tinkering with the Chargers, making sure they land in a desirable place.
Telesco’s resting spot? It’s somewhere that shows Telesco is one smart cookie.
“Rancho Santa Fe,’’ he replied on where he calls home.
Telesco is a wheeler-dealer by trade but is there a better swap than Indianapolis for Rancho Santa Fe?
No disrespect to the Indy, but Telesco’s commute would make others envious.
Telesco, a former Colts executive, is no longer green in the GM chair.
Entering year two with the Chargers, Telesco is eager for the season, and can Monday night get here soon enough?
“We’re ready to go to see what we’ve got,’’ Telesco said.
After a summer of workouts doesn’t Telesco have a handle on his 53 players?
He does and he doesn’t.
“It’s all on paper right now,’’ he said. “I don’t know until we start playing games and then we will see. Right now it is just practices and preseason games.
“But overall the guys that were here last year, they have a better feel for what is expected of them and what their roles are going to be. Last year it took us a little while to figure that all out, which is normal.’’
Not only was Telesco a 2013 fresh face, but Mike McCoy was starting his first year as a head coach at any level. The Chargers were coming off a three-year rut of missing the playoffs and what the newbies — Telesco and McCoy — would bring was anyone’s guess.
Few had the Chargers advancing to the postseason, which they won a playoff game at Cincinnati.
The Broncos ended the Chargers’ season the following week, but by all accounts, the work of Telesco and McCoy was a hit.
But last year was just that and hello 2014, which starts Monday in Arizona. The Chargers might have a better team, but considering their daunting schedule, they might not match last year’s 9-7 mark.
Make sense? What’s easy to understand is the Chargers share the AFC West with two teams, which reached last season’s playoffs — the Broncos and Chiefs.
So when Telesco eyes the division, wouldn’t his sight line go to his two most challenging rivals?
“I see the San Diego Chargers, but you do have to play everybody else, too,’’ Telesco said. “You can’t build your roster just to beat one or two teams. If you put together a balanced enough roster you should be able to compete against everybody. But it’s a tough division, obviously.
“But I’m just worried about us right now. We got enough problems to worry about.’’
Every GM frets, and Telesco, 41, is no different — don’t let his dark hair fool you.
What keeps Telesco up at night: The Chargers’ defensive line wasn’t deep to begin with, then the injury bug hit.
The pass-rushers all come with promise and pitfalls.
The secondary was rebuilt, but will the new edition be better than last year’s model?
The offensive line is down a starter in Jeromey Clary.
The pass-catchers reveal rising star Keenan Allen, but also Malcolm Floyd and he’s played a 16-game schedule once in 10 years.
The backfield is loaded with three rushers, but hopefully Ryan Mathews’ preseason fumble was an aberration and not the start of a trend.
Time to check Telesco’s noggin’ again — yep, that hair is still black.
“It’s the nature of the business that you are never comfortable,’’ Telesco said, and did a gray root just take hold? “Someone said, ‘Is there more pressure this year?’ Well, find me a year where there is not pressure and there is none.’’
So Telesco checks his team and the waiver wire. An NFL roster is a live, breathing beast and it’s up to Telesco to keep it well fed.
“It is never really done, with injuries and constantly moving things around,’’ he said. “And you’re constantly watching performance and if the players aren’t performing the way they need to perform, we will make a move.’’
The Chargers are headed in the right direction, thanks to Telesco’s handiwork. He’s found a home with the Chargers, which is nearly as nice as hanging in Rancho Santa Fe.
Contact Jay Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow Jay on Twitter @jparis_sports