Chargers History

Which coach did Philip Rivers play the best football under?

By Ross Litscher
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers v Oakland Raiders
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers v Oakland Raiders / Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
4 of 7
Mike McCoy
Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers v Oakland Raiders / Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Head Coach #3: Mike McCoy (2013-2016): 28-38 with Philip Rivers starting

Offensive Coordinators: Ken Whisenhunt (2013, 2016), Frank Reich (2014-2015)

Mike McCoy was hired on January 15th, 2013, becoming the youngest head coach in the NFL at the time. One of the main reasons McCoy and OC Ken Whisenhunt were hired was to revive the Chargers offense, which struggled in 2012.

His plan was to have Rivers release the ball earlier to make up for the offensive line problems, and basically take what the opposing defenses give them. It worked his first season, as the Chargers went 9-7 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Chargers ran the ball on 48% of their plays, their highest percentage in that category since 2007.

Philip Rivers won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year after leading the NFL in completion percentage and finishing top 5 in passing yards and passing touchdowns. The Chargers even won a playoff game for the first time since 2008.

But unfortunately for the Chargers, this success wouldn't last long as they fell back into their old habits over the next three years. From 2014-2016, Rivers was in the top 10 in interceptions and the Chargers were in the bottom 10 in every rushing category. Not exactly ideal.

MUST-READ: The 17 most memorable moments of Philip Rivers' Chargers career

Injuries and rumors of Spanos wanting to move the team out of San Diego certainly didn't make the situation easier, but McCoy definitely lost the team after other NFL teams figured him out.

One positive from this era of Charger football was the hiring of Frank Reich. He was added to the Charger coaching staff as a QB coach in 2013 and was promoted to offensive coordinator for the 2014 & 2015 seasons.

Under Reich, Rivers had some of his best completion percentage seasons (69% in 2013, 66% in 2014 & 2015). Rivers and Reich clearly had chemistry and it's a shame we never got to see them win more with the Chargers due to injuries and a poor running game. McCoy was fired a little over two weeks before the team was moved to Los Angeles, and the Chargers were onto another era.

Offensive stats under McCoy: 58% pass plays, 42% run plays, Highest pass yards rank: 2nd (2015), Highest rush yards rank: 13th (2013), Highest PPG rank: 9th (2016)