Cardinals offensive coordinator gone after blowout loss

The Arizona Cardinals have fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy a day after the team was blown out at home by the Denver Broncos on national television.

The team said in a statement Friday that quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich will take over the job for a club that is 1-6, the worst record in the league.

Coach Steve Wilks is to discuss the move later in the day.

McCoy, former head coach of the San Diego Chargers, was fired for the second time in as many seasons. He was let go after 10 games as Broncos coordinator last year.

The Cardinals lost 45-10 on Thursday night, trailing 21-3 after one quarter and 35-3 at the half. Wilks called the effort “embarrassing.”

The Cardinals have lost their first four home games for the first time since 1979, nearly a decade before the franchise moved from St. Louis to the desert.

Arizona entered Thursday night’s game ranked last in the NFL in offense and rushing offense and next-to-last in passing offense. The Cardinals have just 10 offensive touchdowns in seven games.

Leftwich is a holdover from the staff of coach Bruce Arians, who retired after last season and was known for his dynamic offense.

Wilks, in his first season as head coach, has a coaching background entirely on defense. He was defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers last year. He entrusted the offense to McCoy, figuring the experience at head coach would help.

But the offense has sputtered from the beginning, especially in attempts to get the ground game moving behind running back David Johnson, who led the league in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns two seasons ago.

The Cardinals switched from Sam Bradford to rookie Josh Rosen at quarterback three games into the season and Rosen had a rough night against Denver, throwing three interceptions — two returned for touchdowns — and fumbling the ball away twice.

Rosen has been Leftwich’s primary project.

The 38-year-old Leftwich, a first-round draft pick out of Marshall, played quarterback in the NFL for 10 seasons with four teams — Jacksonville, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. He was an intern on Arians’ staff in 2016 before being promoted to a full-time position in 2017.

McCoy, who has worked in the NFL since 2000, was a highly successful offensive coordinator in a first stint with Denver, leading to him being hired as head coach by the Chargers in 2013. He was fired after four seasons with the Chargers.


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