Cardinals fire offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Byron Leftwich promoted

Yahoo Sports

The Arizona Cardinals were embarrassed at home on Thursday night, losing to the Denver Broncos 45-10.

It’s the Cardinals’ sixth loss in seven games, and first-year head coach Steve Wilks is wasting little time trying to right the ship: the team has announced that offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has been fired.

Quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich will be promoted to offensive coordinator and play-caller.

Talk wasn’t ‘premature’ after all

After the loss on Thursday night, Wilks said it was “premature” to talk about making a change at coordinator, but clearly it wasn’t that premature, as McCoy was shown the door within hours.

While it’s not great for rookie quarterback Josh Rosen that he’ll be working with a new coordinator just weeks into his first season, McCoy wasn’t getting results: Arizona has the last-ranked offense in the league in terms of yards and third downs, and is 31st in points at 13.1 points per game.

The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Byron Leftwich (R) will be promoted to play-caller. (AP)
The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Byron Leftwich (R) will be promoted to play-caller. (AP)

While Rosen is still learning and getting his feet under him, he has running back David Johnson, and Johnson is having a down season (he has 501 yards from scrimmage); he of course also has Larry Fitzgerald.

Leftwich getting his shot

Leftwich is quite new as a coach: the 38-year-old joined former Cardinals’ coach Bruce Arians staff as an intern in 2016, but was promoted to quarterbacks coach last year.

Arians let Leftwich call some plays in the 2017 preseason, but that is the only experience he has running the show.

Wilks kept him on staff when he took over earlier this year.

“I’m a pretty confident guy, but I had never done it, and I had never practiced it,” Leftwich said in February of calling plays. “That’s the tough part. Knowing B.A. (Arians), B.A. ain’t going to give you two weeks in practice to prepare. He gave me a 10-play period to call them. The first time I ever called plays was in the game. I wish I would have done a few things here and there better, but that’s the exciting part of growing in this business. That helped my growth.”

Leftwich was the seventh overall pick in the 2003 draft, and was 60-50 in his nine-year career — four years with Jacksonville, the team that drafted him, plus three with Pittsburgh and one each with Atlanta and Tampa Bay.

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