By coaching, I don't mean game management. He clearly can't handle that portion of coaching. I also don't mean motivation. He clearly can't handle that portion of coaching. However, does he make the players better? Is his instruction improving their game?
We can look at a few players to make this point. When Mike McCoy was hired, there was no LT. They brought in King Dunlap and a castoff from Pittsburgh. Dunlap had played for Andy Reid, a coach that works well with offensive linemen. Dunlap went from a laughing stock in Philly to a very good LT under McCoy. Ok...maybe you put that benefit to the feet of the OL coach.
Philip Rivers was so bad before McCoy arrived, that there was talk of his replacement. The first year, Philip Rivers captured comeback player of the year. Okay, maybe you put this at the feet of Wiz.
Joe Barksdale fired from St. Louis, and comes here and is our best OL (not including the first portion of this year). Slauson, our best OL this year. Backup player now playing very well.
Jason Verrett has grown as a player. Keenan Allen has grown as a player. Melvin Gordon has grown as a player. This year's rookie class has grown. We have two top-10 players and another about to break into the top 10 players. Some part of this is natural ability, but some is also coaching.
Have there been players who declined? Absolutely. Donald Butler comes to mind. But he hasn't gotten any better after leaving San Diego. So, was it his motivation or the coaching, or maybe an injury? Orlando Franklin has not played well. Statistically, 30% of free agent signings will fail. I think about 60% of our free agent signings play well. Is that coaching?
This year, we have had a first half lead in all but one game...and we amazingly won that game. McCoy does not make adjustments well during halftime. But, he has had the lead in the first half in almost every game. He can game plan. He can raise the play of the players. I see him as a players coach, but I don't see him as a motivator.
Only an active player or head coach can call a time-out. McCoy receives help on throwing the challenge flag from the coaches in the booth. Why don't they take over the job of calling time-outs as well? They can advise him when to call a time-out.
He is not a motivator. A Head Coach must be a motivator. He isn't going to miraculously become a motivator. For this reason, he will never be a great coach. Norv Turner wasn't a motivator, and that is why he was never going to be a great coach.
I would rather see John Pagano as the Head Coach. I do see him as a motivator. I doubt he could be worse in clock management than McCoy. But maybe McCoy isn't a bad coach because his players are getting better. And at the end of the day, if the players are getting better, that is a good thing. To win, you must have exceptional talent or great coaching. He will never give us motivation or clock management to become a great coach, but maybe his ability to raise the talent level might overcome his other deficiencies to allow us to win some games.
Please don't think that I advocate us keeping him as a coach. I would much rather see us having a motivator. But as long as his players are raising their game, maybe he isn't among the worst five coaches in the NFL.