The Coast News Group

Jay Paris: Their teams struggle, but some of their players might hear the call of the Hall

It’s been rough sledding for those tracking San Diego pro sports, and thank you, Capt. Obvious.

The Chargers just plopped a bow on another stinker of a season. For the second straight year they rode the AFC West caboose, failing to reach the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.

Injuries? Go tell someone else, please.

Bad coach? You might be on to something and Mike McCoy being handed the pink slip completes the team’s daily double: it doesn’t know where it will play next season and it doesn’t know who’ll be its head coach.

Other than that, it’s clear to see the Chargers are on the right track.

Want proof? They won four games in 2015 and five contests this season. That, my friend, is an upward trend and you’re free to roll your eyes right about now.

The Padres? Don’t expect much with a payroll, which is south of my kids’ student loan tabs. The local nine is going cheap, going young, going all-in on international players and I have no idea how those youngsters will do either.

This season, the Friars look fried before the first sunburn arrives from spring training. If the Padres avoid losing 100 games this year, Andy Green might get my vote as the National League manager of the year.

There’s scant starting pitching, the bullpen is under construction and the offense revolves around a Wil (Myers) and figuring out a way to accelerate the maturing progress.

The Peach Fuzz Padres has a ring to it, and when you check the players’ birth certificates, you’ll know why it fits.

There’s the Gulls, I guess, but even their ice has shown cracks. They’ve lost seven of their last nine games heading into Friday’s skate against the San Antonio Rampage.

So in this flurry of mediocrity, we present potential Hall of Famers.

The Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as legendary Bolts coach Don Coryell.

We’ll overlook that the former was released by the current Chargers’ ownership, while the latter was fired. We know the Spanos family isn’t entering the Owners Hall of Fame anytime soon, if there was such a thing.

But there’s little doubt Tomlinson was a happening every time he touched the football. His 28 rushing touchdowns in 2006, the year he won the NFL MVP, still stands as the NFL record.

His 145 touchdowns from the ground is the second-most in NFL history. Combine that with 13,684 yards rushing and if a voter skips L.T. as a first-ballot honoree, that isn’t A-O.K.

Coryell, the zany and innovative teacher who had an offense named for him, is a finalist for the second straight time and third overall.

His omission has always been a stain on the hallowed halls of Canton, Ohio. He literally changed the game on both sides of the ball.

“We want them to have to cover every inch of the field,’’ Coryell said.

Defenses had to do just that with Dan Fouts directing “Air Coryell,” a passing attack with no peer.

“Of course he belongs in the Hall of Fame,’’ Fouts said. “He’s the reason why I am in there.’’

Not only did Coryell put his fingerprints on offense, but defenses had to adjust as well by inserting additional defensive backs in place of defensive linemen. That remains true to this day.

Then there’s John Lynch, the All-Pro safety who cut his teeth at Torrey Pines High School. The hard-hitting Lynch has come close before, and this might be the year he lowers his shoulder and pops open that Hall of Fame door.

And don’t forget Trevor Hoffman, the Rancho Santa Fe resident who saved the Padres’ bacon on a nightly basis. He’ll learn this month if he gets the call to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

So while wringing your hands over the Charger and Padres, don’t forget that all is not lost.

An area not known for producing champions just might have cause to celebrate.

Contact Jay Paris at [email protected]. Read his book, “Game of My Life Chargers” which is available at area book stores and