Three years ago, when Mike McCoy became the head coach of the San Diego Chargers, he was brought in to fix the wobbled offense and create a winning culture which the team clearly lacked under Norv Turner. McCoy was known as the “Quarterback Guru” and seemed well on his way to fix Philip Rivers and the rest of the Chargers offense.
McCoy started his NFL coaching career with the Carolina Panthers in 2000 and ended his tenure there in 2008. During those eight years, he served at multiple positions pertaining to the offense. He was an offensive assistant, wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach, and finally passing coordinator. By him serving at several positions, it made him more knowledgeable to the dynamics of the team and thus made his very attractive to a potential suitor.
In 2009, McCoy finally got his shot at being the offensive coordinator when the Broncos came knocking on the door for an interview. He was hired and has never looked back. His first quarterback project was to fix Kyle Orton. The result was Orton posted career highs in passing yards. The offense ranked seventh in the NFL and Orton ranked fourth in the NFL in passing yards for the season. Two years later, McCoy took a different route with the offense in putting the mobile Tim Tebow to work. Tebow was not known for his throwing, but for his rushing abilities. That year in 2011, the Broncos and Tebow led the NFL in rushing yards.
McCoy, throughout his early career, proved that he can make any quarterback and scheme successful. He received high-praise from his head coach with the Broncos, John Fox after the 2012 season. The Broncos coach told teams who wanted to interview him “He is a heck of a coach.” That sure helped McCoy’s stock rise around the league.
In 2013, the Chargers introduced Mike McCoy as their head coach. He became the youngest head coach in NFL history at the time. McCoy and the Chargers finished strong with a 9-7 record. Arguably one of the stronger teams headed to the playoffs that year as a third place finisher in the West Division. They beat the Bengals in their Wild Card matchup 27-10 in Cincinnati. Then the next week, the team lost a close matchup to the Denver Broncos 24-17. John Pagano, defensive coordinator for the Chargers gave credit to the head coach. He told reporters that coach McCoy was able to be creative and successful, despite not having a lot of talent to work with on the roster.
In 2014, the Chargers finished 9-7 and in third place, but no playoff berth. In 2015, with newcomer and first round pick Melvin Gordon, the team looked to be heading in the right direction. Things went south as he went down with a knee injury against the Miami Dolphins. The offensive line fell apart in 2015 too as there were over 20 different lineup changes. Joe D’Alessandris the Chargers O-Line coach, was fired even with all the injuries and lineup changes. The Chargers finished the season with an atrocious 4-12 record.
In 2016 the team is looking at the whole new coaching staff. Coach McCoy will still lead the way and the defense will still be led by coach John Pagano. There are a couple of new offensive line coaches and a familiar face at the offensive coordinator position, Ken Wisenhunt. The new offensive line coaches, Jeff Davidson and Dave DeGuglielmo, are expected to turn things around in a hurry. Dave came from the came from the Patriots, which had numerous offensive line changes and still made it to the AFC Championship game. So his creativity and experience should be key in maintaining the Chargers offensive line. Ken Wisenhunt is expected to make Melvin Gordon a better runner and keep Philip Rivers productive. Lastly, John Pagano needs to keep up the creativity and a solid rotation going on the defense. The heat is on for this staff to win and win now. In particular the pressure is on Coach McCoy.