Mike McCoy enters 2013 with 12 years of coaching experience under his belt.
But it wasn’t until Thursday night’s preseason opener that he took to the sideline for the very first time as a head coach.
For those wondering what his style was going to be, they didn’t have to wait long as McCoy faced a fourth-and-inches decision on the initial drive of the game. Many wondered whether he would be aggressive and go for it or play more conservatively and either punt or kick a very long field goal. The decision for the new head coach was a no brainer for a simple reason.
One decision does not make a man, but it provided a glimpse into the mindset of how McCoy reacts on game day. However, McCoy preferred not to talk about himself when he met the media following the Chargers loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Instead he focused on his team, discussing what impressed him as well as what the team needs to work on.
Numerous times McCoy praised the job of the first-string offense and defense, and with good reason. The first team offense strung together an impressive 13-play, 74-yard drive to open the game on a high note.
“It was a nice job for the offense in the first drive going down,” he said. “A 13-play drive, there was a penalty in there, so we’ll call it 12 and got a field goal, converted a 4th-and-1.
“Our first defense got out there and got a couple of stops early in the game to get the other team off the field,” he said. “It was a great way to start and to see Dwight Freeney come off the edge, it’s exactly what we want him to do and he’s going to make us a better football team. He’s got to keep doing what he’s doing and he’s done a great job of coming in and learning the system. It’s similar to what Philip (Rivers) did when we talked about the offense. As soon as Dwight got here he kept on hammering coach Pagano about what we’re doing, what we need to learn, how we can keep on going and what kind of packages we’re going to put in. You saw him a couple of times and we’re looking for great things from him.”
McCoy was also a fan of the way his team put forth effort and grit.
“The overall effort is what we were looking for from the team,” he said. “You look around and just from the first view from the sideline, the guys, they played hard. That’s what we’re trying to establish here is going out and playing with the right effort.”
Still, the head coach says the team has a lot of work to do in order to get to where they want to be.
“As a football team we have a long ways to go,” McCoy said. “We’ll get back at it, we’ll take a good look as a staff tomorrow in the film room and see what really happened. That’s one thing that you always have to do after games is go back in there and look at every little thing and see what we can do to help the players. But it’s the first preseason game and they’re off to a good start. But we have a long ways to go.”