Cardinals OC Mike McCoy’s offense will be based on what players do best

Jan 29, 2018, 3:18 PM
(AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)...
(AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)
(AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)
LISTEN: Mike McCoy, Cardinals Offensive Coordinator

TEMPE, Ariz. – No quarterback. Uncertainty at wide receiver. Questions along the offensive line and tight end.

Yet, Mike McCoy still accepted the job of Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator.

The question is why.

“It’s critical that, when you put a staff together, you get with good people,” he said, referring to head coach Steve Wilks. “And that was one of the really big selling points to me is what type of person he is (and) what his beliefs are.”

McCoy revealed very little during a nearly 21-minute introductory press conference on Monday, though that was perhaps to be expected given there is very little known about the Cardinals’ offense in 2018. Much of that, of course, will depend on the makeup of the roster.

Asked specifically whether his play-calling will be more about scheme or matchups, McCoy answered with one word: Players.

“When the players come in (to begin the offseason program), we’re going to have our core, but we’re going to find out what our players do best,” he said.

“The roster is going to continuously change. I know from talking to Coach and talking to (general manager) Steve Keim, we’re going to churn the roster and it’s going to keep on going so the key thing, I think, as a coach and as the offensive coordinator is to find out what our players do best and we’ll adjust accordingly.”

Obviously, finding a quarterback is first and foremost.

McCoy mentioned one, and only one, preference when it comes to a style of quarterback.

“One that’s going to win a lot of games,” he said, smiling.

McCoy added he wants a quarterback who is a leader, tough, can handle adversity and makes the team and his teammates better.

“There’s certain quarterbacks that are great quarterbacks that aren’t on very good teams,” he said.

McCoy admitted he hasn’t watched much film on this year’s quarterback draft class.

And whether the 2018 Cardinals starting quarterback is found in the draft, free agency or via a trade “we’re just getting this thing started here with the evaluation process. We got a lot of tough work ahead of us to figure out who that’s going to be,” he said.

One thing McCoy has learned over his 18-year NFL coaching career, including four years as the head coach of the San Diego Chargers and two stints as the offensive coordinator in Denver, is to not be afraid of change.

Sure, there are certain things McCoy would like to do offensively but sometimes a coach needs to adjust. He pointed to several examples:

— In 2003 as the quarterbacks coach in Carolina, McCoy watched backup Jake Delhomme lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl after starter Rodney Peete got hurt in the opener.

— In 2007, the Panthers won four games with four different quarterbacks.

— With the Broncos, McCoy worked with Peyton Manning, Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow and while in San Diego, it was Philip Rivers under center.

“You have your core, what you want to do and what you think you want to be known as but then it’s all about players. We have to adjust to the players we have. There’s going to be injuries during the season at a certain position. Well, if that next guy comes in, what does he do and what type of player he is?” McCoy said.

“That’s the fun part of the job really is to find out what type of players you have right now in the offseason. That’s the exciting time for us right now is putting this team together and building the foundation for the future so that it’s not a one week thing. It’s being competitive week-in and week-out and finding out what your players do best because it’s all about players.”

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