Definitive Design – Mike McCoy

Author- Bryan Trulen

Mike McCoy, the estranged ex coach of a Charger team that up until yesterday was still in operation  was recently fired after a four year run as head coach. To understand McCoy we first must understand where he came from. A former college quarterback at the University of Utah, McCoy threw for over 4,000 Yards and 49 touchdowns during his college career. After his three year experiment with the Canadian Football League left him as a backup McCoy turned to coaching around 2000.


Cutting his teeth for nine years on John Fox’s Panthers staff gave McCoy the opportunity to gain experience as an offensive assistant and passing game coordinator later on during his tenure. McCoy used this experience to become a Coordinator for Denver from 2009-2012 a time period in which he enjoyed tremendous success working with quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton and Peyton Manning. In 2013, San Diego brought McCoy in to become Head Coach. During his time in San Diego, Phillip Rivers enjoyed some of the best statistical season of his career and played some of the best football of his career operating as the triggerman of the McCoy Offense.

One of McCoy’s strengths as a perimeter game designer is in how he utilizes receiving threats in terms of spacing, particularly before the snap of the ball.


San Diego Tight end Hunter Henry is attached to the LOS as the Chargers put into action 12 Personnel. Notice how the Right Corner Back for Kansas City is creeping up on the LOS. With no receiver split out the Chargers are able to “Isolate” Henry on a linebacker in man to man coverage


Rivers gives a token play action fake to RB Andre Williams as San Diego Puts their TE (84) and LT (75) on their own Island responsible for protecting against edge pressure. Meanwhile, TE (86) is in a favorable leverage situation to allow for him to run an out breaking route


San Diego is fully protected up front allowing for ideal route development to take place down the field. Rivers has already started his throwing motion at this point of the play as he is throwing with anticipation to the outside


The ball is in the air and Rivers is throwing with trajectory and placement leading his TE Henry open against tight Chiefs coverage



Henry extends his body and hands away from the defender as Rivers gets the ball to him a few yards before the sideline. This play is a prime example of Phillip Rivers throwing with veteran level anticipation and placement as Charger offense was more often than not a beneficiary of definitive yet creative perimeter game design from Mike McCoy

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