Thursday, February 21, 2013
Culture change under way in San Diego
By Bill Williamson
INDIANAPOLIS -- The San Diego Chargers hired a pair of 40-year-olds in Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy to bring a fresh approach to an organization that got stale.
The two men put on an impressive showing in their NFL scouting combine debut Thursday when both met the media. Both came off as strong, confident leaders who have a common goal in San Diego.
"We're going to build a football team that is going to win a lot of games," coach Mike McCoy said.
McCoy, the former Denver offensive coordinator who has been described as being presidential in how he goes about his business, finally stated that he and Telesco plan to change the culture of the organization that was once known as having one of the better rosters in the NFL, but now has gone three straight years without making the playoffs. When he was asked what that met, McCoy replied without hesitation: “We’re going to build a football team that is going to win a lot of games.”
The fresh approach is exactly what was needed in San Diego. The Chargers fell flat and probably should have made an organizational change after 2011. But general manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner were given one more year. It didn’t work.
Telseco was hired away from the Colts to take over as general manager and then he led the charge to hire McCoy, who was one of the most coveted coaching candidates in the league this year. McCoy said the goal of both men is to turn the franchise into a “long-term winner.”
McCoy said he thinks Denver has to be considered the favorite in the division because it is coming off a 13-3 season, but “it is a new season.”
Both Telesco and McCoy said the team will continue to build around quarterback Philip Rivers. Both men said the presence of Rivers was a major selling point in coming to San Diego.
“Philip is a big asset of this job,” Telesco said.
Rivers had had two down seasons and he has been turnover-prone in both years, although he drastically cut down on his miscues in the final six games of last season. McCoy said he believes Rivers can flourish in his system and he expects Rivers to “get it going again.”
It’s a new day in San Diego, but getting Rivers back on track will make McCoy and Telseco reach their goals much quicker.