On Tuesday, the San Diego Chargers hired Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy as their next head coach. Denver has now lost one of their top coordinators, but could it be a blessing in disguise?
Last offseason, the Broncos lost former defensive coordinator Dennis Allen in the same fashion. After a strong stint in Denver, Allen left to coach a divisional rival in the Oakland Raiders.
This season, the Raiders went 4-12 under Allen while the Broncos' defense, under newly hired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, ranked second overall in the NFL and led the league in sacks with 52.
At the time of Allen's departure, it seemed like a magnificent loss for the Broncos. In hindsight, it was actually a blessing in disguise, as the Broncos upgraded the position by bringing in Del Rio, a former head coach, to run the defense even more successfully than Allen had.
In the case of McCoy, the Broncos may be in a similar boat. McCoy, unproven as a head coach, has signed with a division rival, but the Broncos probably won't miss him.
It is well known that current head coach John Fox is ultra conservative, and bringing in an aggressive offensive coordinator to balance that might prove to be an upgrade over McCoy in the long run. With quarterback Peyton Manning running much of the show, it won't be hard to plug in a new coordinator.
Among the candidates to replace McCoy in Denver are Broncos quarterback coach Adam Gase, Colts quarterback coach Clyde Christensen, former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore and former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Moore and Whisenhunt are the two most appealing names, as Moore has had great success working with Manning in the past, and Whisenhunt would be coming off of a head coaching gig in which he worked with another glove-wearing quarterback (Kurt Warner).
With McCoy coming off market look for Ken Whisenhunt as top candidate for Denver OC if he doesn't get Eagles job. Has relationship w/Manning— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 15, 2013
If Whisenhunt, who is considered a top candidate to get the job, does land it Denver, the Broncos would have three coaches with head coaching experience on their staff (Whisenhunt would join Fox and Del Rio, who coached the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-11). That would be quite the coaching staff.
In the long run, losing McCoy may not be such a bad situation for Denver. If history repeats itself, McCoy leaving may actually be an ideal situation for the Broncos, opening the door for an even better offensive coordinator.