By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
The Indianapolis Colts lost yet another tie to their recent glory years Wednesday when the San Diego Chargers chose Tom Telesco as their new general manager.
Telesco, who was promoted to vice president of football operations this season, had been with the Colts for the past 15 years. He’s a favorite of former vice chairman Bill Polian and former head coach Tony Dungy.
The Chargers tabbed him over in-house candidate Jimmy Raye to replace the fired A.J. Smith.
“Tom Telesco has played a crucial role in our successes since he joined the Colts in 1998,” Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay said in a statement released by the team. “His talent and character also have been apparent to other clubs throughout the league. Despite our efforts to persuade Tom to stay, it was only a matter of time before another club snared him to be its general manager. I appreciate everything he has done for the horseshoe and have no doubt he will be successful for years to come.”
Telesco was among the candidates Irsay interviewed before hiring Ryan Grigson has general manager last year.
Grigson said he enjoyed a strong working relationship with Telesco and praised his former “right-hand man” for his open mind toward new ideas.
“I can’t say enough about Tom Telesco, and I speak for everyone in this building,” Grigson said in the team’s release. “Despite him being here for 14 seasons prior to our new regime, Tom bought in from day one, and the professionalism he showed on a daily basis never wavered. We developed a strong bond during this special season, and I will forever be grateful for having him at my side since Jan. 11.”
It’s unclear which direction the Colts will chose to go looking for a replacement. In-house candidates figure to include director of football administration Mike Bluem, director of college scouting T.J. McCreight, associate director of pro personnel Kevin Rogers and pro scouting coordinator Andrew Berry.
Some of those men likely will draw interest from Telesco as he assembles his staff in San Diego, and it’s more than possible Grigson will look to bring in someone from outside the organization whom he has worked with in the past.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is scheduled to interview for head coaching jobs with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns this week or next.
Arians also could be a candidate to join Telesco in San Diego.
“We said that when you have success and when you win, good things will happen to everybody,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said earlier this week, addressing questions about Arians’ candidacy. “Everybody will get paid, so to speak, and I think this is just a byproduct of winning. People want winners in their organization, and they are naturally going to go after teams that have had success.”