I’m not a fan of joint practices thanks to the fact they can get heated rather quickly, but they also have more than a few benefits. One such benefit involves allowing projected starters to see more playing time heading into the final week of the preseason without them playing more than a series or two in the actual game, which could be the case for the Arizona Cardinals.
And that benefit told us all we needed to know about the presumed starter at quarterback to open the season: Colt McCoy. One play seemed to sum up what we got this season in the aging quarterback when he tried to hit a receiver downfield, only to severely underthrow them, allowing a Minnesota Vikings defender to haul in an interception.
Colt McCoy cannot open the season as the Arizona Cardinals starter
This is a quarterback we have seen on a throwing plan in training camp, and he also had elbow issues in the offseason if you remember correctly. And following what looked like a bad practice yesterday, if the play described above can summarize things and a poor preseason, there is no way the Cards can start McCoy in Week 1 and expect to win.
If their goal is to truly tank, then go right ahead, but contrary to popular belief, the Cards don’t appear to be tanking. Rebuilding? Absolutely, but that isn’t the same thing as outright tanking, as they would have traded away a few key players this offseason (like Budda Baker) had that been the case.
What can the Cardinals do instead?
The Cardinals have three options: Either they a) Start Clayton Tune in Week 1, b) Opt to take Kyler Murray off of the PUP list if his knee is ready, or C) Start making phone calls to other teams about acquiring a quarterback.
Right now, starting Tune is the most desirable scenario. We don’t know where Murray’s knee is, and the Arizona Cardinals can’t afford to rush him. Further, if they traded for a quarterback, then there is still the art of cramming a new system and playbook in roughly 10 to 12 days, which makes little sense - bringing in Jacoby Brissett in the offseason would have helped a lot here, especially since the Washington Commanders backup quarterback will be on the opposing sideline.
Tune may not have been outstanding in the preseason, but at least he can scramble. And he’s shown us time and again that he can escape pressure, extend plays, and take shots downfield.
Yeah, the Cardinals offense will likely struggle with Tune, but at least he gives them a better chance to win than McCoy. In fact, I’m willing to go on record and claim even David Blough makes for a better option than McCoy at this point.