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2. Mike McCoy/Chargers

Predecessor: Norv Turner

Others interviewed: McCoy topped four others in a field that included NFL former head coaches Smith and Ken Whisenhunt, who later joined the staff as offensive coordinator.

Why McCoy?: His work with quarterbacks. Jake Delhomme, Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow all enjoyed their best NFL seasons under McCoy’s tutelage. And while Peyton Manning already was a finished product by the time he signed with Denver last offseason, McCoy deserves credit for helping in his successful comeback from neck surgery.

Biggest philosophical change: There will be a greater emphasis placed on the running game, which is an approach McCoy brings with him from having worked under traditionally conservative head coach John Fox in Carolina and Denver. The Chargers ranked 27th in the NFL last season with a 91.3-yard average. Denver was 16th at 114.5 yards on 481 carries, which is the most attempts ever for a team on which Manning was under center.

Most pressing task: A bevy of quarterbacking gurus – McCoy, Whisenhunt and position coach Frank Reich – are responsible for helping Philip Rivers regain his mojo. Rivers entered his ninth NFL season in 2012 regarded as the best quarterback yet to reach a Super Bowl. That can no longer be proclaimed after a second consecutive turnover-plagued campaign. A better supporting cast would help. Rivers’ offensive line and receiving corps deteriorated because of ex-general manager A.J. Smith’s personnel moves.

Overall: Despite his flaws, no team with an opening besides Chicago had a better quarterback situation than the Chargers with Rivers. There also won’t be any transition time on defense with John Pagano remaining as coordinator.

(AP Photo)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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