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Chargers Say They’d Bid to Retain Lynn

Times Staff Writer

The Chargers will not lose defensive coordinator Ron Lynn to the Raiders without a fight.

That was the word Friday from Steve Ortmayer, the Chargers’ director of football operations. Ortmayer returned late Thursday from Hawaii, where he was scouting players at the Hula Bowl. He met with Lynn and other Charger assistant coaches Friday.

“Yes, we would hate to lose Ron Lynn to the Raiders,” Ortmayer said. “And I believe he won’t get away without our knowledge.”

Ortmayer said he has an understanding with Lynn that Lynn won’t accept a position with the Raiders without giving Ortmayer a chance to counter.

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Lynn had preliminary talks with Raider Coach Mike Shanahan this week about the Raider defensive coordinator job, which became vacant recently when Charlie Sumner was fired.

Lynn also is a strong candidate for the Chargers’ head coaching job, which opened up when owner Alex Spanos fired Al Saunders Dec. 19. But Ortmayer said he hasn’t formally interviewed Lynn yet.

Ortmayer reiterated that he won’t interview George Seifert, the San Francisco defensive coordinator, until the 49er season ends. The 49ers play the Bears Sunday in Chicago for the NFC championship.

Ortmayer also said he has asked permission to talk to two other candidates but declined to name them. He said his interviewing might start as early as this weekend.

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And, he added, “the timetable for hiring a head coach may move forward (speed up) as our appetite gets whetted.”

Ortmayer also said he is conscious of competition in the job-search market now that Kansas City has released its coach, Frank Gansz. “That begins to concern you, yes,” Ortmayer said.

But the prospect of losing popular and talented Lynn to the arch-rival Raiders concerns Ortmayer, a former Raider assistant, much more. The Chargers are still smarting from the summer trade (and the subsequent negative public fallout) that sent Pro Bowl offensive lineman Jim Lachey to the Raiders in exchange for tackle John Clay and running back Napoleon McCallum.

Clay missed most of training camp with a back injury and most of the regular season with a neck injury. McCallum is in the Navy and might not be available until 1990.

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Ortmayer stopped short of saying the Chargers will retain Lynn at all costs. Such a statement could tie his hands in any negotiations with Lynn.

Ortmayer wouldn’t say how short his list of potential candidates has become. But three--UCLA Coach Terry Donahue, former Steeler assistant Tony Dungy and Redskin assistant Joe Bugel--are believed to have become longshots where they once were being more seriously considered.

Former Cleveland Coach Marty Schottenheimer is still very much in the picture as a potential hire for the Saunders’ vacancy.


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