NFL.com Greg Rosenthal and others report that Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is all-but-signed as the next head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Let the Tebow to Chargers rumors begin.
The Chargers swept away GM A.J. Smith and Head Coach Norv Turner at the end of the season and seem ready for big changes, which could include a move to Los Angeles. New GM Tom Telesco listened to entreaties from coaching retreads like Andy Reid, but tapped 40-year-old McCoy, one of the brightest coordinators you've probably never heard of.
McCoy the QB puppet master
McCoy worked magic with Kyle Orton in the 2009 season when Jay Cutler bolted after refusing to work with new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. Orton passed for over 7,000 yards, 41 TDs against 21 INTs over the 2009-2010 seasons. It was the best two-year stretch in Orton's career.
Denver receiver Brandon Marshall was not happy with the trade that sent Cutler to Chicago, and he was battling demons of his own. The Broncos moved him to Miami in 2010, but McCoy replaced Marshall's production with Brandon Lloyd, the league-leading receiver that year.
Lloyd never flashed such performance (1,448 yards, 11 TGs) prior to his time with McCoy and McDaniels. He has yet to repeat it after following McDaniels to the Patriots.
Then, McCoy delivered the magic that convinces me that he is Oz, the Great and Powerful, when he coordinated the 2011 Broncos to the playoffs with a quarterback, Tim Tebow, and an offense, said not to work at the pro level. Defying logic and laws of nature, Tebow has an 8-6 record as Broncos starter.
McCoy's next assignment was a plumb, to work with the great Peyton Manning after his recovery from the neck surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season in Indianapolis. Manning and the Broncos closed the season with an 11-game winning streak before their shocking playoff loss to the Ravens last Sunday.
The loss meant the Chargers could pounce on McCoy a week or two sooner. The Cardinals, Eagles and Bears hinted at interest in McCoy. Of that group, only the Bears had a quarterback competitive with the Chargers' Philip Rivers.
Success as head coach calls for more than skill at Xs and Os. Norv Turner is an excellent X and O man. Partnership with the GM and owner, executive leadership and player motivation are big parts of the formula. McCoy must prove himself there.
He has already shown the nimble thinking to use scheme to get the most from his players. He is the only man proven to be successful with Tebow at quarterback. I'm not too proud to troll for readers by starting a speculative, completely unfounded rumor or two.
Tim Tebow, pack your bags, son. You are headed west.
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