Enough is enough, Mike McCoy must go
By Conor Denton
After Sunday’s result, it has become crystal clear to everyone outside of the organization that Mike McCoy is not suitable to coach this team any longer. Quite frankly, he was never suitable in the first place. Blowing a 21-point lead, specifically in the second half, is unacceptable on every level of the coaching spectrum. Here is my hot take on why San Diego should stop beating around the bush and ditch McCoy already.
Stop me if you heard this before, but San Diego happened to blow another GIGANTIC lead today. There were many things that contributed to the dumpster fire that was the second half, but at the end of the day all signs pointed back to one man: Mike McCoy. Here is an ideal that is well known amongst all sports: If you play not to lose once you build a lead, you end up losing quite often.
This is precisely what happened last year over and over again. Chargers come out like a house on fire, build a nice lead going into the fourth quarter, then absolutely s*** the bed as soon as said quarter begins. Here is another newsflash, when this daunting scenario plays out over and over again, it becomes evident that coaching is to blame.
Not going for it on fourth-and-one from Kansas City’s 47-yard line to potentially put the game away in the third quarter was a prime example of how
conservative coach McCoy truly is. Let me put that decision into context for everyone.
San Diego was up by 18 points at the time. This means two things from a normal coaching perspective: A) If you DON’T convert it’s okay, you are still up by three scores and B) If you do convert, which with Melvin Gordon running the way he was I suspect they would of, then you are about 40 yards away from putting the game out of reach.
The fact of the matter is, if a top tier coach like Bill Belichick or Ron Rivera was put in that same situation, odds are they’re going to show everyone they have a pair down south and go for it. McCoy simply did the only thing he has done since he has been San Diego’s head coach, which was try not to lose a game he has a lead in.
Rarely have we ever seen McCoy be aggressive in his tenure here. I don’t ever sit back down in my seat after halftime ends and think, “The Chargers are looking like they want this win.” Instead, it’s always the same thought that crosses through my mind, “They can’t possibly blow this lead, can they?” Unfortunately for Chargers players and fans alike, this has become the status quo.
There were many other factors that contributed to this self-implosion of epic proportions, however few, if any decisions were more mind-boggling than essentially benching Gordon in the second half. Yesterday, Gordon proved to everyone that preseason was no fluke. Yes, it was a depleted Kansas City squad and yes, it’s only Week 1, but MGIII looked like a first-round pick, and there was no denying that.
This same decision becomes even more idiotic when you realize that all San Diego had to do with a 21-point lead in the third quarter was milk the clock. How much that choice actually had to do with McCoy versus Whisenhunt is a valid point, but regardless of whose fault it was, it resulted in a total systematic failure of San Diego’s offensive game plan after halftime.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Danny Woodhead to death, but he is NOT, I repeat NOT, an early-down back that you hand it off to. I think that role better suits the 220-pound running back who the team traded three picks for back in 2015.
The only explanation I can think of as to why they didn’t have Gordon in late was his fumbling issues. That’s ludicrous. I’ll say it again, you traded UP for him in the first round of the draft in 2015. If you won’t play him because you’re worried he might fumble, in a game that could very well be decided by some good old fashioned power running mind you, then you sir (Mike McCoy) deserve to be fired.
There are many other things that led to yesterday’s loss, and let me make something clear, not all of them fell squarely on the coaches shoulders. Many players had bad games today with Dwight Lowery, Manti Te’o, Denzel Perryman, Jahleel Addae and Drew Kaser being chief among them. However, I am too mentally drained to speak on all of them, so I’ll stick to bashing McCoy instead.
Listen, adversity brings leadership, or lack thereof, out of a coach. Having said that, subliminally throwing your rookie punter under the bus in the postgame presser and taking absolutely zero accountability for the loss is not a good look at all if you are trying to portray yourself as a leader to your team.
The bottom line is this, Mike McCoy has no idea what to do with a lead. We saw it last year, and it’s beginning to rear its ugly head around this year, too.
Even with the discouraging result, don’t forget to take the positives out of this game either guys. We were beating a playoff team on the road by 18 points. The defense actually looked good before we stopped blitzing, and that was still without Joey Bosa. Gordon appears to have turned a corner and Tyrell Williams looked great as well.
The question for this team has never been about how far this roster full of talent will take us. Instead, it’s always been about how much the coaching staff will hinder this team’s potential. The bad news for Chargers fans is that we will still be asking ourselves that same question next week and throughout the rest of the season. Unless the front office full of cowards comes to their senses and decides to fire fellow coward McCoy, this might not be the last time we have this conversation this season.