McCoy looks to get even more out of Rivers and Mathews

Ben Fisher,
8/30/2014 8:32:32 PM
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Mike McCoy did some pretty incredible things last year, squeezing water from a stone.

The first time head coach with a reputation for working well with quarterbacks helped resurrect not only Philip Rivers' fledging career but also Ryan Mathews'.

Heading into last season even the staunchest Rivers' fan would have admitted his support for the now 11-year veteran was waning. But with McCoy as head coach, Rivers looked like his old self.

The 32-year-old had perhaps the best statistical season of his career, throwing for 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions.

McCoy's work with Mathews, who had less of a career to resurrect than Rivers, was even more impressive.

You'd be forgiven if you gave up on Mathews heading into last year, but the 26-year-old rewarded patient fantasy football players with 1,255 rushing yards and seven combined touchdowns.

And this wasn't necessarily a surprise for everyone; McCoy said before last season he was confident Mathews would work out for him as workhorse back.

When asked by his expectations of Mathews, McCoy answered. "To have a great year and be the guy."

It took four years, but Mathews proved he can be a team's “the guy.”

Rivers and Mathews were two pieces of an impressive offensive unit that featured solid offensive line play bolstered by rookie DJ Fluker and rookie of the year runner-up Keenan Allen. Allen was a huge value for the Chargers after falling to the third round; the 22-year-old finished with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns.

For all the magic McCoy worked in San Diego, the Chargers still just snuck into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. That won't cut it most years – especially playing in the tough AFC West – so McCoy is going to need a follow-act for this season. He's up to the challenge.

"Without a doubt, we actually expect him to play better,” McCoy told of Rivers and the Chargers. “And I think he'll tell you the same thing. There's some things he can improve on."

"We did a nice job last year moving the football," he continued. "But we stubbed our toes too many times in the red area. We gotta finish with touchdowns."

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