San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt are being asked to take on the tall order to resurrect San Diego’s once explosive offense. Both McCoy and Whisenhunt should mesh well together as they have similar philosophies when it comes to working with players.
As the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, McCoy constantly adapted his offenses and play-calling based on the players he had to work with. In 2011, McCoy scrapped his spread offense that he ran for Kyle Orton and installed an entirely new, unconventional offense when Tim Tebow became the starter. His run-heavy, read-option offense was specially designed to showcase Tebow’s strengths, while hiding his weaknesses, and was enough to make it to the playoffs and win a playoff game.
Much like McCoy, Whisenhunt has adapted his play-calling and style to best fit the strengths of his players. When Whisenhunt became the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2007, he was expected to bring the smash-mouth, run-heavy offensive style that he ran when he was the offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead, he utilized Pro Bowl receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin to form an explosive passing attack.
During the 2008 regular season, the Cardinals finished dead-last in rushing, but second in passing, behind the arm of Kurt Warner. The shift in Whisenhunt’s play-calling and offensive philosophy brought the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, where they nearly upset the Steelers. Whisenhunt’s offenses haven’t been nearly as successful as of late, but he hasn’t had much to work with, especially at quarterback after Warner retired.
Both Whisenhunt, who will call plays for the Chargers, and McCoy will adapt the offense based on the strengths of the players. By understanding and utilizing of the skills of the players, Whisenhunt and McCoy should help make San Diego’s offense become one of the league’s best.