When the Arizona Cardinals announced that Mike McCoy had been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator last Friday, it signaled something to not only the fans but the team.
One of the follies of McCoy over his last two stops has been his playbook, his situational play calling and usage of players.
That may seem like everything that an offensive coordinator is responsible for, but it actually boils down to a little bit more.
When you look at McCoy, there was a couple of seasons of strong success.
The first was with Peyton Manning doing Manning things. They adapted a number of concepts of what Manning liked to do in order to help make Manning feel more comfortable.
This is one of the five greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game that needed McCoy to give him more control of what was happening on offense:
I don’t blame the Broncos coaches for trying to blend what they’d had success with previously — and what many of their existing players were comfortable with — with Manning’s preferred approach. Indeed, that pitch was likely what sold Manning on going to the Broncos in the first place. In the NFL, however, where a team’s success is often a function of its quarterback play, it’s not a surprise that what’s good for Peyton Manning is good for the Denver Broncos.
That’s where the move to Byron Leftwich makes sense.
Plays in a playbook, on the screen, in a conceptual manner make sense, but when it comes to working on the field, do you need an encyclopedia of options?
That is what Leftwich hopes to do in the interim, simplify things for the offense and especially rookie quarterback Josh Rosen:
Josh Rosen says Byron Leftwich is refining the offense, working to players’ strengths and making hard rules about situational stuff to make it clear how he should react.— Kevin Zimmerman (@KZimmermanAZ) October 24, 2018
There is a thought in football, that bad teams need to out scheme their opponent, while good teams simply need to out execute.
We know the Cardinals are not a good team, but their scheming has not done what was intended.
Instead, they have compounded being a bad team with terrible execution at every level of the playbook.
It’s no wonder that some of the biggest plays of the 2018 season, okay three of them, come off of some of the most basic passing concepts.
Sometimes, making things a little easier is the first step in making things work a little better.
That is what Byron Leftwich is saying, let’s see if it comes to fruition on Sunday.