SAN DIEGO (AP) While speculation swirls about what might lie ahead for the Chargers and their head coach, Mike McCoy said Monday that he was more focused on the near future.
”We got to worry about going on the road and playing Cleveland,” he said. ”That is my No. 1 concern right now.”
Still, many questions linger after a tough 19-16 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday that said a lot about where the Chargers stand right now. The score almost took a backseat to the environment, in which thousands of Raiders fans filled Qualcomm Stadium and black and silver were more prevalent than Chargers colors.
The Chargers (5-9) were even forced to use a silent count on offense because of the noise generated by the Oakland contingent.
”It stinks,” said McCoy. ”It’s not what you want. It’s unfortunate. But I think the players and coaches responded the right way.”
Worries about the Chargers potentially relocating to Los Angeles, and consecutive losing seasons, have demoralized the fan base.
”Everyone is frustrated, McCoy said. ”These players and coaches work extremely hard and they deserve to win these games.”
But that seldom happens of late. The Chargers have lost 21 of 30 games and 12 of their past 13 against AFC West foes.
McCoy’s Chargers have sunk to the depths of the last-place Chargers squads from the 2000 and 2001 seasons. They won a combined six games over two years and were the last Chargers teams to produce consecutive losing seasons.
Mike Riley, the coach of those teams, was fired after the 2001 season.
”The ball doesn’t always bounce your way from year to year,” McCoy said. ”There are certain teams that have gotten every break in the business this year. I was on one of those in Carolina in 2003 when we went to the Super Bowl.”
McCoy was also on the Panthers’ staff two years earlier when Carolina went 1-15. Then, and now, he knows where the blame lands.
”I’m the head coach,” he said. ”I take full responsibility for all those mistakes. That’s my role and I understand that. (But) no one is out there trying to make a mistake.”
McCoy, a first-time head coach at any level, is 27-35 in his three-plus seasons. He broke fast in 2013 when leading the Chargers to a road AFC divisional playoff win over the Bengals. Since then, there’s been little to celebrate.
McCoy said he hasn’t been offered a contract extension. It’s routine that a coach receives an extension going into the final year of his deal but McCoy said there haven’t been discussions about one.
McCoy is clear about wanting to return.
”I love my job, I love what I do,” he said. ”This is the greatest job in the world. I love working for these players and coaches and being the leader of this group. We got a special group of people that are very talented.”
McCoy said he feels for Chargers fans anxious about the team leaving. But that, just like his job security, will be determined by team chairman Dean Spanos.
”Dean has said he will make his decision after the season is over,” McCoy said about the team moving to L.A. ”There’s nothing that has been finalized. We are focused on the next two weeks, on what we need to do, and especially this week in what we have to do in Cleveland. We have to find a way to win the next one and that is what it is all about.”
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