Mike McCoy Fired by Cardinals, Byron Leftwich Named New OC

Mike McCoy Fired by Cardinals, Byron Leftwich Named New OC
Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy watches prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Arizona Cardinals fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy following Thursday night’s 45-10 loss to the Denver Broncos, the team announced Friday.

Quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich has been tabbed as McCoy’s replacement.

“I felt we needed a change,” Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks told reporters. “… You definitely want to try to get David Johnson going in the run game and pass game. With Byron understanding some of the success he’s had in the past, hopefully we can tap back on that.”

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport first reported McCoy’s job could be in jeopardy if the Cardinals, now 1-6, failed to show improvement in Week 7.

As it turns out, struggles persisted in a big way even though Arizona was in a prime bounce-back spot against a Broncos front that allowed 323 rushing yards to the New York Jets in Week 5 and 270 to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6.

Johnson, who signed a three-year, $39 million contract before the start of the regular season, rushed for 39 yards and failed to crack 80 for the seventh straight game. In all, the Cardinals rank dead last in rushing offense (64.6 yards per game) at the time of McCoy’s ouster.

What’s more, Arizona’s offense ranks 31st in scoring (13.1 points per game) and passing (156.1 yards per game)—marks that were fueled by a seemingly vanilla scheme.

As a result, rookie quarterback Josh Rosen has dealt with a rocky acclimation process to life under center in the NFL. To date, Rosen has completed 55 percent of his passes for 820 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns against the Broncos.

The task moving forward will be for Leftwich, long considered a rising star on the sideline, to help Rosen shake those woes and harness the first-round talent that compelled the Cardinals to make him the face of their franchise.

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