Ex-Cardinals kicker Feely on current team: ‘It’s been a coaching failure’
Former Arizona Cardinals kicker and CBS NFL analyst Jay Feely voiced his opinion on this year’s team and did not have a positive assessment of the leadership.
Feely, who kicked for the Cardinals from 2010 to 2013, appeared on Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Tuesday, and he vocalized his displeasure with head coach Steve Wilks and the entire coaching staff.
“I think that, in a nutshell, it’s been a coaching failure this year,” Feely said. “I really do — across the board.”
This year, the Cardinals are 2-9 and tied for the worst record in the NFC. The team is fresh off a 45-10 loss to the Chargers in which Arizona allowed 45 unanswered points.
Feely said a key issue with this team has been the misuse of its players and a lack of creativity.
“You have to utilize the talents of your players,” Feely said. “I think, across the board, this coaching staff has not done that.
“They have not done a good job of looking at who they are and what their players do well and creating plays and schemes.”
To bolster Feely’s argument, Arizona’s offense has been the worst in the league this year.
The Cardinals are dead last in several offensive categories — total yards per game, passing yards per game, rushing yards per game and points per game — with a prolific running back in David Johnson.
Johnson has played better recently, but according to Feely, the coaches are to blame for his poor stat line over the first few games.
“Running the ball up the middle with David Johnson was not creative, and it didn’t work,” Feely said. “You had a guy who was one of the best in the league, and you were a failure at finding ways to be creative, to utilize his ability to run and catch the ball.”
But that’s not where the issues end — defense has also been a problem for the Cardinals.
The team ranks tied for 26th in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 26.6 points per game. Feely said the unit isn’t maximizing its full potential.
“Defensively, I see the same thing,” Feely said. “When you look at Haason Reddick, and you look at (Deone) Bucannon and (Robert) Nkemdiche and Budda Baker, and all these guys, and you say, ‘why are they so poor defensively?'”
While Feely said Wilks has misused the Cardinals’ key players, he admitted that the team has potential and a fair amount of talent on the roster. Because of this, Feely said the outlook for the team in the future isn’t necessarily murky.
“I think there’s a lot of talent,” Feely said. “There are positions where they needed to do a better job, particularly the wide receiver position, but when you have a lot of draft capital and a lot of salary cap space, then looking forward, there’s a lot of hope.”