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Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy: "You always want to finish strong"


Q: You guys had an emotional potential last game on Sunday in San Diego and are coming into a similar environment, how do you prepare the team for what could be historic night?

Coach McCoy:"It's our next game we're playing. So we'll go on the road like any other road trip, it doesn't change our approach one bit as a football team."

Q: In facing some of the young talent in guys like Latavius Murray, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, what do you have to do defensively to keep them in check and how talented of a nucleus is it that they have offensively?

Coach McCoy:"The three are three very talented football players who are only going to get better with time. You've seen the success they've had early in their careers already together. The more you play together, the more comfortable you get. You learn systems, you learn more about one and other. It doesn't matter what position you are, how long you've been in the league, the more you play, the more comfortable you are. They are three very talented players that have a bright future for a very long time in this league."

Q: What do you take from the first game against the Raiders this year?

Coach McCoy:"We struggled early on obviously. Give them all the credit in the world, they made the plays, we didn't. So they got a huge lead on us. We fought back at the end, but you can't dig yourself that big of a hole in a game ever. It started with taking a ball out of the end zone, then a turnover and things like that, it went downhill from there. Give them credit, they beat us, and we have to play a lot better this week to win."

Q: Do you hope to build some momentum to head into the offseason?

Coach McCoy:"We do. You always want to finish strong regardless of where you're playing, what your situation is, you want to finish the season strong. That was the big focus. Coming in to this game at home last week we said, 'Hey listen, the season is what it is, but let's finish this thing the right way.' It started with the big win at home and this is the next one. The 16th week of the season, so you're looking to get better. That's the big thing, start stacking wins up. That's what every football team is trying to do, not just us. Finish the right way and play your best football in December. We understand the task at hand on Thursday night against a good football team. We have to go out and play better than we did last week."

Q: How has it been to juggle all the injuries you had this season?

Coach McCoy:"From my perspective, there's never going to be an excuse. As the head coach and coaches you go out and have to play with the healthiest 46 week in and week out. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you on Sunday. You deal with it and your job as a coach is to put a plan together for the players to go out and execute and their job is to go out and execute it. The guys get certain opportunities in this business to step up and I think a number of players have done that on our football team with the opportunity. There's nothing like experience. It's all about winning and losing games. We have to do a better job, obviously, of finishing games and getting the job done."

Q: Melvin Gordon was placed on injured reserved this week. How does that effect your back field?

Coach McCoy:"We're very happy with the way Danny [Woodhead] and Donald [Brown] have played to this point and time in the season. And bring Dream [Dreamius Smith] up off the practice squad. Understanding what he did in the preseason here and the way he works since he's been back on the practice squad, so we have all the confidence in the world. It was easy for us to bring him up. But we're happy with the three guys we have."

Q: What have you seen from Khalil Mack over the three games?

Coach McCoy:"He's a force to be reckoned with every play. He's a player that you always have to know he is on every play because he's a game changer. The way he gets after the quarterback. He's another, you mentioned the three guys on offense early, this is another younger player. And he's playing at a very high level right now, but he's just going to get better and better with every game he plays. He's definitely someone you have to know where he's at every play."

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