Jun 18, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers coach Mike McCoy at minicamp at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Two Examples of How Mike McCoy IS NOT Norv Turner

Jun 18, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers coach Mike McCoy at minicamp at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports



Every year die hard fans of every team are at their optimistic best. Bill and Jaguar fans come up with highly illogical but impassioned arguments about how their teams are Super Bowl contenders. I still refer to the Chargers acquisition of Coy Bacon in 1973 as the final piece in our championship puzzle as an example of my ridiculous homerism and myopic shortsightedness that so often overwhelms the faith based fan. Coy Bacon was over-the-hill and the only puzzle piece he completed was the fan giveaway team picture jigsaw.

So I totally get that you would view what follows as an example of that homerism. I get it. I really do. But here’s the very notable exception. When you look at most team’s moves historically they always smack of desperation. A move that doesn’t necessarily make the team better but a move that excites fans. Let’s bring in player X who is on the downhill side of his career and hope that even though it has been several years since his peak year, we’ll cross our fingers and pray that he exceeds his career high in numbers and takes our team to the promised land. Or let’s draft the exciting player even though our lines on both sides of the ball couldn’t move a dirt clod if they were spotted a bulldozer.

Things are different Charger fans, Can you feel it? We’re making smart moves not flashy moves and we are being lead by LEADERS, not just people in leading positions.

Tom Telesco seems to be a shrewd evaluator of talent and has quickly built depth in just a year and a half. Of course time will tell with what Telesco is doing, but just two simple things that Mike McCoy has done show a gigantic gap between his leadership and that of Norv Turner. Now Norv is a brilliant offensive mind, but he is not a leader of men. Saying that is so obvious that using examples to support that statement seems like a colossal waste of time and space.

Instead of loving a move (and to be sure, there are a few to applaud), I absolutely love two things that McCoy has done. These are simple things but essential never-the-less.


First, McCoy publically expressed his dissatisfaction with a team effort after one of the practices in OTAs. He didn’t single out players, but called out his team. Why is this important? Because his players aren’t just going through the motions. I can’t help but saying that Turner’s teams always left me with the GENERAL feeling that they were going through the motions ALL THE TIME. This focus is very important in coaching 20-something-year-olds as although they have been elite athletes their whole lives, they are suddenly making insane money and it is very easy to fall back on the “Well, I’ve made it and now I can relax a bit.” It’s a natural reaction to a lifetime of hard work and hardly surprising from a 20-year-old who may not have supreme maturity. McCoy is in charge and seems to be able to communicate his expectations in a way that elicit attention from his players.

Second, he cut short OTAs by one day to tell his players if they gave the supreme effort and accomplished all of their goals then they would be done. This is subtle and perhaps seems like a minor thing, but McCoy is telling his players that they are good. Here is an example of how a day not practicing can have more value than a meaningless day practicing something again. Shot of confidence… “You guys have got it. You have mastered what I needed you to master, now enjoy a day off.” What a message. You don’t just build a winner physically, you need to build it mentally as well. Although these are two simple examples, they show that McCoy knows all of the pieces that it takes to build a championship jigsaw puzzle.

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Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades


  • Stefanie Smith

    Great article. I love it. Mike McCoy knows how to get these guys to buy into what he is promoting. The players respect this guy.

    • Michael Norton

      Thanks. I agree. It is about respect but also about understanding what makes young players tick. I definitely think MM knows…

  • Nick619chargers4life

    Good stuff !!

  • Jose Aguilar


  • Joel Ayala

    Awesome read!! Im ready to run thru walls yelling GO CHARGERS!! Lol. Super excited.

  • Cgoodness13

    McCoy doesn’t have a neck that makes me want to puke

  • buckeye54

    Great insight, Michael. Indeed, MM is not NT and we’re all pretty glad of that.

  • Nick in PB

    All the moves that have been made wouldn’t mean a thing if we didn’t have a true leader at the top. Not only do we have that now, but the GM is also on the same page. I get the feeling that nothing short of a Super Bowl is what these gentlemen have in mind. But they also are instilling a mindset that we are going to get better and that gives us all a lot of hope and hope was missing from the last regime.

  • arnie

    Great Article Michael, took the observations right out of my mouth.

  • BruisingChargers

    Nice……..We will see if it pays off this season.

  • Robert Fairbanks

    I remember Coy Bacon. I remember just two seasons ago the newbie GM brought in Dwight Feeney who may be way off of his best playing years and suffered a season ending injury. Then I remember that Derek Cox fiasco, so let’s not anoint TT until my Bolts go deep into the playoffs and start making other teams afraid of playing them. The Chargers are rebuilding and they look positioned to go very far next (2015) season.
    * Everyone don’t get uptight over the rebuilding comment; every team rebuilds every off season.

    • Michael Norton

      Good Point, Robert. But I think there is a huge difference between picking up Coy to be a savior and getting Freeney when a guy you counted on (Ingram) goes down. It’s not that I think bringing in aged veterans is such a bad idea, but it certainly is not how you build a dynasty. Also, not every move is going to work (Cox), but with quality depth (like TT seems to be building) we can bring in a vet or make a mistake and not suffer for years because of it (Ryan Leaf).

  • Michael Johnson

    I agree and it is a good read, but at what point will we stop having to hear these comparisons? Norv Turner hasn’t been with the Chargers since the end of 2012. He’s long-since moved on, as have the Chargers. I get that it is the offseason and there isn’t a whole lot to talk about, but still… It’s time we stop comparing the two. Not one single Chargers fan believes McCoy is in anyway like Norv Turner. The time to move on has long passed!

    • Stefanie Smith

      It’s only been one year/season. We just finished one season with the new regime. I don’t think it is so long that he has been gone. As you well know, both Norv and AJ were with the team for many years. It takes awhile to get over how different the two management groups are. It’s no big deal. Consider it the football fan version of post traumatic stress. You don’t get over it in a month or two.

      • Michael Norton

        Haha! I definitely suffer from PTS when it comes to the Chargers. It may be a fault of mine, but as a fan I am an optimist when it comes to my teams. I think it’s more fun that way. Who wants to be a grump all the time and say “I told you so” when your team fails to win it all?

      • Robert Fairbanks

        It was a BIG DEAL to me; I had to suffer the embarrasment of explaining why my owner fired a winning coach that just finished with a 14-2 record. Then he sat on that loser (2 of them) for six long years.

    • Michael Norton

      Fair enough, Michael. I guess my point is that I see a shift. I don’t think that is automatically means a Super Bowl championship, but I don’t really think we’ve ever been a good franchise. We’ve had a few good coaches and a few good years, but in the past we’ve hired guys like Norv and made decisions that don’t make long term sense. This regime just smells different to me and that is good.

      • Robert Fairbanks

        Perhaps (at last) Dean Spanos has removed his head from his buttocks. He has made so many blunders you would think that luck would come down on our side just once in the last 34 seasons. I just hope he does not get restless and cut and run too soon if we don’t hit the AFC Championship game every year.

  • Gunnar Martin


  • surge619

    Were on our way to a sb I feel it …our best bet is with tt and mm …BOLT UP

  • [email protected]

    McCoy is the real McCoy and not a boneheaded loser like Norv. Norv didn’t care about winning like McCoy does. Norv was a sorry @ssed, incompetent moron, who along with that pompous idiot AJ Smith, succeeded in driving this franchise into the ground. Thankfully, Spanos did something right for once and brought in the right people to right the ship. GO CHARGERS!

  • BoltNative

    The one thing to say for Norv vs. McCoy, Norv would at least know the rules of football. McCoy, at least last year, not so much. Rookie coaching mistakes with player eligibility for each game was embarrassing too. So, McCoy, stop the rookie mistakes. We don’t want to see that ever ever again!