Mondays are often a drag but few matched this one.
The Chargers’ players and coaches tapped in their code at the team’s facility in the dawn’s early light.
And unlike on various Chargers fronts on Sunday, it worked.
With the chant of “Raaaaaiders” and “Coooop” still ringing in their ears, the Chargers punched the clock on Monday.
Thankfully, it didn’t punch back.
But there were few smiles at Chargers Park and for good reason. After being red-faced by the silver-and-black, 37-29, the Chargers were still feeling pain as they neared the 24-hour rule.
It’s an NFL adage that you get 24 hours after each game, regardless of the outcome.
If you win, absorb as many back slaps as possible over that time frame.
If you lose, let the sting marinate for 24 hours. Then let it go and get on with the season.
If only it was that easy.
The Chargers and coach Mike McCoy have reached a crossroad in the season before Halloween. Or did we miss the memo it was moved up, considering the “boos” being directed toward the Chargers when trotting into the locker room.
Sunday’s defeat, and it was a whooper, was more than a loss. The manner in which the Chargers rolled over in an AFC West game against the team they supposedly love to hate, was shocking.
In his post-game autopsy, McCoy had the look of someone seeing a ghost and how did we get back on Halloween again? But it was clear the coach entrusted to rise the Chargers to the next level, is stuck between floors.
McCoy keeps pushing the buttons to elevate, but his ride is heading to the basement at an alarming rate.
The Chargers (2-5) have lost three games in a row, five of six, eight of their past 11 and been on the wrong end of five of their last seven AFC West outings.
Anyone see a rip cord?
The Chargers are in an epic free fall and the man with the answers has few. Or if McCoy does, he’s keeping them to himself.
“It starts with me as a head coach,” McCoy said, and no one tried to prove him wrong. “Put it on me.”
McCoy’s tenure with the Chargers is at tedious juncture. We weren’t a fly on the wall when McCoy interviewed with Bolts boss Dean Spanos, but we doubt it went something like this:
“So Dean, if you make me a head coach for the first time at any level, I can promise you within three years you’ll be residing in the AFC West cellar and I’ll deliver a 20-19 record.”
That’s what McCoy has done and some think he’s done as well.
We won’t go there — yet.
Spanos is known for avoiding confrontation with the same panache as not paying two coaches at the same time. McCoy is likely safe, because if Vince Lombardi was available, we’re not sure he could do better.
McCoy gets the arrows and he deserves them.
But don’t forget the other half of this hipster, cutting-edge tandem that the organization bragged about when hiring. Along with an untested McCoy came first-time GM in Tom Telesco. They were summoned to infuse a youthful enthusiasm to the club.
The roster which Telesco constructed, quoting our old buddy, A.J. Smith, is what it is.
And it ain’t much.
The Chargers don’t have the talent — or will — to establish a running game. Trading up to draft Melvin Gordon won the Chargers some offseason buzz, but it’s turned out about the same way as it did for the Padres.
Gordon is ineffective. The offensive line is a mess — and injuries don’t count, folks. A one dimensional team is just that and how Philip Rivers does what he does — even in off games — is amazing.
The defense is not championship caliber.
It’s not stout against the run and the secondary is a long play waiting to happen.
Special teams aren’t gaining those hidden yards coaches long for. Instead returner Jacoby Jones is past his prime and the coverage units are usually past their landmarks.
So we circle back to McCoy and we’ll wager he’ll agree global warming is real. His seat temperature is rising and it should be.
McCoy has tried three tricks to motivate his team and so far, he’s swung and missed twice and we’ll see about No. 3.
One week he called his bunch “soft.”
Last week he said his players needed to more devoted to their craft.
On Sunday he called the Chargers’ first-half performance “pathetic.”
The Chargers have Sunday’s road game in Baltimore to prove their coach wrong.
In a season with a slogan that was “All In” the Chargers look left out.
That rally cry has morphed into soft, uninspired and pathetic.
Not exactly something to print on the season tickets.
Although it seems appropriate for a coach’s ticket out of town.
+ Contact Jay Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.