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Mike McCoy Sees Some Positives Despite Loss
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Four sacks given up.
227 yards allowed on kickoffs, including a 100-yard return.
But the first-year head coach refuses to dwell on the negative. The past is the past to McCoy, but that did not stop him from mentioning the defense’s effort during Thursday’s game.
“The score’s a little misleading for the performance of our defense I think,” McCoy said. “There were seven times throughout the game we gave them in plus territory or we put them in a bad spot. They did a nice job in certain situations of sudden change, but six of those seven possessions, they got points, so we got to do a better job of helping the defense out overall. They only gave up 185 yards.”
Of those 185 yards, only 42 were though the air, compared to the 242 passing yards the Chargers had. And of the 185 yards, 58 of them were gained on Bears running back Matt Forte’s run in the first quarter.
“The defense, give them a lot of credit,” McCoy said. “They kept us in the game. I know the points that they gave up, but there was poor field position the entire (time) for the defense. It put them in a bind. They stepped up and answered the bell in sudden change situations there. They did a nice job… If the defense eliminates the one big run, they had a pretty decent day.”
McCoy was also quick to mention what he liked on the other side of the ball.
“Offensively, there were some good things also,” McCoy said. “(We were) 100 percent in the red area. Every time we got down there, we were 4-for-4, got four touchdowns down there, did a nice job. The other thing we were really impressed with the offense yesterday was the way the running backs ran the football, not just Ryan (Mathews), but everybody else. Running in a downhill positive (way), very efficient in the running game.”
The Chargers running backs combined for 141 yards on 29 carries, good enough for a 4.9 average. Thursday’s rushing performance was highlighted by Fozzy Whittaker’s first career touchdown run and the play of Ryan Mathews, who led all Chargers with 45 yards on nine carries.
“He’s bought in to everything we’ve asked him to do since we’ve gotten here,” McCoy said. “We’ve talked about the way we want to run the football, the style of offense we’re going to play here – run the ball downhill, no minus plays – very similar to the quarterback, take what they give you. Don’t be bouncing or running sideways and having minus-two, but just keep pounding the ball and going downhill, and he’s bought into it. I think he really likes what Ken’s (Whisenhunt) doing offensively, and the offensive line did a nice job in the running game yesterday.”
Another player McCoy mentioned by name was wide receiver Mike Willie, who hauled in three catches for 25 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s a great example of a guy making the most of his opportunities, which is great to see,” McCoy said. “He had two opportunities to make some big plays in the red area and he did that. His number was called on the one slant route and then uncovered – they only had 10 guys on the field initially. (It was) Great awareness by the quarterback to see it and communicate it to Mike and for him to score. But that’s what the game is all about: make the most of your opportunities.”