NBC 7's Derek Togerson takes a look at Chargers head coach Mike McCoy's dealings with the media in this commentary
Chargers head coach Mike McCoy has never had a deft touch with the media. In fact he's handled most of his news conferences with the delicacy of a bull in a china shop.
McCoy does not like to share information about anything. He has a standard script of answers he goes to when he does not want to touch on certain subjects. One of his absolute favorites is, "We'll do what we think is in the best interest of the football team."
On Wednesday afternoon we reached a new level of absurdity. McCoy was addressing the media with his usual deflections. Eric Williams, a reporter for espn.com, asked about Javontee Herndon and his job as a punt returner. Here's how the exchange went:
Let me tell you that I know Eric and he is one of the most measured, level-headed, kind people I've met on the Chargers beat, so this was not in any way expected. McCoy simply did not want to answer the question and he didn't like being pushed on something. I took to Twitter to share the incident and received an email from Chargers Director of Public Relations Bill Johnston. Here's how that exchange went:
Bill: "Derek, Asking what player may or may not play a specific role or position is a question about strategy. Mike is not going to divulge strategic information that could be helpful to our opponent."
Me: "Bill, he has told us multiple times that Philip Rivers is the starting quarterback. Wouldn't that be a question about strategy that Mike has no problem answering?"
Bill: "A starter is a starter until he is not. Mike is not going to say if he is or is not considering a change. Rivers is our starting QB and Herndon is our starting punt returner until there is a change made."
Now, that would be fine if he would have confirmed that Herndon is the starter. Which he didn't. Had he even said what Bill wrote, a starter is the starter until he's not, that would have been an answer since it at least implies Herndon is still their guy. Plus even when Philip was on the injury report last year McCoy was saying he's going to be out there.
If it really was a strategy concern he would have dangled the possibility of Clemens starting out in the open to give teams something else to prepare for. So using it as an excuse now just rings hollow.
A lot of people ask me about McCoy's job security beyond this season. To that I'll just say this: The head coach is the head coach until he's not.