It’s been a long time since the San Diego Chargers have tried on a fresh face for their head coaching position. The previous two sideline leaders in Marty Schottenheimer and Norv Turner were both retread coaches who had strong reputations around the league already established. That’s just one of the reasons why the new man in charge, Mike McCoy, seems to fit perfectly with the new direction of the franchise.
Quarterback Philip Rivers has struggled in recent years, stagnating under the watch of Turner. McCoy comes in with all of the confidence in the world in his veteran signal caller despite the mountains of film to discourage that belief. McCoy has said:
“Philip is going to have a great year. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
While everything does start with the man under center, the offense also has to have some stability up front. That is what was lacking the most in recent years with injuries doing a number on the team’s offensive line. Perhaps what handicapped the team most when these injuries popped up was that they were unprepared for how to handle them. That won’t be an issue with McCoy at the helm.
In the most recent minicamp gatherings, McCoy has mixed up the line’s configuration by putting second string left tackle Max Starks in at first string and sliding first string left tackle King Dunlap to first string right tackle which moved D.J. Fluker to second string on the right side. The other second stringers in center David Molk and guard Steve Schilling also swapped positions to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances. Needless to say, there is a method to this madness as McCoy said:
“That’s just part of the process. We’re going to move guys now through training camp. You’ve got to work different combinations of guys. There’s always injuries during the season you’ve got to work through. This is the time to do it, to see who does it best. Even if they’re not going to be at that spot going into the opener, at least they’ve got some work on it in all fairness to them.”
McCoy seems to be quickly rubbing off on this team and giving them a real fresh feeling about the upcoming season. It’s certainly too early to make any brash predictions about how he will fare as a head coach, but the early returns are good.
Wednesday would have been the great Vince Lombardi’s 100th birthday, and even though comparing a first-year head coach to the greatest of all-time would be a severe disservice to the great Lombardi, one of his famous quotes is definitely applicable to the Bolts this season.
“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.”
If that continues to ring true all of these years later, McCoy has a bright future ahead in San Diego.