Within a five-week period this summer, the Chargers family lost both the greatest coach and arguably greatest defensive tackle of its 50-year history.
On July 1, Don Coryell passed away at age 85. On Aug. 4, Gary “Big Hands” Johnson died from a stroke at age 57.
Coryell, whose “Air Coryell” passing attack provided a blueprint for today's offenses, coached the Chargers from 1978-1986. Over that period, Dan Fouts quarterbacked an offense that ranked as the NFL's best through the air for seven years, including an NFL-record streak of six straight seasons from 1978-1983.
Johnson, a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, played for the Chargers from 1975-1984. His banner year came in 1980 when he recorded 17.5 sacks, which was then not yet an official statistic. Thirty years later, the mark hasn't been matched by a Charger since.
In light of the impact Coryell and Johnson had, we'll take a look at some of the others who have contributed to the organization's lore by counting down the 10 greatest Chargers players of all-time.