When we meet next Friday, will the Chargers’ Mike McCoy be around to join us?
That’s hard to say. What’s a slam dunk is the next seven days will be make-or-break for the Chargers’ embattled coach.
McCoy’s bunch wrestles with the Raiders Sunday, and all the best with the Black Hole visit. Oakland swept last year’s series and looks poised to be a wicked challenge this weekend.
The Raiders (3-1) are what the Chargers (1-3) want to be: young, entertaining and emerging as a playoff contender under Jack Del Rio, an energetic coach eager to lead and put his fingerprints on the organization.
Next for the Chargers is a short week, leading to a Thursday night affair with the Denver Broncos.
Sorry, that would be the world champion Denver Broncos.
So McCoy, who’s produced two of the most unlikely Chargers losses in four games, has to get smart and fast. In one week, he’s either led the Chargers to a summersault or a long, cruel winter of Chargers football will be settling in.
McCoy was back at Chargers Park this week, talking about the grind, the process and how the Chargers are playing well in some spurts but not for 60 minutes.
That’s a dangerous mixture for any coach because a team showing spurts of brilliance builds expectations.
But when rivals make adjustments in the second half, the Chargers’ staff is either unable to recalibrate or unable to get their message to those in pads.
It’s mindful of a tale from 2000, when then-Chargers coach Mike Riley asked my take on quarterback Ryan Leaf.
The reply was “coach killer” and Riley’s response left a memory.
“Oh shoot,’’ Riley said, “I’m the coach.’’
He wasn’t for much longer.
McCoy could be bounced as well — but not if he rebounds with a week to remember.
Otherwise, no one has hummed thanks for the recent memories.
When keeping it real, McCoy has orchestrated 15 losses in the last 20 games and 11 straight defeats against AFC Wests foes.
The Chargers eye two tricky divisional games over seven days, with all eyes being trained on McCoy.
McCoy has a week to prove he’s part of the team’s long-term vision.
Contact Jay Paris at email@example.com. His book “Game of My Life San Diego Chargers’’ is available at local book stores.
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow Jay on Twitter @jparis_sports