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Mike McCoy adapted to the problems in Denver, and never stood a chance

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The Arizona Cardinals new OC was fired from his second stint with the Broncos, but it wasn’t his fault for the most part.

Arizona Cardinals v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

When Mike McCoy was the hot coaching candidate in 2013 it was for good reason.

Sure, his work in 2012 was lauded for helping get the Denver Broncos return to being one of the best offenses in the NFL, getting to work with Peyton Manning will do that, but what made McCoy special was how he came about that offense.

McCoy isn’t beholden to a scheme offensively, but he is most commonly known to utilize the Erhardt-Perkins system Grantland’s Chris Brown’s article on it here.

What there is to know and understand about McCoy and further the Erhardt-Perkins system, is that it stems from the idea:

“I really thought you had to run the football to control the game,” Erhardt once said. “You had to throw the football to score but had to run the football to win.”

That was a theme that didn’t follow McCoy after his big 2011.

In fact, after 2011, where the Denver Broncos led the NFL in rushing attempts, yards and were sixth in yards per carry, they regressed.

2012 Broncos OC: 9th in attempts, 16th in yards, 25th in ypc
2013 Chargers HC: 6th in attempts, 13th in yards, 21st in ypc
2014 Chargers HC: 23rd in attempts, 30th in yards, 31st in ypc
2015 Chargers HC: 22nd in attempts, 31st in yards, 32nd in ypc
2016 Chargers HC: 22nd in attempts, 26th in yards, 26th in ypc

It wasn’t that those offenses didn’t have talent at the running back position, outside of the 2014 Chargers, it was that McCoy leaned on his veteran quarterbacks too heavily.

When he didn’t have that again in 2017, he revamped the offense in Denver to run the ball more.

They ran the ball 268 times while McCoy was there for 1,129 yards to the tune of 4.2 yards per carry. Except they had no quarterback to take any pressure off the run game and keep them from playing ahead.

The Broncos started 3-1 and McCoy was fired when they fell to 3-7, the results of a six game losing streak where they scored:

10 points
0 points
19 points
23 points (they gave up 51)
16 points
17 points

In that six game stretch, they averaged a paltry 14.2 points per game.

Was that on McCoy? Sure, he is the offensive coordinator, but he was handcuffed from the beginning with the quarterback position.

Yet, he showed that he was adaptable to the situation.

While the offensive numbers were bad, his chances were dead on arrival.

Which brings us to the biggest question. If McCoy thinks that Brock Osweiler, can we expect similar results?

Will McCoy be able to develop a quarterback if they draft one?

We will get back to that later.