Cardinals’ Colt McCoy focused on task at hand, being there for Murray
TEMPE — It’s a bittersweet time for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy.
Given the reins of the offense for the rest of the regular season — and potentially into next year — McCoy has four games left in 2022 to help get the Cardinals back on some sort of right track to close out the season.
It’s an opportunity McCoy doesn’t take lightly, especially given the circumstances surrounding his upcoming starts. Unlike his previous two this year, there’s some added weight in the form of Kyler Murray’s season-ending ACL tear just three plays into Arizona’s Monday Night Football loss to the New England Patriots.
But regardless of the why and given his own career path, McCoy counts his blessings daily for the chances like the one he has ahead of him.
And if there was anyone Kingsbury would want running the show in place of Murray for the remainder of 2022, McCoy is right up there.
“He’s a brilliant football mind and then he is really good when he gets a chance to play,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Tuesday. “The ball goes to the right spot; it goes out on time. He’s earned that right to play in this league as long as he can really operate and stay healthy, but a lot of it I think has to do with just his understanding.
“He could be a coach if he wanted to right now. He’d probably take my job easily. He has that type of knowledge and that type of command in the locker room.”
So far this season, McCoy has two starts and the extended Monday Night Football outing under his belt. In those three showings, the QB completed 69.4% of his throws for 702 yards and a touchdown. He did, however, toss two interceptions and was sacked 11 times over that span.
Not too shabby for a backup, but still a lot to be desired if you ask the QB, who knows he and the rest of the offense left some plays and points out on the football field.
But on top of the work McCoy is undergoing to be the best version of himself, the quarterback isn’t forgetting about his fellow signal caller in Murray.
After all, McCoy spends more time during the season with Murray than with his own kids, he said Wednesday.
Having gone through serious injuries over his 12-year NFL career, McCoy knows all about the dark times that accompany them.
That’s why he took it upon himself to go to Murray’s house for a couple hours after Monday Night Football to sit in solidarity with his teammate going through the worst part of his football career to date.
“His spirits were fine. He was smiling, but it’s an injury,” McCoy said Wednesday. “We’re all upset, he’s upset, he’s frustrated. But his spirits were in a good place. He’ll attack the rehab. We have great doctors here. Lots of guys have come back from ACLs and have been just fine. I think he’s got full confidence in that.
“When something happens like that, I’ve played long enough, been around enough guys — you’re in shock a little bit. … You don’t ever think about injuries, so when that happens, it’s part of the game but it’s a shock. Kyler for that is in a good place and we’ll all put our arms around him for sure.”
#AZCardinals QB Colt McCoy said he spent a couple hours at Kyler Murray's house after the Monday Night Football loss to the Patriots.
The QB said Murray's spirits were fine but added there were definitely feelings of frustration over the torn ACL.
— Arizona Sports (@AZSports) December 14, 2022
Murray isn’t out of sight, out of mind, with McCoy — and other members of the team — making it a point to continue to stay in constant contact with the QB throughout his recovery.
Arizona’s psyche has been tested throughout the season by injuries, inconsistency and off-the-field issues and took an even bigger hit thanks to Murray’s diagnosis. But the show must go on and McCoy is up for the challenge.
His week of preparation won’t change much outside of getting more work with the first-team offense. That’s a credit to McCoy, who works each and every week as if he is the unquestioned starter.
That type of dedication to his craft can go a long way when it comes to getting everyone on the same page, especially when the team has yet to remedy the little things such as limiting pre-snap penalties and other unnecessary pitfalls that have plagued it throughout 2022.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and there’s a great group of guys in there,” McCoy said. “We’re not in the situation that we want to be in but there’s some high-character guys in there. I think it’s my job and a lot of the leaders on this team’s job to get us all in the right mind and just ready to go play this game and play out the rest of the season and treat it like professionals and understand that the ball hasn’t bounced our way this year.
“But when we do things right, when we’re disciplined and we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, we’re a good football team. Let’s go do that. I think for me that’s the focus.”