Chargers … Then to Now
The San Diego Chargers just a year ago … couldn’t close out games. Phillip Rivers when hit on a sack, would fumble the ball. Special teams was a complete disaster. So what has changed over the last year for most of the talent remained intact?
It all started with Dean Spanos hiring new General Manager Tom Telesco because after yet another disappointing season, Spanos knew it was time for an overhaul and Telesco began that overhaul.
NEXT followed the hiring of the new head coach and with the viewing of Broncos offensive coordinator up close and personal, Telesco knew that Mike McCoy was a good fit with the Chargers and with McCoy combined with former Arizona head coach, Ken Whisenhunt as the Chargers offensive coordinator, it put the pieces into place for success.
But the work didn’t just stop there for a new philosophy was put into place. One of unity in the locker room one of accountability and most important, one of humbleness and humility.
Whisenhunt has made a living of grooming quarterbacks as an offensive coordinator and this season has proven just that as Phillip Rivers has returned to his All Pro form and a legitimate contender for (Comeback Player of the Year) leading the Chargers to the playoffs and a victory over the NFC North Champion, Cincinnati Bengals and a rematch with the Denver Broncos at Mile High.
The locker room environment changes … have led to a different result on the field … clearly and top to bottom, all the coaching staff and the GM get the credit.
Charger fans can rejoice once again as after the win yesterday, they were celebrating together … so much so that they had to close down Highland Avenue in National City for several hours.
The nurturing nature of McCoy and Whisenhunt have helped Rivers to overcome some of the past mistakes … make more improvements AND also to control his emotions which at times last season got the better of him. Emotions are good to have but they are better under control (just as Dez Bryant when emotions get out of control). Rivers was Bryant last year and it not for McCoy and Whisenhunt … those emotions would still be on short fuse status and the results could well be the same as last year and years past.
Bottom line, the addition of McCoy and Whisenhunt has paid dividends not only to Rivers, but to the Chargers as a whole … and with the continued success in this year’s playoffs … it also makes a strong case in the debate for a NEW stadium deal in San Diego that is STILL being worked on. The City wants to see winning results and McCoy and Whisenhunt are very instrumental this season in providing that vision for the City Council board members as the debate rolls on.
Ken Whisenhunt is being tracked down and interviewed for head coaching positions as we speak. If the Chargers organization wants a Super Bowl title … this is one coach you cannot afford to let go of … for Whisenhunt is too important to what the Chargers are doing this year.
To have long term success … keep the main pieces together for the long run. Telesco, McCoy and Whisenhunt are those main pieces … along with Rivers.