Former QB Slams Raiders for Hiring Tom Telesco as GM in Rant

tom telesco

Getty Las Vegas Raiders GM Tom Telesco.

For a while, it looked like the Las Vegas Raiders would hire Champ Kelly as general manager. However, owner Mark Davis got cold feet about hiring a first-time general manager to pair with a first-time head coach.

Davis pulled off a surprise when the team announced Tom Telesco as general manager. The former Los Angeles Chargers general manager had varying amounts of success but the team went 86-95 during his tenure. Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms is not a fan of the hiring.

“GMs don’t get second jobs,” Simms said of the Telesco hiring on the January 24 episode of Pro Football Talk. “This doesn’t happen. Like it’s rare. We don’t see it anymore. I mean, there are GMs out there that went to the Super Bowl multiple times. … But Tom Telesco, who went to the playoffs once and had a losing record? And had holes on his team? He did some good things.

“I certainly don’t want to say that. But also, I don’t think any of us ever looked at the Chargers and went ‘Wow, that is just the most perfectly well-built football team I’ve ever seen.’ … Usually, the GM that gets the second job is a guy that knocked it out of the park forever. And everybody’s like, ‘He’s one of the best GMs in football – there’s no doubt about it.’ To see a guy with a losing record, not part of an NFL powerhouse over the last decade, get a second shot. That, in the NFL world, is a shocker of all shockers.”

Telesco did draft some very good players like Derwin James, Keenan Allen and Justin Herbert but it hasn’t led to much winning for the Chargers. Perhaps that was more on coaching than it was on Telesco.

Mark Davis Talks Tom Telesco Hiring

Every general manager Mark Davis has hired since he took over the team in 2011 had been in the position for the first time. That has led to two playoff appearances in that time. This time around, Davis went with somebody who has 11 years of experience as a general manager.

Davis has admired Telesco from afar and has been impressed with his work.

“I had followed him for the past (11) years obviously,” Davis told The Athletic’s Vic Tafur in a January 26 interview. “I had got to know him a little bit and liked his temperament. I always felt that the Chargers had a scary type of roster. Playing them twice a year, Raiders-Chargers games were never easy.”

Telesco was also the director of player personnel for the Indianapolis Colts when they won the Super Bowl in 2006 so he has other experience outside of the Chargers.

Tom Telesco Getting a Clean Slate

Mark Davis clearly wasn’t concerned about Tom Telesco’s failures with the Chargers. It’s hard to get a full grasp of every decision Telesco made as Chargers owner Dean Spanos’ son John was the team’s president of football operations.

The Spanos family is notoriously cheap and that could’ve hindered Telesco’s ability to operate. It’s also possible that John Spanos may have had more say in player personnel than has been made public. Regardless, Telesco is getting a clean slate with the Raiders and will be able to prove that he’s a top general manager.

Read More