Colt McCoy, Cardinals experiencing the ‘learning curve’ of new regime
Jun 5, 2023, 5:15 PM
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
TEMPE — Organized team activities can get a bad rap.
Instead of pads, it’s t-shirts and shorts. Many players at any one position are being interchanged constantly between the first team and beyond. And oh yeah, it’s also voluntary, adding even more variables as to who is there and who is not.
OTAs can easily be overlooked as another stretch of workouts to check off the offseason box before mandatory minicamp and training camp. The time on the practice fields and in the meeting rooms, however, is important for the continued evolution of the franchise and its players — whether a veteran or rookie — under head coach Jonathan Gannon.
“I think everybody’s fully bought in, there’s just a learning curve,” quarterback Colt McCoy said Monday. “That’s why these reps in the offseason program are valuable. Even walkthroughs, jog-throughs, high (intensity) days, low (intensity) days. These are all the first time you’re doing this (sometimes) … but overall, the meetings are going really well.
“We just got to absorb all this information and work on the things that are new so when we get into training camp, it’s the second time we’re hearing it, third time we’re hearing it and it flows a little bit smoother.”
Building that strong foundation with his coaches and getting a good lay of the land offensively is imperative for a player like McCoy as he enters Year 13.
The veteran signal caller has a shot at opening as Arizona’s starter with QB1 Kyler Murray still on the mend from a torn ACL suffered late last season.
All signs point to McCoy — who is back healthy after dealing with an elbow injury in 2022 that lingered into the offseason — getting a sizable workload in 2023.
“For me, my No. 1 priority is learning the system,” McCoy said. “It’s new, it’s different. There are things as a quarterback that you got to know that other people don’t have to know. You ultimately with the ball in your hands make everything right. There’s a lot of thinking going on out on the field.
“In my mind, we don’t know if Kyler’s going to be healthy or not. We certainly hope that he is, but if he’s not, I’m 100% certain I’ll be ready to go.”
In his first two seasons in the desert, McCoy went 3-3 over six games started in place of the injured Murray. He completed an efficient 71% of his passes for 1,520 yards and four touchdowns to four interceptions.
And although he might be viewed as the leader in the clubhouse come Week 1, he’s not the only option the Cardinals have to work with in the quarterbacks room.
Behind McCoy sits David Blough and Jeff Driskel, a pair of QBs who saw two starts apiece in 2022. There’s also rookie signal caller Clayton Tune, who brings more mobility to the position group.
But regardless of status or years served in the league, it’s a whole new drawing board for the passers.
“The good thing about the rookies is they’re learning just like we are,” McCoy said. “Clayton’s done a really nice job coming in. He’s getting a lot of reps in the offseason program which is good for him.
“I think at times, we’re probably all spinning in our heads a little bit. We’re using different cadences and different formations and different shifts and motions that are all going to be part of what we do. So, the first couple times you do it, it’s always a little dicey.”