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Mitch Unrein Boasts Unique History with Mike McCoy
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When the Chargers signed defensive tackle Mitch Unrein in mid-March, they added a player quite familiar with Head Coach Mike McCoy.
Unrein’s first couple years in Denver overlapped with McCoy’s stint as the Broncos’ Offensive Coordinator. Even though they primarily focused on different sides of the ball, Denver used the 6-4, 306-pound DT at fullback in 2012. Thus, McCoy and Unrein met once a week to go over his packages for the coming game.
“Our interactions mainly based around meeting every Friday to go over my plays as fullback,” Unrein recalled. “Other than that, it would mainly be passing through the halls. But he is really a great guy, and was a very nice guy to me. I loved playing fullback for him, and he got me my first touchdown in the NFL so I’m forever indebted to him for that. He’s given me great opportunities, and hopefully there are more.”
“Obviously he is the head coach now, so he has more reign over everything. I’m seeing a lot of the things he did as an offensive coordinator expand to the whole team. Just the way he controlled our offense there, now he is controlling the whole team (here). He is bringing that leadership mentality. As a defensive player with Denver, and sometimes on offense, I saw firsthand the reign he had on that offense. Now I see that same reign over the entire team, so it is really cool to see the whole team respond. I’m looking forward to a great season here, and I’m excited to play for him again. I can’t wait.”
Unrein also admitted that McCoy’s presence played a role in his decision to join San Diego. He couldn’t help but grin when talking about reliving old times with his new coach.
“It was really cool. It had been a while since he was in Denver, so it was cool to catch up with him. That relationship was another reason why I came out here. Being familiar with the head coach out here, I’m not just coming in blind. I know what he likes and what his tendencies are.”
McCoy isn’t only the familiar face Unrein has around Chargers Park. For years he went up against Orlando Franklin during Broncos’ practices, and it seems the pair can’t get away from each other as they now square off daily as Chargers.
While McCoy and Franklin afford Unrein with a level of familiarity, there is still much to learn for the new defensive tackle. Thus far he likes what he sees, especially from his fellow defensive linemen.
“It’s great being out here. In the building we have a great staff, my teammates are great and I love the schemes that we are running on defense. Everybody has been very welcoming, so I’m ready to get rolling. We have a lot of depth here. That was the first thing I noticed when I walked through the door. We are not the oldest group, but we have a lot of depth on our defensive line. We are going to be able to rotate a lot and keep everyone fresh, which is really important for a defensive line. You want everyone humming around at 100 miles per hour.”
Unrein also explained what fans can expect to see out of him week in and week out.
“I feel like I bring a certain kind of toughness. I pride myself on being a technical football player. I try to always give 100% and be around the ball. Hopefully other guys will feed off that and we’ll be a swarming defense. What really makes a good defense is when everyone is swarming to the football.” Read