ENGLEWOOD – Last winter, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy saw his name pop up in head-coaching searches. Ten months later, it appears McCoy is still on a head-coaching fast track; his offense, tailored for QB Peyton Manning, is an increasingly efficient machine, and at the age of 40, he is only starting to enter his coaching prime.
But it took nine seasons of lessons on the staffs of George Seifert and John Fox in Carolina for him to begin finding his way.
McCoy broke into the league with the Panthers as an offensive assistant in 2000, Seifert’s second year with the club, then kept his place on the staff through the transition to John Fox two years later, surviving a 1-15 season in 2001.
Struggle taught him some lessons — but so did the veteran coaches around him.
“I was very fortunate under Coach Seifert with a gentleman by the name of Richard Williamson and Dan Henning after Coach Seifert had left, John Fox had hired Dan Henning as a coordinator, but Richard was with George, and those were two guys that I spent a ton of time with and really learned the NFL game,” McCoy said. “I’ve been fortunate in my time in coaching, being a young coach, being surrounded by good mentors. And that’s the No. 1 thing.”
Williamson spent 15 years with the Panthers under three different head coaches before retiring last year. McCoy has shown a similar ability to withstand transition, having now been retained through two head-coaching changes in a dozen years in the NFL.
The next head coaching change involving McCoy might be his own. He is expected to be on many short lists for head-coaching jobs, as he was last year after re-designing the Broncos’ offense on the fly for Tim Tebow. But he turned down the opportunity to interview with the Jaguars and Raiders last January, only pursuing the Dolphins job, for which he interviewed twice before losing out to Joe Philbin.
McCoy was choosy before, staying in Carolina nine seasons before joining the Broncos in 2009. He’ll be equally judicious in the future.
“in this profession, my wife and I have always said that we’re not going to move just to move,” he said.
NOTES: Right guard Chris Kuper (left ankle) and cornerback Tracy Porter (seizure symptoms) did not practice and were ruled out for Sunday. Everyone else is no worse than probable and practiced fully … The Broncos left two days before kickoff for a second consecutive week, continuing the practice instituted by John Fox last year for East Coast afternoon games or any game played at 11 a.m. MST.