NFL media analyst Elliot Harrison ranked the NFL’s 32 head coaches in his recent photo essay. Chargers coach Mike McCoy was No. 23 overall.
This is what Harrison had to say:
“McCoy is another head coach who received scant respect last season. Fans unfairly piled on as the Chargers’ losses mounted. (Reminds me of when you donate to one charity … then the Save An Emu In Montana foundation and maybe 9,765 other charities pile on.) I’m sure McCoy, as much as anyone, would like to put much of the frustration from 2015 — like the loss to Pittsburgh, when the Steelers couldn’t complete a pass — behind him. But McCoy did go 9-7 in each of his first two seasons. Give him a break, please.”
If you were wondering, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who was on the market the same time as McCoy, ranked No. 5 overall.
Hindsight is 20/20, so back to McCoy. This is a completely fair ranking. Fans get on him for conservative playcalling (rightfully so) and vague postgame comments, but it’s tough to coach a team that can’t stay healthy, and that’s not his fault.
But the Chargers did finish with 10-plus losses (4-12) for the first time since 2003. Eight of those 12 losses were by less than a touchdown, and that falls on him. During his time as coach, it seems as if the players’ passion and energy wasn’t always there. The fundamentals of football (like tackling) has also lacked under McCoy.
Unlike in McCoy’s first three seasons, the Chargers are more talented going into the 2016 season. If he can’t get the Chargers going in his fourth year as head coach, then a change could happen sooner rather than later.