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Chargers' Mike McCoy focuses on next game, not job security

By
The Sports Xchange
San Diego Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
San Diego Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers saw Monday arrive and they picked through the wreckage of another loss. That hardly qualifies as news.

The last-place team's 17-3 loss to the Chiefs sinks its record to 3-9 and if there's light at the end of the tunnel, it is likely the headlight of an oncoming train. Instead what's fresh is the report that general manager Tom Telesco has had his contract extended.

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That's strange on two accounts:

--The Chargers consummated the three-year deal in August, but have yet to announce it.

--Why would the Chargers extend an offer to Telesco in the summer, before this year played out?

The Chargers are reeling and that's not hard to tell. But what's especially troubling about their funk is that they have lost five straight games to AFC West foes and haven't defeated one in over a year.

That's not a good sign for any team, as the best barometer for most rosters is how they perform against other rosters that know them best: divisional rivals.

So with the wobbly Chargers staggering toward the finish line, questions about Telesco's future is finished business.

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Telesco has survived his general manager rookie contract.

Will the same be said for embattled head coach Mike McCoy?

Whatever magic McCoy had in the first year is difficult to find these days. The Chargers ended 2014 with a 1-3 mark and their winning percentage hasn't changed much from that this year. Also considering that of the team's three wins, two are last-place teams -- Cleveland and Detroit -- with the other being Jacksonville.

That's hardly a resume-builder for a club to extend your pact.

And while Telesco is safe for next year and beyond, not so McCoy.

"I'm happy for Tom," said McCoy, who is signed through 2016. "He deserves it. He does a good job and I'm happy for him."

But there was no front-office joy being spread McCoy's direction. He has gone 21-23 in his three seasons, with one playoff win.

"I was not offered a contract," McCoy said.

Does McCoy expect to return next season, wherever the Chargers might be playing?

"I am worrying about this week," McCoy said.

Telesco declined to comment further on his deal or McCoy's future.

So the Chargers begin their final month of football with a bad team and coach-general manager tandem that could be near to splitting. Although if the Chargers are so enamored with the man hiring McCoy, maybe that's a good sign for the coach.

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Then again, someone is going to get the blame for this disaster of a season and we know it won't be Telesco. Or if he does get some fingers pointed his way, all he has to do is point to his contract extension.

McCoy wishes he could do the same.

REPORT CARD VS. BRONCOS

--PASSING OFFENSE: F. We can't remember the last time Philip Rivers got this grade but so be it. He was off for the most of the game and threw his fifth pick-six of the season -- one off an NFL record. Rivers wasn't very good but there is plenty of blame to go around. His pass-blocking was suspect as he was sacked four times and hit 15 -- at least. His receivers dropped at least three passes and seldom got separation from their defenders. With no time to throw, no downfield heaves were available. Bad day in every phase.

--RUSHING OFFENSE: F. Melvin Gordon may go on to a Hall of Fame career and look back at his rookie year as an aberration. He continues to struggle as he fumbled twice, losing one and the other one bouncing out of bounds. He was benched, again, for ball-security issues. Again, the run-blocking was in short supply but that doesn't excuse Gordon being loose with the ball. Gordon rushed for 55 yards on 12 carries before being pointed toward the bench. The Chargers were once again held below 100 yards rushing.

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--PASS DEFENSE: C. Jason Verrett was in the proper position to take advantage of a pass that was underthrown for an interception. The pass defense gave up but 166 yards, but the Broncos dialed down their offense once they took a 17-0 lead in the second quarter. The pressure was decent on Brock Osweiler when he did throw and there was a sack from LB Melvin Ingram. Tackling remains an issue on the backside as receivers collect numerous yards after contact.

--RUN DEFENSE: D. This was a collective effort by the Broncos as not one back dominated. But on the whole, the Broncos ran for nearly 135 yards, with Ronnie Hillman leading the way with 56. The Chargers were getting beat by the zone blocking and were often chasing rushers well off the line of scrimmage as the defensive line was getting pushed back into the linebackers. Rookie inside linebacker Denzel Perryman continues to be a bright spot as he had a game-high 10 tackles. But at the point of attack, there are just too many individual losses to be stout.

--SPECIAL TEAMS: C. Josh Lambo missed one field goal but if not for his 51-yarder in the second quarter the Chargers would have taken home a holiday bagel. The punt-coverage team allowed a 21-yarder and a 33-yarder came off a kickoff return. Not much, as usual, for the Chargers from their return game. Although considering how bad the return game is, four yards from a punt return seems like a big deal. Two of Mike Scifres' punts landed inside the 20.

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--COACHING: D. Mike McCoy is playing with a deck that is not stacked. So what. No one feels sorry for another team in the NFL and that was the case on Sunday. McCoy's game plan is a head-scratcher, putting everything on Philip Rivers in the face of a massive pass rush. Then again, with the up-and-down running attack, he didn't have a lot of choices. Still, there were a few times McCoy needed to be bold with his play-calling or to go against the grain, and he declined. The defense showed well after it gave up 17 points. But much of that has to do with the Broncos nursing the lead with an inexperienced quarterback.

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