Thursday, January 17, 2013
Mike McCoy scores with Whisenhunt hire
By Bill Williamson
If Mike McCoy’s first decision as the head coach of the San Diego Chargers is an indication of things to come, the team will be in great shape.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported McCoy -- the former Denver offensive coordinator who was hired as the Chargers’ head coach Tuesday -- has hired former Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator.
What a great hire.
Whisenhunt is a premier offensive coach, as is McCoy. The Chargers need to get quarterback Philip Rivers back on track after two seasons in which he had major turnover issues. The Chargers clearly realize that Rivers is a major key to the team's success and they are doing everything possible to address it.
I credit both McCoy and Whisenhunt for making this pairing possible. Whisenhunt was a top head coaching candidate in San Diego. If the Broncos hadn’t lost to Baltimore last week, Whisenhunt could easily have been named the head coach in San Diego. Thus, this is a huge win-win for the Chargers.
Credit Whisenhunt (who will call the offensive plays) for keeping his ego in check and going to San Diego after being bypassed for the top job. He was clearly interested in working with Rivers. Also, credit McCoy for being confident enough to hire a competitor for the job. This doesn’t always happen in the NFL.
In Whisenhunt, McCoy doesn’t have to worry about the offense, and he can concentrate on being a CEO, which is important for a young head coach. Prior to being a head coach in Arizona, Whisenhunt was a Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.
The Chargers need to add talent on offense, but they are in good shape with the coaching staff.
The Chargers are expected to keep defensive coordinator John Pagano and others on the defensive staff while adding to the offensive staff and on special teams. Having Whisenhunt and Pagano on staff is a great way for McCoy to start his San Diego tenure.