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McCoy, Leftwich provide insight on desirable traits for new QB

(AP Photos)

One of the biggest question marks still remaining for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason is how the team will address the vacancy at the quarterback position.

Luckily, the Cardinals have options.

Whether it be via free agency, a quarterback-friendly class in the 2018 NFL Draft or via trade, there are enough options for general manager Steve Keim and head coach Steve Wilks to test the waters before pulling the trigger on a future quarterback.

But with a new system under offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, what type of characteristics is the organization looking for in its next gunslinger?

“Each player is different,” McCoy said to reporters on Thursday. “When you look at players they all have their strengths and their weaknesses. Certain guys can move better than others, some have great arms, some have very good arms.

“We all understand it is a unique situation, without any quarterbacks on the roster. But you put your system in and adjust accordingly.”

McCoy added that his game plan for the Cardinals’ offense was always meant to be independent of who the quarterback was, even if it were a veteran such as Carson Palmer.

Similar to McCoy, Cardinals quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich understands that each quarterback in both free agency and the draft have their own strengths.

As a former NFL quarterback, Leftwich is keen on finding a quarterback that can adjust the different style of play in the NFL.

“Around the college game and high school game it has changed a lot,” Leftwich said Thursday. “You have to be able to play within the pocket on this level. Some guys have mobility and the athleticism to get outside the pocket but most of the time you have to be able to play inside the pocket. That’s the way this league is going to be.”

The age of the traditional pocket-passer has diminished within the lower levels and especially in the NCAA.

While the NFL has seen dual-threat quarterbacks enter the league in recent years, Leftwich says the mobility factor has become an added bonus to their accuracy within the pocket.

“I think it is great when you have a guy that has mobility,” he said. “But in my personal opinion, I still think a guy has to make plays in the pocket to have consistent success.”

With the direction of the team taking shape, McCoy, Leftwich and the rest of the coaching staff will now start evaluating prospects for the first time as a group.

“The most important thing was evaluating our team here and our current roster,” McCoy said. “College for me is the next step moving forward.

“I haven’t sat down and watched every pass of everybody yet. That will all come with time.”