In their first training camp under a new staff, the Chargers have a whole lot of coaching going on. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
When Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy were hired to take the Chargers in a new direction (read: back to the playoffs for the first time since 2009) they knew they had to make alterations to the franchise.
But, they've enacted so many changes, you'd think David Bowie was in charge.
The Bolts changed the roster, sure, but they've also changed the offense, changed the pictures in the facility, changed the structure in the meeting rooms so McCoy could see every player eye-to-eye, changed the playing surface, changed the uniforms, even changed the Media Center (my favorite new addition).
It's all in the hopes of going to a Super Bowl, something both Telesco and McCoy have done in their careers.
"You know, Tom and myself, we've been raised a certain way, and that's what we know," said McCoy after his first practice as an NFL head coach. "It's nothing against what's been done in the past, but the future is now. It's been a great start."
One of the things McCoy is stressing is attention to detail, which would seem like a no-brainer, but is something that can be lost during the grind of a 6-week NFL training camp.
"Tony Dungy used to have a saying, 'Death by inches,'" said OLB Dwight Freeney, who's in his first year with the Chargers after 11 seasons and two Super Bowl trips with the Indianapolis Colts. "That just means, pay attention to the small little things because if you don't those little things become big things and then you have a big problem."
So, how fine are we talking here?
"Let's say you're running a route," said WR Danario Alexander. "If I've got an 18-yard route, I've got to get to 18 yards instead of cutting down short or getting too deep. Philip (Rivers) has to know exactly where his receivers are going to be for this offense to work."
Even a yard off can be the difference between a completion and an interception. Is this kind of minutiae that seems to win games a departure from what went down in Murphy Canyon the last few years?
"Yeah, I think so," said Alexander. "Coach McCoy is very particular in certain things, and he has the body of work to prove that things work. He transitioned from (Tim) Tebow to (Peyton) Manning, and you see he made it work."
Some differences are subtle, some dramatic. Even some of the guys on the offense are still trying to figure out exactly what their identity is, what the finished product will look like.
"Who knows, right?" said QB Philip Rivers. "I think it's game-to-game, it's team-to-team, it's finding what we do best. I know coach McCoy talks a lot about molding it to what our guys to best, and I think that's going to mean a little bit of everything."
Well, they say football is a game of adjustments. Perhaps constant change is the way to go.