Arizona Cardinals’ offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has played a huge part in the comeback seasons of two veteran NFL quarterbacks
Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Sam Bradford is once again on the comeback trail. The club’s new starter played in just two games for the Minnesota Vikings last year, before being placed on the shelf thanks to a bum knee. It just so happens that Bradford may have selected the perfect spot in which to have a bounce-back season.
The man who’s offense that the oft-injured passer will be executing in 2018 has a history with signal-callers looking to get back on track. Mike McCoy, the Cards’ new offensive coordinator, apparently has a knack for revitalization projects. His success with a couple of veterans who were in similar situations in the past is direct proof of such a statement.
The NFL’s “Comeback Player of the Year” award has been handed out twice to individuals who thrived with McCoy as their coach. To say that both quarterbacks performed exceptionally well during those campaigns would be an understatement.
Back in 2011, there were whispers that neck problems would force the great Peyton Manning into an early retirement. A surgery performed during May of that offseason reportedly had a devastating effect on the then-35-year old’s arm strength. A year later, the Indianapolis Colts moved on from Manning when they selected Andrew Luck with the first pick of the 2012 draft.
The Denver Broncos, obviously believing that the former University of Tennessee Volunteer had recovered sufficiently, inked Manning to a five-year, $96 million contract. With McCoy calling the plays, the future Hall of Famer turned in one of the best statistical performances of his career in 2012. The “Comeback Player of the Year” was just one of the accolades Manning received, after he completed 68.6% of his throws for 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns.
After his successful stint with Denver, the then-San Diego Chargers recruited McCoy for their vacant head-coaching position in 2013. The offensive guru would inherit Philip Rivers, who had struggled in both 2011 and 2012. With another tough task placed in front of him, McCoy once again displayed his coaching prowess.
Rivers became the second consecutive signal-caller of McCoy’s to secure “Comeback Player” honors. The then-31-year old found the mark on an outstanding 69.5 % of his passes, tallying 4,478 passing yards and 32 scores. Chargers’ offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was calling the plays in 2013, but those in the know attributed much of Rivers’ excellent play during that year to McCoy.
Getting a Pro Bowl-caliber performance out of Bradford is the 46-year old McCoy’s next challenge. The track record of the Cardinals’ new play-caller indicates that he’ll find a way to make that happen. The “Red Sea” is counting on it.