Scheme changes for the Chargers

What to expect on both sides of the ball in San Diego in 2013

Originally Published: June 28, 2013
By Gary Horton | ESPN Insider

Phillip RiversAP Photo/Denis PoroyThe Chargers need QB Philip Rivers to bounce back from a disappointing 2012 season.

It seems like at the beginning of every season we expect the San Diego Chargers to be an elite team with Super Bowl aspirations -- yet each year they disappoint with inconsistency and underachieving play.

Well, big changes finally came this offseason when ex-head coach Norv Turner was replaced by former Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and former general manager A.J. Smith was replaced by Tom Telesco (the organization dubbed it a "needed culture change"). Both new guys are young and enthusiastic, though neither has previously served in his respective position.

After years of perceiving that San Diego's roster is stacked with good players, the reality is that the Chargers lack depth and have many veterans who aren't playing up to expectations. As a result, even though they don't want to admit it, the Chargers look like they are in a rebuilding phase, and progress may have to come gradually by building through the draft.

Given the new personnel, there will be significant scheme and philosophical changes this season in San Diego. After studying the film, here's what I expect to see on both sides of the ball in 2013.


Offense

McCoy has a solid offensive background with a reputation for being patient while also showing the ability to adjust to his players' skill sets. That certainly makes sense considering that the last two QBs he has worked with are Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning, players with very different games. In Denver, McCoy worked for a defensive-oriented head coach in John Fox, and the guess is that the Chargers will run an offense with balance and physicality that won't feature many risky plays.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.