Give and take: Cardinals’ Drew Petzing all for player input in tailoring offense
Jul 31, 2023, 7:25 PM | Updated: Aug 3, 2023, 11:20 pm
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
GLENDALE — After rolling with former head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his air raid offense the past three seasons, the Arizona Cardinals are embarking on a new year with a new offense under coordinator Drew Petzing.
But just because there is an overhaul in offensive philosophy taking place in Arizona following a disastrous and predictable showing in 2023, it doesn’t mean Petzing isn’t close-minded to the idea of meshing the two systems.
Petzing’s mindset is simple: Score one more point than the opponent.
Two ways to achieve that? Listen and tailor the offense to your playmakers like quarterback Kyler Murray, who has a pretty good idea of what worked and what didn’t within the previous offense all too well.
“It’s a mix,” Petzing said Monday. “Certainly, we came in with an idea of who we wanted to be and what we thought was good for the offense, and then he’s done a lot of things that are really high level, so there’s certainly some give and take. I might have watched him when I got here and watched the stuff he did and said, ‘Hey, this is a good play. I think it fits us. Did you like it? How did you call it? What were the details of it?’
“Some of that he’s going to know better than I do. I got to be willing to listen to that and make sure if it makes us better, we certainly want to incorporate it into what we do. It’s certainly been a give and take and he’s been great in providing that and having those conversations.”
Petzing and the Cardinals are getting back to the basics led with more of an emphasis on running the football than the last regime.
Arizona running 12 personnel has been a constant throughout training camp. The addition of veteran tight end Geoff Swaim, known for his prowess as a blocker, has added to the narrative that Arizona is focused on not only establishing the run game, but also leaning on it in 2023.
Gone are the hand signals, too, with Petzing implementing more plays out of the huddle and making sure communication is tight throughout the unit.
That’s not to say, however, that he’s not going to pick up the tempo at times and have his QBs work out of shotgun. There’s just going to be a lot more plays coming from under center than we’ve seen in years past.
Those in the thick of the learning the offense have their work cut out for them. For the most part, though, they already seem bought into the new scheme and can see what is taking place in the desert.
“(Petzing) is putting a lot on us,” veteran QB Colt McCoy said Monday. “He’s putting a lot on my plate, he’s putting a lot on the offense line, receivers to see what we can handle.
“Some days it doesn’t look great. Right now, we’re going through some growing pains, but we’ll get back in the meetings and we’ll detail it up. I’m just personally excited that we’re building something that everyone is going to be confident in.”
And if there’s one thing Petzing wants to avoid at all costs? Being predictable, a trait Cardinals fans knew all too well having to suffer through the final season and a half under Kingsbury.
“I think you take a little bit from everybody in terms of how they coach, how they relate to players, the language, the scheme,” Petzing said when asked where he’s picked up offensive ideas over the years. “And then you do a little of just watching around the league. What works, what doesn’t, why it does. Then you just try to fit it to the pieces you have.
“It’s going to be built around the best players, so figuring out where those two things marry up and trying to make sure we have enough in the playbook to be that and not be predictable I think will be a big part in who we are.”