After back-to-back 9-7 seasons, Mike McCoy has fallen off the proverbial cliff. The San Diego Chargers are 5-16 since the start of last season and there are rumors that McCoy could be fired if the Chargers don’t beat the Broncos at home Thursday night.
Can a team actually get better if it fires its head coach midseason?
“For some organizations, it works; for some organizations, it don’t,” two-time Super Bowl champion and NFL Network analyst Ike Taylor said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Looking at Coach McCoy, he’s been having a lot of injuries to a lot of key guys. Your main receiver (Keenan Allen) goes down. (Danny) Woodhead, one of your main key matchup problems at the running back position, he goes down. You’re losing four games by a total of 14 points. That’s hard. You have a missed snap. Your guys are fumbling in crucial situations. So it’s kind of hard to blame it all on the head coach, but when you’re the head coach, that comes with the territory. If your team isn’t playing good, you’re the reason why.
“But I think it would be unfair to this point to fire Coach McCoy in the middle of the season because a lot of that hasn’t been his fault,” Taylor continued. “Just having three fumbles in the last two games in crucial situations – that’s not his fault. His team is still in the game in the fourth quarter. They’re just finding ways to lose. But they’re not finding ways to lose off of strategy. Forced fumbles, blocked kicks, fumbling the ball, interceptions sometimes. The reason why Philip is throwing these interceptions is because he’s trying to get them out of the hole. Because they’re already up. When you’re up 14 or seven points in the fourth quarter with four-and-a-half, five minutes left, you figure you got a chance to win the football game. But when you just hand it to the running back and he fumbles and your receiver goes crossing route and he fumbles, that’s not the coach’s fault.”
San Diego has lost three straight games – to Indianapolis, New Orleans and Oakland – by a combined eight points. The Chargers went 0-2 against the Broncos last season, losing 17-3 in San Diego and 27-20 in Denver.
Thirteen of San Diego’s 16 losses since last season have come by one possession or less.
“Mentally, they got to get over that hump as a team,” Taylor said. “Just going into the fourth quarter with a lead – or trailing – and coming out of the stadium with a W.”