Although fully prepared , he admits it did creep up on him a bit.
“My daughter said to me this morning, ‘God, it’s amazing it’s April 1st already,’” he said. “It just flies by. That’s the way the years go. This is a unique situation this year with being a first time head coach and everyone just moving out here. The days fly by. There is a lot to get done. We’re working extremely hard as coaches. It’s great to have the players here but it comes in a hurry.”
Phase one of offseason workouts is a voluntary two-week program limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. Confusing to say the least, McCoy explains what exactly that means.
McCoy kicked off the program by speaking to the entire team early this afternoon, with a major focal point being “change.”
“The number one thing I wanted to outline was what our philosophy is going to be here, what we’re looking for, the type of football players we’re looking for and letting them know change has happened and to buy into that,” he said. “That is part of the business. Whether its players or coaches, things happen in this business that they can’t control. The most important thing is that every individual on the football team is going to start with a clean slate this season. It’s a new staff. We’re changing things. We’re going to continue to turn the roster until we get the best 53 guys come the opener. I let them know that and have them understand it’s an open door policy here. We want to be open and have a good time. We’re going to work extremely hard, and it’s going to start today.”
Along with a new head coach come new philosophies, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively there is continuity with John Pagano staying on as defensive coordinator following a strong 2012 defensive campaign. Offensively, however, there is a new staff headlined by Ken Whisenhunt, the Chargers new offensive coordinator. As a result, there will be a bigger learning curve on the offensive side of the ball which officially began today.
“We’re going to talk to (the players) about basic information,” McCoy said. “How we’re going to line up in the huddle, formations, new terminologies – it’s going to be a foreign language for all the guys on offense and special teams….Like we mentioned this morning to the football team we’re going to go at the pace of the quarterback. We’re going to throw as much at the offense as Phillip (Rivers) can handle, and everyone will keep up with him. We’re going to build this system over time. Ken Whisenhunt is going to do a great job. He’s got a great plan in place for the direction we want to head in as an offense.”
“As you go through free agency every year, it’s always going to be different,” he said. “There are certain restrictions you have because of the salary cap, and we were presented with a certain situation we had. Everything we’re going to do is in the best interest of getting better. You don’t always have to go out and get all the top names in free agency to improve your football team. Every transaction we’ve made so far to this point in time, we think we’ve gotten better at those positions and that’s what we’ll continue to do. They are some good football players who will help us win.”
Overall though, the hot topic of the day was the kickoff of the off-season program; a day much anticipated by Coach McCoy.
“It’s great to get the players in the building,” McCoy said. “This is what we do. It’s great when we can start to sit down with them and talk about the direction as a staff and organization. This is the next phase of getting the players in the building, telling them the direction we’re heading and explaining to them what kind of system we’re going to run.”