Morning Links: McCoy flagged

SAN DIEGO -- Good Morning. Bill Barnwell of Grantland once again places a decision by San Diego coach Mike McCoy among his three worst calls from Week 7 in his weekly column Thank You For Not Coaching.

McCoy gets the nod for throwing the challenge flag on Eddie Royal’s fumble, which by rule already was set to be reviewed by the replay official. Barnwell:

One thing every coach needs to do is be aware of the situation before he throws his challenge flag. Chargers coach Mike McCoy really wanted to challenge that an Eddie Royal fumble should have been whistled as down by contact, but when the Jaguars recovered and ensured that the play would go to the replay officials, McCoy still threw his challenge flag. That's the Schwartz Rule, and it cost the Chargers a timeout. They still beat the Jaguars comfortably, but this is a pretty blatant mistake.

Here’s what McCoy had to say about throwing the challenge flag after the game.

“That was a dumb mistake on my part,” McCoy said. “I got a little excited. It was just dumb. That was a mistake on my part. You can’t challenge a turnover. That’s Pop Warner. That’s my fault.”

Philip Rivers tried to kick the flag off the field so the officials wouldn’t see it.

Former Charger LaDainian Tomlinson placed Ryan Mathews No. 1 on his list of the top five backs from Week 7. Check out the video link.

In this ESPN Insider piece, Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus places Rivers on his most improved list. Elsayed:

Wasn't Rivers done? It certainly looked like it, as a terrible offensive line sapped his confidence and turned him into a "throw-away" machine (the 42 throw-aways from him last year are the most we've ever recorded). But Mike McCoy's new offense is getting the best from Rivers. The emphasis is on him getting rid of the ball quickly (his time to throw has dropped to 2.47 seconds from 2.79 seconds per snap), and the result has been far less pressure (in 2012, he was pressured on 38.2 percent of plays; this year, that number is at 28 percent). The throwaways are down (just seven this year) and everything else is up, so this one should be considered a big win for the coaching staff.

Balloting for the Pro Bowl is open. Vote for Rivers, Antonio Gates and other deserving San Diego players here.

Darren Smith of The Mighty 1090 AM radio in San Diego talks with Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano about his improved defense in this audio link. Pagano says Eric Weddle is the MVP of the defense through seven games.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego digs deeper, looking into Rivers’ league-leading completion percentage.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com writes that Keenan Allen looks to former San Diego receiver Wes Chandler as his mentor. Chandler coached Allen during his last season at Cal.