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Colt McCoy’s November Red Rain

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, in my “Cardinals Give Captain Morgan a Shot” blog, I asked my fellow ROTB members to describe QB Colt McCoy in a word, phrase or paragraph. Here were the responses:

From AZ_Cardinals_Fan:


Colt come across as eager to play, eager to help, eager to support, eager to be a friend or teammate, eager to whatever the team needs from him. He just seems to coney an excited enthusiasm all the time at everything.

Don’t you just feel like if Mrs. McCoy said they needed to go grocery shopping. Colt would look up, smile, get a little bounce in his step, and say, “Alright , let’s do this, I can’t wait!”

From AZKid2011:

Colt is tough as nails.

From RedRun:

The RED (Blue) Collar Man - He works through any situation to the best of his ability. He doesn’t shy away from work and he does whats asked when its asked.

From JethroBodine:

He’s your oldest and your best friend

If you need him, he’ll be there again

He’s always willing to be second best

A perfect lodger, a perfect guest

The first thing that came into my head when I thought of Colt.

From HRConsultant:

Colt McCoy = True Grit like the Duke, didn’t win them all but fought like a man, and led by example

From CardsfaninWA:

Backup QB has to be an excruciating position, but Colt is always supportive and ready. Some of the Cards’ most efficient offensive performances in the past two seasons came with him at the helm. The best compliment I can give him is that in my office football pool, I picked the Rams to beat the Cards in their 11/13 matchup. When I found out Colt was starting I changed that pick. No knock on Kyler; Colt just seems to handle that defensive front’s pressure better.

From ValleyofSunhope:

Colt-All heart baby.

From BG23:

Coach Colt.

Thank you ROTB!

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that Colt McCoy is 36 years old and this is his 13th NFL season. How many 36 year old NFL QBs will give his team this kind of effort?

From Troy Aikman:

“Colt McCoy is the perfect backup quarterback. He has earned the utmost respect from everyone around the league.”

Colt McCoy (on Hard Knocks):

“I understand my role. I am going to keep giving this thing all I’ve got. I am going to relish every opportunity.”

What some may not completely understand with regard to Colt’s gutsy play versus the Patriots and Broncos is how he was playing with a heavy heart.

You see, Colt McCoy is the ultimate caddy for his starting QB. He is to the NFL what Jim “Bones” MacKay is to the PGA.

The passionate way that Colt invests his time and supreme loyalty to his starting QB —- it’s like he plays vicariously through the starter’s performances. All week long in preparation, Colt is the ultimate QB whisperer. He is preparing like he is the starter, with the ultimate goal of help the starter win.

When Kyler went down versus the Patriots, you could see how shaken he was for Kyler’s sake. This was the very last reason why Colt would ever want a chance to play.

Last season, Colt had the comfort of knowing that Kyler would be returning and that what Colt had to do is keep the team on the right track until Kyler returned to action.

Mission accomplished.

Winning two key road games versus the 49ers and Seahawks and putting up big numbers in the process was everything the coaches and his teammates could have ever asked of him.

Colt was in similar situation this year when he helped the team beat the Rams 31-21 at SoFi stadium. His goal was to get the team on the right track for when Kyler would return.

Mission accomplished.

This past week, Colt’s top priority was to show his support for Kyler.Following the loss to the Patriots, after he himself endured a punishing 6 sacks during the 27-13 loss, he beelined his way over to Kyler’s house to spend a couple of hours to make sure Kyler was handling the first major injury of his football career as best he could.

As an aside, Colt is not just a mentor and caddy to Kyler, he goes out of his way to engage with all of the players on offense and defense. He helps out the team’s cornerbacks and has been making a positive impact on Antonio Hamilton in particular. Both Colt and D-Hop have been mentoring Antonio. Plus, Chandler Jones mentioned last year how a pep talk and a little advice from Colt helped him to play faster and freer.

Not only was last week a short prep week for the Cardinals, once gain the team had to cope with a major development —- as difficult as it was for the team to process Kyler Murray’s season-ending knee injury, the team was informed by Michael Bidwill that GM Steve Keim was taking a medical related leave of absence.

A euphemistic term to describe the weekly calamities that have befallen the Cardinals this year is the word “distraction.” These are calamities that are far worse than being mere distractions.

Hours after the team was told about Steve Keim, news rolled in that exiled OL coach Sean Kugler has hired a legal team so as to appeal his firing to the NFL because, according to Kugler his firing was caused by some sort of a “miscommunication or case of mistaken identity.”

These calamities continue to have ripple effects across the organization. Like the scrutiny that followed Kyler Murray all season like a shadow, some of which Kyler kept bringing on himself by some gestures and statements he made on and off the field.

When are the calamities and conflicts ever going to go away?

As we learned on this week’s Hard Knocks, Colt McCoy’s refuge is being at home with his lovely wife Rachel and their two daughters and son. As Colt said, being a good father is his top priority in life and that his family is the “main team” in his life.

While playing whiffle ball with his three kids back by their lemon tree in the yard, Colt aptly echoed“ when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” when talking about the current plight of the Cardinals.

Versus the Broncos, something seemed off about Colt’s delivery, more than just as the a result of the constant pressure the Broncos were applying on him. He was consistently errant on his passes in ways that we had yet to see. Does it stand to reason that Colt was still coping with the right elbow injury he suffered in the 49ers game?

After gaining only 87 yards of total offense in the first half versus the Broncos, the offense was getting the ball first and Colt looked more determined than ever to get the offense rolling. On a key 3rd down and short, Colt elected to keep the ball on a read option and converted the first down with his legs, plunging head first over the line. To his coaches’ and teammates’ dismay, Colt suffered a concussion on the hit and was lost for the game.

While fans like you and I have been questioning why in the world that read option was ever called in the first place, rest assured that Colt would insist to us that it was the perfect call and he would do it again and again under similar circumstances,

Colt McCoy doesn’t let the fear of injuries affect his play. He said on Hard Knocks two weeks ago that as as a QB he “never thinks of injuries during a game.”

Colt has said many times how good he feels about the Cardinals’ offense and how much he loves Kliff’s system. Therefore, it would not be surprising to hear Colt make a impassioned statement to the media about the abilities of his head coach.

Colt and Kliff’s strong rapport is based on mutual respect.

Kliff said recently that Colt would make a superb coach and went as far as saying, “Colt could easily have my job right now.”

Colt is signed through next season. When asked this past week whether he thought he could handle being the Cardinals starting QB through the last four games this year and potentially well into the 2023 season, Colt was eager to say that he believes he can.

One may wonder, however, whether the concussion he suffered at Mile High might give him second thoughts about retiring. A few years ago while playing for Washington, Colt and his wife Rachel thought he was going to retire after he suffered a season-ending broken tibia, However, in 2020 Colt said that he was persuaded by New York Giants’ OC Jason Garrett to be the team’s QB2 behind Daniel Jones.

Then in 2001, thanks to Sean McVay’s recommendation to Kliff Kingsbury to sign Colt as a free agent, Colt seized the opportunity to join Kliff and Kyler in Arizona, arguably forming 3 quarters of the Mount Rushmore of legendary Texas high school quarterbacks.

This week, Colt has been ruled out of Sunday’s game versus the Bucs. This has been an injury plagued season for him as he missed most of the pre-season due to arm soreness, then four weeks into the season, he suffered a calf injury, then he injured the right elbow injury in Mexico City and then he suffered the concussion at Denver.

It would seem wise for the Cardinals to keep Colt on the sidelines for the remaining three games, especially seeing as the Cardinals have been eliminated from making the playoffs.

If the accumulative effect of these assortment of injuries influences Colt to retire this off-season, it wouldn’t be the first time a Cardinals’ QB retired with a year remaining oil his contract, as Kurt Warner did following the 2009 season.

However, a fascinating possibility might exist for Colt to be hired as the team’s QB coach. If Kliff Kingsbury remains the head coach, which Colt is going to endorse as vociferously as anyone, could Kliff take things a step further and appoint Colt as the team’s offensive coordinator?

What would you think of that?

Whether Colt returns as a player or as a coach, the respect that Colt has earned from everyone in the organization —- for being the consummate pro and team galvanizer —- has made him the kind of leader that the franchise should want to hold on to for years to come.

For some fans like myself, not only will Colt’s legacy in Arizona be defined by his tenacious and spirited work ethic and selfless leadership, it will forever be manifested in the following trifecta that he pulled off while running the Cardinals’ offense as “the NFL’s perfect backup” (Aikman):

Colt McCoy’s November Red Rain

  • November 7, 2021: —- @ SF —- 31-17 W, —- 22/26, 249 yds., 84.6%, 1-0 TD/int., 119.4 rating
  • November 21, 2021: —- @ SEA —- 23-13 W —- 35/44, 79.6%, 328 yds., 2-0 TD/int., 112.9 rating
  • November 13, 2022: —- @ LAR —- 31-21 W —- 26/37, 70.2%, 238 yds., 1-0 TD/int, 96.5 rating

Now that brilliant trifecta is about as perfect as an NFC West road sweep can ever get!

The team’s record in November the past 4 years, without these three wins, is 1-9.

As Axl Rose sang in Guns’ and Roses’ “November Rain:

Nothin’ lasts forever

And we both know hearts can change

And it’s hard to hold a candle

In the cold November rain


With Colt McCoy in the Cardinals’ facility there is always a candle of hope —- that —- and tall pitchers of lemonade.