San Diego is not a plum job

A little while ago, Doug mentioned the idea that Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy may prefer the San Diego Chargers head coaching job to that of the Arizona Cardinals.  I wanted to weigh in briefly with the thought that I think people are getting the Chargers job wrong, vis-a-vis its quality.  Philip Rivers is cited as the primary reason why it's a good job, and the fact that the Cardinals don't seem to have a viable QB is the reason Arizona is a bad one.

I'd say that not only do the Chargers not have a good enough QB, they have a problem worse than that.  They have a guy who was once near-elite, but who has been declining steadily, and complicating things, he's misperceived by the football media as still being a good QB, and he remains locally popular, to the extent that Chargers fans give a crap about their team.  This is Bernie Kosar in the early 90s, if Chargers fans were as engaged as Browns fans.

As Bill Belichick learned, it's hard to get rid of a "franchise QB" when the observable evidence suggests that he's not really anything close to that. You'd have the Mike Florios and Peter Kings of the world second-guessing you, and the Nick Canepas would skewer you, and that makes for a great way to get your head coaching career off on the completely wrong foot. See Josh McDaniels/Jay Cutler/Matt Cassel for reference.

If you take the Chargers job, you'd better be ready to be stuck with Rivers for at least one year, and maybe two.  That's enough time to get yourself fired, when the team doesn't meet expectations, which are too high, because everybody thinks your QB is better than he really is.  Rivers has always been a marginal athlete, and he's been hit a lot in his career, and his ability to play QB has suffered.  You can see it in his stats, and you can see it on film.  He's not as good as his reputation suggests he is, and I expect that his skills will continue to diminish.

In Arizona, you can dump every QB they have, and start fresh.  With the kind of defense they have, you could draft an offensive lineman like Chance Warmack or Luke Joeckel seventh overall, a QB like Matt Barkley or Matt Glennon 38th, and a RB like LeVeon Bell or Montee Ball 71st, and you're in business to grow a young offense up together.  The expectations would be tempered, because you're young on offense, and if you pick the right guys, and put them in a position to succeed, you'd be very competitive in your second year on the job.

The only open coaching job where the incumbent QB is talented enough to win a Super Bowl is Chicago, and the problem there is that Jay Cutler has a reputation for being difficult to coach.  Every other open job is going to entail finding a new guy for the long term.  Arizona is better than San Diego, because that much is at least obvious to everybody there.

1.  I’m not in the arguing business, I’m in the saying what I think business.
2.  I get my information from my eyes.

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