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Mailbag Part 2: Mike McCoy's Coaching Style
Q: How does Mike McCoy seem to intervene in these early workouts with the players and coaching staff? – John Dixon
A: As mentioned on our BoltsCast show, from what I’ve seen so far McCoy has both a hands-on and laissez-faire style during practices. It’s quite interesting to see. He lets his coaches do the instructing but constantly roams from group to group to watch and evaluate what is taking place. McCoy doesn’t just watch though, he often steps in and talks with the coaches during and after the drills. I like seeing him show the same level of interest in every single position that is out there. He also seems intent on preparing his team for every situation on the field. For example, just moments before Nick Novak attempted a 55-yard field goal he blew his whistle from the sideline to “ice” the kicker.
Q: How do you feel on Philip Rivers wearing gloves now? – Aaron Carde
A: To my surprise, this was a very popular question for this week’s mailbags. For me it’s a nonissue. He’s practiced both with gloves on and gloves off. Whatever makes him feel more comfortable I’m all for.
Q: Ricky in your opinion what player do you see having a breakout season if you had to pick one rookie and one veteran? – Richard Plascencia
A: Hmmm. For a rookie I’ll go with Manti Te'o simply because I think he, along with D.J. Fluker, will have the most opportunities to impact the game. While I just as easily could have said Fluker, I think Te’o being a linebacker gives him an edge to have a “breakout” season so to speak. For a veteran I’m going to say Kendall Reyes. He came on so strong toward the end of last season. I keep thinking of that Jets game in Week 16 when he was absolutely dominant, recording 3.5 sacks. If both Te’o and Reyes have breakout seasons I think the Chargers defense has a chance to be elite.
Q: After Ryan Mathews what other RB do you see having a good year for the Bolts? – Joshua Fletcher
A: The easy answer is Danny Woodhead … and that’s exactly who I’m going to go with. In space he is so dangerous. He is a great pass catcher and is also a very good protector when staying in. What’s surprised me the most about him is his strength. He’s not just strong for a guy his size; he’s strong for any guy. Woodhead is the kind of guy who has the ability to make a game-changing play every time the ball is in his hands. I look forward to seeing how he is deployed.
Q: Why did the Chargers pick a receiver in the third round when you have about 5 or 6 on the roster? – Alvin Tunstill
A: It’s all about value. When there is a guy who you have valued as a first round talent and he is there in the third round, you take him regardless of position. If Allen didn’t suffer a season-ending injury last season many assume he would have been one of the first 32 picks in this year’s draft. It’s a no brainer. It’s also why the pick has been universally hailed around the entire league.
Q: Aloha, thank you for taking my question. Is there a player that may be under the radar that has been standing out so far that we need to keep an eye on or caught the coach’s eyes? – Keola Brown
A: I have been keeping my eye on Marcus Gilchrist since he is being switched over to the safety position. To me he looks very natural there which is why I wasn’t surprised when Defensive Coordinator John Pagano last week said Gilchrist was drafted as a corner and safety, and that he was “truly a safety” coming out of college. I feel like some fans out there think the Chargers are plugging him in at safety when he doesn’t have any experience there, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Q: Is Cam Thomas the front runner for starting nose tackle? - George Williamson
A: I think it’s safe to say that. Thomas has been working with the ones, and the Chargers staff has confidence in him as evidenced by letting Aubrayo Franklin walk and releasing Antonio Garay. I spoke to Thomas the other day, and the biggest takeaway from our conversation was that he expects to play a vital role in 2013. He says his job is to take on multiple linemen in order to free up others on defense, because as he said there is so much talent on defense, he knows if he gets a teammate an open look he’ll make a big play. I will have a detailed story on him in the coming days.
Q: Hi, I was wondering when will training camp be open for public attendance? And FanFest also? – Huy Tang
A: Training Camp open dates are still TBD as well as Fan Fest. As soon as we have those dates confirmed we will have them available on Chargers.com. For all of the open sessions, Coach McCoy said he hopes for a huge turnout from the fans.