San Diego Chargers: Why Mike McCoy Is the Perfect Candidate for Head Coach

Soven Bery@@realsovenberySenior Analyst IJanuary 11, 2013

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 30: Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy yells to players during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 38-3. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers finished the 2012 season with a 7-9 record, and their disappointing year prompted owner Alex Spanos, and his son Dean, to make some big moves. 

They did not disappoint, firing general manager A.J. Smith and longtime head coach Norv Turner on the NFL’s Black Monday.

Spanos quickly hired a new GM in Tom Telesco, formerly the Indianapolis Colts vice president of football operations.

But, now the search begins for a replacement for Turner. San Diego has some intriguing options as former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians are all available. 

However, none of those guys are the best option for the Bolts. 

That honor goes to Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Don’t get me wrong, all three of those coaches would be great in Southern California. 

McCoy would just be better. 

His track record speaks for itself. He has been with the Broncos since 2009 and worked with a different quarterback in each of his four seasons with Denver, enjoying two division-winning seasons.

Nonetheless, whether it be with Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow or Peyton Manning at the helm, the Broncos offense has always had success. 

In 2009, McCoy and his offense ranked 15th in the league in yards per game with 341.4. The passing game finished 13th in the league and the team finished at .500. 

In 2010, the offense actually improved and finished 13th in the NFL at 348.9 yards per game. In 2011, McCoy worked with Tebow and found an offensive approach that proved successful. Not very many pro coaches can say that. Not very many coordinators would be flexible enough and smart enough to find a scheme that matches their players' abilities. 

The Broncos were the best rushing team in the entire league last year behind Tebow and Willis McGahee—and they even notched a playoff win. 

Of course, this year they are even better.

Manning and his cohorts are the second-highest scoring offense, and McCoy has led this unit to 397.9 yards per game, fourth in the NFL. 

Denver is the top seed in the AFC and a heavy favorite to win the Super Bowl, and it is in no small part due to the efforts McCoy has put in with Manning and this offense. It is balanced, dynamic and gives defensive coordinators nightmares.

McCoy's body of work is undeniable and would be very appealing to the Chargers, a franchise in desperate need of an offensive mastermind. They were classed as the 20th scoring offense in the league, just a slot higher than the anemic Buffalo Bills


Philip Rivers never got off the ground in 2012 and finished the season with 205.9 passing yards per game, 24th in the NFL. The running game wasn’t any better, as Ryan Mathews led the 27th-ranked rushing attack. 

I’m not saying the Denver assistant coach will make all those problems go away, but he will eventually transform this unit into playoff-caliber offense.

Rivers has been an above-average signal-caller who, if he limits turnovers, could again become elite. At many points in his career, Rivers was a top five quarterback in the NFL. This season, Rivers was 13th in the NFL in quarterback rating for players who attempted more than 100 passes. McCoy will help him get back to that elite level, especially if he helps Rivers overcome his issues with ball security.

McCoy will assist the offensive unit and turn the team around to compete in the AFC West. He is the clear and definitive choice to become the next head coach of the San Diego Chargers. 

After all, he is the real McCoy.