Sports Out West

Mike McCoy says Ken Whisenhunt wasn’t distracted by interviews

Photo Credit: AP

SAN DIEGO — As the San Diego Chargers lament a disappointing end to a remarkable season, fans and the media have already begun to second-guess everything; one of the biggest topics of discussion has been the playcalling of former Bolts offensive coordinator and newly-hired Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt in the final game. 

To say the Chargers struggled on offense in the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Denver Broncos is an understatement.

Through the first three quarters before scoring 17 points in the final frame, the Broncos’ defense held the Bolts scoreless. In a word, San Diego’s offense was anemic. The performance was in part because the San Diego had to rely on an untested Johnnie Troutman to fill the void left by the injured Jeromy Clary on the offensive line at right guard. 

But around town, it’s Whisenhunt who’s taking the brunt of the criticism for his playcalling and inability to get the Chargers’ offense rolling until it was too late. It’s also bringing up the theory that he was too distracted by job interviews to focus on the task at hand. 

“No, he prepared just like any other game,” head coach Mike McCoy said at the Chargers facility on Monday when asked if the interview process had taken away from his coordinator’s preparation. “He did a phenomenal job of putting our offense in a position to succeed this year. We had a great plan. We just didn’t play as well as a football team.”

McCoy has been forthright in his desire to keep Whisenhunt, but is realistic enough to know that good coaches will only stick around temporarily when new opportunities become available. It was nearly a year ago that the same scenario came up in his own career. 

“It is very similar to what I did last year,” added McCoy. “He is in the building, doing all the exit meetings, talking to the players and doing everything. I think that shows a lot about him as a person.

In the final day of media availability, McCoy mentioned that he hasn’t tabbed a replacement for Whisenhunt, though all signs point to quarterbacks coach Frank Reich landing the job. 

Photo Credit: AP 

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.