Former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will revitalise San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. NFL.com's Marc Sessler reports that the Chargers are on the verge of naming McCoy to succeed the fired Norv Turner as head coach.
It is a move that reaffirms the Chargers commitment to winning with Rivers. Trying to revitalise their franchise quarterback will be easier with McCoy in charge. The Chargers have hired a coach responsible for winning with two quarterbacks who are polar opposites.
McCoy's offensive acumen helped guide the Broncos to consecutive AFC West titles, first with Tim Tebow at the helm, then with Peyton Manning. That required two completely different offensive schemes.
With Tebow, it was a run-heavy, option-read system. McCoy had to consistently create ways to manufacture big gains on the ground and through the air, via misdirection and deception. Given how Tebow's career has plummeted since he left Denver, the job McCoy did with him in 2011, looks even more impressive.
It might even outshine his excellent work with Manning in 2012. Out of football for a full season, Manning returned to the NFL fresh from numerous neck surgeries and blighted by nerve damage.
Inserting him into the lineup, thrust an entirely new playbook on McCoy. The run and the option fakes were replaced in favour of multiple route combinations and a precision-based, pass-first attack. McCoy proved more than up to the task this season.
Despite Manning lacking some of his trademark, zip, touch and arm strength, he still flourished in McCoy's offense. The stellar veteran put his injury woes behind him and turned back the clock to throw for 37 touchdowns and 4,659 yards.
The versatility and creativity McCoy has shown directing two diverse schemes, is great news for Rivers. Once a rising star, his stock has taken a heavy tumble, during the last two seasons. The rocket-armed passer has begun to attract turnovers in key moments during games.
Rivers has never been the most accurate, but his rating has barely exceeded 88 in the last two years. He has had the arm strength to execute Turner's version of the Corryell offense. However, he has lacked the temperament to effectively develop his short game and improve his mechanics.
These failings have made Rivers a true boom or bust quarterback. His agility in the pocket is poor and Rivers rarely sets himself well before attempting a pass. In his early years, his unorthodox tendencies helped make him effective.
However, as defenses have learned his habits, he has slipped into rash decisions. Even his arm strength, once beyond question, failed him at times this season. Admittedly, a diminishing supporting cast has piled the pressure on Rivers and stunted his development.
That's why McCoy's record of maximising the players he has in a system that fits best, is great news for Rivers. His new coach's history of helping his quarterbacks succeed, no matter what kind of skill set they possess, means a quick turnaround for Rivers and the McCoy-led Chargers is a strong possibility.