"I can't say enough good things about what A.J. has done over the past few months and how difficult it's been for him," said Spanos, who officially introduced AJ Smith as the Chargers' new Executive Vice President-General Manager on Tuesday. "He has stepped right in. To coin John's phrase, it's been ‘business as usual.' We haven't missed a beat. The cohesiveness and everything that has taken place has been because of what he's brought together in this organization at a very difficult time.
"I couldn't think of a better person to take over for John and to carry on his legacy. My decision was very easy."
"It's pretty special when you are made the GM in the NFL. I am standing here with the San Diego Chargers, which makes it very, very special for me, because I get an opportunity to continue the work started by a dear friend of mine for a long, long time, John Butler. So that's the reason that it makes it so special." AJ Smith began.
"John and I had a vision to make a championship football team here in San Diego. It is special for me that I get to continue that dream, very highly motivated to be successful to make (John Butler) proud and the organization.
"Organization wins, you build it from top to bottom, you make it sound…and you will be very hard to beat.
"We have ownership that supports us in everything we want to do to win. That is very important. We have an outstanding coach (Marty Schottenheimer). To have a chance to be successful in this league, you must have an outstanding coach.
"Working relationships that we have in this organization are fantastic. My working relationship with Coach Schottenheimer has been fantastic. We are constantly talking about players, free agency, the draft, just constantly on our mind. He wants to win desperately, which is why he was brought here. Constantly talking about players and what it takes to win.
"We want to find players and we want to win now.
"Buddy (Nix) will probably be my right hand man and my sounding board and we will be talking about a lot of things.
"John never got hung up in height weight and speed, the bottom line is, are they football players. You can get caught up in the 40 yard dash, vertical jump; if they are football players we are interested.
"The draft picks this weekend will be special hand-picked players, we will all be together when we pick. We will all be rooting for that player to succeed."
"I get to stay here with this football team and it is special.
"Our computerized system, which isn't really talked about much, and scouting is second to none in the NFL. I want us to go to the playoffs and chase the championship. Then you want to maintain playoff status so you gain credibility around the National Football League as one of the top teams because you are always in the playoffs. That's our dream. That's what we're working for. The Chargers want to be in the playoffs.
"The coach can't do it alone, we need players. Maybe in June we will make some moves there.
"In our minds (we needed) one year to setup shop, second (year) to make sure things are in order and third year for 'Let's do it!'"
Let's Do It!
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