Clayton Tune needs to be opening-day starter at QB for the Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals could be making a huge mistake by rolling with Colt McCoy over an exciting rookie passer who's full of potential.
Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Throughout the offseason, the brand-new Arizona Cardinals coaching staff has been paying close attention to the squad's quarterbacks. From all indications, starter Kyler Murray will be sidelined for at least a portion of the upcoming season. The two-time Pro Bowler has not yet recovered from the torn ACL he suffered during the latter stages of the Redbirds' disastrous 2022 campaign.

The top candidates to be the stand-in for Murray are veteran Colt McCoy and rookie Clayton Tune. During the Cards' first two preseason games, one part of the duo has performed much better than the other. While many may have assumed that the experienced McCoy would have the upper hand, the 24-year-old Tune appears to be the much-better option.

Through the first two contests, McCoy has completed 75% (9-12) of his throws for a less-than-impressive 42 yards. For those keeping track, that's a pathetic 3.5 yards-per-attempt for Arizona's 36-year-old journeyman.

Tune, on the other hand, has been much more productive for the Cardinals offense. The 6 foot 3, 220 pounder has made good on 25 of his 47 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown. The one interception that Tune served up occurred when wideout Rondale Moore fell down on a slant route during last week's triumph over the Denver Broncos.

Clayton Tune has been impressive for the Arizona Cardinals with both his arm and his legs

While Tune's passing statistics have certainly been superior to McCoy's, it's the rookie's outstanding mobility that has really opened some eyes. During Saturday night's 38-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Tune's 35 yards on the ground led the Cards. The ability to make plays with his feet is something that the aging McCoy just can't offer the team at this stage of his NFL career.

In addition to what Tune has accomplished on the field, there's something else that the organization should take into consideration when it decides on an opening-day starter. While the Arizona coaching staff refuses to admit it, it's difficult to deny that the franchise is currently in "rebuilding" mode. With that being the case, wouldn't it make a whole lot more sense for "Big Red" to see what they have in a young passer like Tune?

McCoy has admitted that the "retirement" subject has been tossed around in his household. Apparently, the 14th-year pro has told his kids that they can have a dog when daddy hangs up the cleats. That promise could be fulfilled sooner rather than later if Tune continues to outshine McCoy in Arizona's ongoing competition at quarterback.


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