Coach Giff Smith: Can these 8 rookie prospects fit his defensive line?

Los Angeles Chargers Giff Smith
Los Angeles Chargers Giff Smith / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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IV: Us against the world mentality

One of the first traits of Coach Giff Smith is his approach that pits his defensive linemen against opposing offenses. He embraces the us versus them mindset for several reasons. For starters, it runs counter to the current culture of doing things for likes on social media. Coach Smith believes that you do what is right for the team, not for what gets you the most Instagram followers.

It's a similar approach to Coach Henny's DAWGWORK. Excelling in the daily grind does not win fans or attract spotlights, but it does prepare that player for big moments and big games. After all, the first job of any NFL positional coach is to prepare the players to make plays. Coach Giff Smith takes that responsibility very seriously. And he expects his players to do so as well.

III: He holds everyone accountable

Everyone makes mistakes. The trait of champions is to learn from those mistakes to ensure that they are not repeated. NFL players appreciate holding players accountable. It's not about the blame game. It's the simple fact that fixing mistakes and solving problems begins by identifying and defining what that problem is.

In an ESPN article about Coach Smith's job as Los Angeles Chargers interim head coach, Kris Rhim details how Giff Smith won over the Chargers' locker room by being a straight-shooter who held every player on the team accountable. And that method worked, as veterans endorsed Coach Smith as he led the team in their final three games in 2023:

"He will obviously hold you accountable to what you got to do, but at the same time, he is going to let you know that he also believes in you. Building confidence is, I think, as a coach is so underrated. I think that is what his superpower is -- that he is able to build confidence in guys regardless of the circumstances, and that elevates players."

Chargers safety Alohi Gilman

Despite going 0-3 in their final three games, the Chargers lost those three games by a total of 10 points.