Throughout the off season I’ve looked through the Chargers as an organization and picked out possible winners of the various end of season awards. Today I’m doing that again but I’m switching my attention from the players do the man who directs the traffic from the sideline, Head Coach, Anthony Lynn.
Could Coach Lynn win the Coach of the Year award?
Looking back on recent winners, the award doesn’t just go to the coach who wins the Lombardi. It goes to the coach of the team who have been the most watchable; Ron Rivera in 2015 with the Panthers, Bruce Arians’ Cardinals in 2014, for example. Or the coach of the team who have taken a huge leap after being down; Sean McVay’s 2017 Rams. Or the coach who has been the most inspiring; Bruce Arians whilst deputizing for Chuck Pagano which he battled cancer in 2012. With this in mind, I think Coach Lynn could be in with chance.
First off, I think the Chargers will win the AFC West, and as divisional winners. That checks of boxes for having made the postseason and having 10 to 12 wins, as I don’t think the Chargers are going to be challenged too closely.
So if that comes to fruition, we may even see the Bolts bypass the wildcard round via a bye. This means the team will be one win away from the AFC Championship game and two from a Superbowl appearance. If Lynn takes a team who missed the playoffs last year beyond the divisional round, his chances are going to skyrocket.
Secondly, I think we’re going to see the Chargers play with a lot of style and swag. It’s undeniable that Lynn has some of that too and it transmits to his players. If what’s going on, on the field looks good, it’s going to reflect back on the HC in a very positive way and the league is going to sit up and take notice.
I feel like we’re going to see a high powered offense with Philip Rivers throwing the ball often and early to a bevy of pass catchers, in an effort to jump out in front of opponents early. Then once they’re in the lead, they’re going to lean on Gus Bradley’s potentially dominant defense to keep the other guys off the board, then when L.A. gets the ball back with a lead, they’re going to drain the clock with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, and squeeze the life out of the game.
People and fans who vote for end of season awards love dominance from teams, especially when it’s done in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Lastly, the team has the factor of being very marketable and whilst this may not directly affect the voting, it definitely affects people mindsets when they make decisions.
Let me tell you what I mean by that.
Well firstly, there’s the L.A. factor; this is why the Chargers moved there, it makes a difference to the teams marketability, a big difference.
The team also has some very marketable personalities at the top of their positions who could also be winning and of season awards. Derwin James, Joey Bosa, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams… I could go on. Top players who are all garnering preseason buzz and if those hype trains continue to roll on throughout the season. It’s a good look for Coach Lynn.
Lastly, the team has the best uniform combinations in the entire league. All white, all navy, mixing those two, powder blues, which everyone loves and topped off with the slickest color rush jersey in the NFL. This may sound like I’m getting away from the coach but it all boils down to the image of the team, which in turn in an image of the guy at the top. It’s more positives on positives and like I said at the top, the coach of the year award isn’t just about W’s, it’s about style, it’s about creating the an image that throughout the 2018 season, there was no better place to play than in Los Angeles for the Chargers.
All these factors directly or indirectly reflect on Lynn as a coach but what about the man himself?
Well, as a fan, I really like the way Lynn conducts himself. He’s a straight talker who calls it how it is and he isn’t afraid to say if something doesn’t meet his expectations, even if it’s one of his stars who need to up their game. He holds everyone accountable in the organization, including himself, which further endears him to fans and if the Chargers are successful this coming season then the media spotlight will shine on Lynn more than it did last season and therefore more fans, players, writers and analysts will see these qualities.
So, he’s not a big name in the league as of yet but like a lot of players and maybe the team as a whole, Coach Lynn could be on the verge of announcing himself as a star in the making in 2018. Whether that results in a Coach of the Year award, remains to be seen but I can’t wait to see what happens… and it all starts in 2 weeks time.
– Lee Wakefield is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @Wakefield90