First-year Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn never lost faith. Not even after an 0-4 start, four games that just as easily could’ve been wins instead of losses. That belief in his team is a big reason why the Chargers are back in the hunt, tied for the AFC West lead in an unlikely turnaround. Lynn spoke about the twists and turns of his first season—the team’s first year in Los Angeles—on The Jim Rome Show Tuesday.
“We started out pretty rough, but we had a lot of football left in front of us. This team never lost focus, it never lost faith. It stayed committed to one another,” Lynn said. “We always believed that we’d play meaningful football in December. Right now, it feels good. It feels good to be in the hunt. We aren’t out of the hole that we dug, but we are in the hunt.”
That hole felt deep after four games. But no loss felt worse than the team’s overtime loss to Jacksonville. While Lynn tries to purge every game, win or loss, after 24 hours, letting the win against the Jaguars slip away ate at the coach and forced some internal changes.
“That’s not the type of team that I wanted to have. We had better character than that. We were smarter than that. That game, for whatever reason, we made some bad decisions at the wrong time,” Lynn explained. “We had a heart-to-heart in that locker room after the game. We had a heart-to-heart the very next week. I just let some guys know that those things were going to change. And I had to make a couple moves.”
Lynn kept those moves internal, though he acknowledged that he made some changes. They were changes that took home, with the Chargers going on a three-game winning streak.
“I never lost a game like that before in my life. It kind of shook me up a little bit and it kind of woke me up a bit, too,” Lynn explained. “You emphasize things over and over again and at some point you need to start getting what you emphasize.”
In the Chargers latest win, a 19-10 victory over the Browns, they faced off against receiver Josh Gordon. Playing in his first game in nearly three years, Lynn had nothing but good things to say about the troubled-but-talented receiver.
“He’s a freak. I hope for his sake that he learned a lot from him mistakes and that he’s ready to move on and be a professional in this league,” Lynn said. “He’s already special, but he’s going to be real special. The man hasn’t been on the football field in three years and it looks like he’s been there every single day. That was just impressive.”