SAN DIEGO — Mike McCoy’s interview with San Diego went so well that both sides felt he was a perfect fit to become the Chargers’ new coach.
McCoy had one thing to do, though, before accepting the Chargers’ offer, so it was a good thing Chargers President Dean Spanos’ private plane was at his disposal.
“There was no doubt in my mind when I got back on that plane to go back home,” said McCoy, the former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator who was introduced Tuesday as Chargers’ new coach. “They wanted to keep me here last night. But I said, ‘I’ve got to talk to my wife about this before. If I made the decision without talking to my wife, I might get in a little trouble.’”
So McCoy flew back to Denver to talk it over with wife Kellie. McCoy, his wife and their two children were back on the same plane Tuesday morning, flying back to San Diego to take the job.
“Without a doubt we knew this was the place we wanted to be,” said McCoy, who signed a four-year contract.
McCoy replaces Norv Turner, who was fired along with general manager A.J. Smith after the Chargers finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
The move comes three days after the top-seeded Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs in a double-overtime home loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The 40-year-old McCoy is the same age as Tom Telesco, who was hired as general manager last week. He interviewed after the Chargers already had talked to Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, fired head coaches Lovie Smith and Ken Whisenhunt, and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
“Once he came in and once we saw how good he was, we just felt we had to have him now,” Telesco said of McCoy. “We had to get it done or we’d lose him.”
“He was polished, prepared, had great questions, which I think is big, too, that he had a lot of questions for us,” Telesco said. “It’s a partnership between the GM and the head coach, through and through. We spend more time with each other during the season than we do with our own family so it’s got to be a tight relationship. When he came in, after a little bit of time you could tell he was the right guy for us. We went after him hard.”
San Diego was scheduled to interview Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on Wednesday. Telesco, previously the Colts’ vice president of football operations, called Arians on Tuesday morning and told him the Chargers had hired McCoy.
“It was a tough phone call,” Telesco said. “I have so much respect for Bruce. He’s an excellent football coach. He’s going to be a great head coach in this league. I was honest with him. I said, ‘There’s different situations, different fits, and right now, this is a fit for Mike McCoy.’ He understood.”
McCoy inherits a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since after the 2008 season.
He thanked all the coaches and players he’s worked with over the years for helping him get to this point. He also said he knew just a few minutes into his interview that San Diego was the right place.
“They all laughed at me when I walked in yesterday with this big ol’ bag with all these books and binders and everything,” McCoy said. “Well, that’s my life’s work. We’ve got a detailed plan that Tom and I are going to put together. … There’s going to be some change. There’s a reason for change. And change is good sometimes in organizations. We’ve just got to make the most of the opportunity we have moving forward.”
The Broncos have won consecutive AFC West titles. McCoy tutored quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow in 2011, and had Peyton Manning behind center in 2012.
McCoy, who interviewed with the Miami Dolphins last year after retooling Denver’s offense to the read-option for Tebow at midstream in 2011, burnished his head coaching credentials this season while blending the power formations the Broncos used in leading the league in rushing last year with Tebow and some of the spread formations that Manning ran in Indianapolis.
ready to take charge
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is confident new general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera are the right men to “fix things” in Carolina.
The Panthers haven’t been to the postseason since 2008 and haven’t won a playoff game since 2005. Richardson said he’s counting on both to change that trend soon.
“I think his experience will not only benefit the organization, but will be terrific for Ron at this time of his career,” Richardson said.
Richardson introduced Gettleman at a news conference Tuesday, saying he likes that his new GM comes from a winning organization such as the New York Giants. Gettleman has been to six Super Bowls with Buffalo, Denver and the Giants and has won three championships.
Gettleman, wearing a suit, glasses and Super Bowl ring on his right hand told Richardson through his thick Boston accent, “if we do this right, you and I will be holding up a trophy.”
The 61-year-old Gettleman said he wondered if this opportunity would ever come after spending 25 years in the league but continuously being passed over for interviews.
“The say good things come to those who wait and I feel like this is absolutely the perfect fit for me,” Gettleman said. “It was time for me to move to significance and a lot of that is thinking about legacy. What is your legacy?”
Gettleman admitted to being frustrated that he was never granted any interview opportunities for general manager positions around the league despite his past success. He took a calculated gamble last year, asking Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch if he could take a step back from his role with the team to focus on his future.
Gettleman wanted to step away from the day-to-day grind of evaluating personnel to get a broader scope of the league, which he felt might help him land a GM position.
will return as DC
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers is not going to lose his job over one ugly game.
Even if it did end Green Bay’s season.
Three days after the Packers were gouged by the San Francisco 49ers for 579 yards, coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday he will evaluate everyone on his staff but is “very confident” Capers will return as defensive coordinator next year.
“I think it’s ridiculous that I have to answer the question, frankly. I’m appalled by it,” McCarthy said. “I would not do my job, I would not fulfill my responsibility if I didn’t look at the job Dom Capers has done, the job Mike McCarthy’s done, what (offensive coordinator) Tom Clements has done, all the way down. I can promise you that’s what’s going to happen.”
“I don’t dig the drama stuff, and I get the concern,” he added. “We have great fans, but there’s no decisions going to be made today. We have never operated that way and never will.”
The Packers were completely overmatched against Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers in the NFC divisional game. They had no answers for Kaepernick, whose 181 yards rushing were most by a quarterback in a regular-season or playoff game. They had the 49ers in third-and-long several times yet couldn’t get off the field. And they were powerless against San Francisco’s read-option in the second half.
By the time the game ended, the Packers had given up the most total yards (579), yards rushing (323) and second-most points in the playoffs in franchise history, and fans were ready to take out a “job wanted” ad on Capers’ behalf.
rename home to
CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns Stadium’s name will change, and a dome and artificial turf are still options, but don’t expect cheerleaders or jazzing up the team’s beloved orange helmets, team owner Jimmy Haslam said Tuesday.
An electric utility, Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp., bought the naming rights to the stadium, which will be known as FirstEnergy Stadium. Financial terms of the long-term deal weren’t disclosed.
“We believe that FirstEnergy and the Cleveland Browns share the same culture, the same desire to win,” Haslam said after a curtain was raised to show the name logo mounted over a stage decorated with fake grass.
It will be the 23rd NFL venue with a naming rights deal.
Former Browns owner Randy Lerner declined to sell naming rights to the stadium, which opened in 1999 when the team was reintroduced as an expansion franchise.
Haslam bought the Browns from Lerner for around $1 billion last October. Art Modell had moved his team to Baltimore after the 1996 season. The naming deal includes provisions for stadium signs, event sponsorships and advertising.
No ratepayer money will be used to pay for the name rights, the utility said.
Broncos cut ties
coach Ron Milus
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos have promoted Cory Undlin to secondary coach, replacing Ron Milus, who had coached defensive backs under John Fox for the last four seasons.
However, Milus isn’t being made the scapegoat for the Broncos’ stunning surrender of that 70-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds left that led to their 38-35 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in double-overtime last weekend, a person with the team told The Associated Press on Tuesday night.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club doesn’t speak publicly about coaches’ contracts.