For a roster that could see plenty of turnover this offseason, maybe it makes sense to see a similar trend in the front office. The Chargers began sweeping changes by hiring 40-year-old GM Tom Telesco instead of Jimmy Raye, and stayed “young” by going with Mike McCoy as the team’s next head coach.
McCoy, 40, has never been a head coach, but he has been one of the hot assistants on the interview trail this year thanks to his success with different quarterbacks in Denver the past two seasons.
“It’s a new vision, it’s going to be a new culture around here,” team president Dean Spanos said at McCoy’s introductory press conference on Tuesday.
Like most of the rest of the teams filling head-coaching vacancies, the Chargers sought out an offensive mind to help a unit that fell well short of expectations in 2012. Despite having Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews and Antonio Gates, the Chargers finished 31st in the league in total offense. McCoy said he is excited about working with Rivers, and discussed his offensive philosophy, part of the reason he was a target for several teams.
“Number one, as a coaching staff, you have to do what your players do best. I’m a firm believer in that,” McCoy said.
McCoy adapted midseason in 2011, rewriting the Broncos’ playbook after going from Kyle Orton to Tim Tebow. He had to shake things up again last offseason with Peyton Manning. We hear that McCoy’s flexibility in adapting to the strengths of his personnel is the most important thing observers learned from McCoy’s time in Denver, but it was difficult to gather if he had the other necessary qualities to run an organziation. The fact that he has not been a head coach at any level still looms as a question mark for a team that could be in a bit of a rebuilding mode.
The Spanos family is clearly taking a chance here — the last time the Chargers hired a first-time head coach who had previously been an NFL assistant was Kevin Gillbride, who went 4-12 in 1997 and was fired after six games in 1998. Change is very much in the air in San Diego.