This will be a post about what I think will be one of the more important moves in the coming off season for the Cardinals.
Besides resigning players like Calais Campbell, I think it is pertinent to get a new offensive coordinator as well. The offense this season seemed lackluster, and while a great deal of that might have to do with the poor offensive line play at the beginning of the season or the uncertainty at the quarterback position and injuries at the running back position, I think that the offensive play calling was rather dull the entire year.
Maybe I am just green with envy after watching the amazing plays called by great offensive teams like the Packers, Saints, Patriots, etc..but I think bringing in a new OC, when we actually have an actual off season to install the new system, would be amazing. I know it was Mike Miller's first season as an OC, but I just don't see much potential here. I think it would be in the Cardinals' best interest to go after people like Mike Martz, who was just let go by the Bears. He was the evil genius behind the Greatest Show On Turf, which I am quite the believer in after seeing what another strong part of that same offense did for us.
This season under Mike Miller, the passing attack was average, ranking 17th in the league. While, the Cardinals had a division high 550 pass attempts, the Cardinals do exist in a running back/defense drive division. With the likes of Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, and Marshawn Lynch running the ball. When looking at the run game, the Cardinals rank 24th in the league and dead last in the NFC West, with 389 rushing attempts. While this is partially due to finally behind/lack of a run game(when Beanie was running hurt/out with injury), not running the ball negatively affects games in a very important manner, simply put, time of possession. While the end of the year average is too bad( 28:43 for the Cards and 32:25 for opponents) there games such as the first game against the 49ers in which the Cards possessed the ball for 15:44 and the Niners possessed the ball for a whopping 44:16. A less extreme example would be the Cardinals loss to the Steelers where Pittsburgh possessed the ball for 35:47 and the Cards 24:13. Now I know just time of possession for these games might not mean too much to you, but then look at the total rushing plays, the Steelers had 28 for an average of 3.2 yards a play and the Cardinals had 19 for an average of 3.8(note: the Cards passed 34 times this game). Also, for the Niners game the Cards rushed a total of 11 times for an average of 7.3 yards and the Niners rushed 49 times for an average of 5.0 yards.
I understand that the offenses I mentioned above are not run heavy teams and that criticizing Mike Miller for not running the ball more often when I am using those great passing offenses as examples is a bit odd, I simply mean that the Cardinals offense need to play more to the strength of the team as a whole. The Cardinals passing game was suspect for most of the year and staying with the run game might have provided the stability necessary on offense for the team to have scraped by with one or two more wins, which could have possibly put them in the off season. I do realize that the team also has one of the greatest receiving talents in the league in Fitzgerald, but without an experienced, proven, passer to get the ball to him(which they really did start doing until the second half of the season) that is pretty much a moot point.
Now I know many of you might not agree with bringing in Mike Martz as a new OC, but my point is that the Cardinals, as an offense, need someone new at the helm. Someone who can draw up innovative plays that can utilize the talents of Larry Fitzgerald, Hyphen, Beanie, and Skelton/Kolb(whichever one wins out). I believe that Mike Miller simply does not have to tools to bring this offense back to glory(read: the Kurt Warner Days) and this should be an important focus during this coming off season.
Do you agree with need a new OC? If so, who?