I Am Starting To Wonder…


Nov 10, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy yells at referees during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

With all of the frustration that has been expressed recently (mainly because of Mike McCoy & his coaching staff’s stubborn approach to managing games), I got to asking myself a question. “What am I seeing, that Mike McCoy & the coaching staff isn’t”?

This is a question that could be answered easily, or it could be extremely complex. As outsiders, it isn’t hard to point at something, and say “SEE… that is what I am talking about! They should have done THIS”!!! After watching the decisions being made lately, it is hard to argue that fans, announcers, experts, bloggers, writers… you name it… are all incorrect by pointing out key mistakes. But, there are also a lot of things on the sideline that we don’t see. Are they hiding a players nagging injury, and we can’t tell? Has the player been put in a situation endlessly during practice, and failed miserably every time? Is the player being punished for a bad attitude, or for being lazy behind the scenes? Did the player have sex with the owner’s wife, and piss on his car when he left the house? There could be any number of reasons for why things happen, that are hidden from our eyes. They could even be hidden from the media, or the players themselves. Is it possible that we are missing something?

On game day, I keep catching myself thinking “This is exactly what Norv would have done! I thought we were past this”! As fans, we have watched McCoy’s predecessor screw the pooch over, and over again. He used the same tired plays, the same predictable logic, and looked (in my best Norv Turner voice) “awfully bad” game, after game. It was so bad in the end, that we gave the situation its own name… we openly hollered out “We got Norv’d”! When this term was employed, it never meant anything good. It was a linked with other catch phrases like “doing the same thing over & over, but expecting different results”. It meant “the definition of insanity”. My question is “Does Mike McCoy see what we see”? Does he realize (despite the amazing job he has done getting Philip Rivers & the offense back on track) that his play calling looks similar to Norv Turner’s, at times?

I would assume that when you take a job, you look at what the last guy got fired for, and avoid that mentality like the plague. Has Mike McCoy done that? Did he go into the film room, watch what cost this team so many games over the last umpteen seasons, and say “THAT is what needs to change”. Or did he say, “Those were the right calls, but the players just didn’t execute”? The thought crossed my mind that he doesn’t know that he is doing the same things that we have been tortured with for so long. WE know what the patterns of this team were, and aren’t willing to stomach another minute of it. Is McCoy aware of this? He is the head coach, so I would hope that he was briefed, and that this is just a coincidence. However, I wonder if he realizes that he has infinite reels of film available that show that these decisions have proven this conservative play calling wrong, beyond any shadow of a doubt?

When Mike McCoy was hired, he was immediately brought in from a team that just got knocked out of the playoffs. From his hire, to the regular season kick off, things developed at light speed. I’m not making excuses for him, but he had to implement new game plans, sign off on coaches, give input on which players stay & go, deal with major offseason injuries, and a whole lot of other things. He should definitely have a better idea than I do about when to go for it on 4th & 1, and when to go for a field goal. But, I often wonder what it feels like to have so much pressure on you to get things fixed in such a short amount of time.

Even though he gets paid millions of dollars, has he had enough time to soak up this awful situation that Norv & AJ left behind, and fix all of the problems that they had YEARS to create? Maybe… maybe not. But, I know one thing. No matter what happens this season, he should use his offseason time to take a look at what everyone is talking about, and watch some film from years past. Or, he will just become another name on the list of disappointing Chargers coaches.

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence

Peter Thompson