Top 3 reasons the Arizona Cardinals should not start Colt McCoy in Week 1

There are a multitude of reasons Colt McCoy shouldn’t start for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023, but a few jump out more than the others.
Jul 27, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) throws during
Jul 27, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) throws during / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals are in a not-so desirable situation, with Colt McCoy slated to be the Week 1 starter at the moment unless Clayton Tune can wrestle the job from him. And at the moment, Tune seems to be putting up quite the battle, so the job isn’t entirely McCoy’s.

While Tune needs to earn the job if he wants to be the Week 1 starter, there are more than a few reasons head coach Jonathan Gannon shouldn’t rely on McCoy at all to be the Week 1 starter. McCoy has always had physical limitations hindering his overall effectiveness, and he also hasn’t strung together many wins, but those aren’t the biggest reasons why he should ride the bench. 

Why the Arizona Cardinals need to turn to someone other than McCoy

1 - Age

Colt McCoy is in his 14th season and he will be 37 on September 5th, meaning he has no future in this league as a viable long-term starter. Should quarterback Kyler Murray experience a setback in the latter stages of his rehab, Arizona would be better off opting for a younger talent who could be part of the team’s future. 

The Cardinals are also a young football team this season, so it makes even more sense to roll with the fifth round pick in Clayton Tune. Tune can be the long-term solution as a backup, or even more if Murray continues to struggle when he returns in 2023.

2 - Health Concerns

It’s important to remember that like Murray, McCoy had surgery of his own over the offseason, which occurred on his elbow. This has been one reason the aging quarterback had a “maintenance day” last week, and that could likely continue, depending on how the elbow is feeling. 

It also raises the question, “How long will the elbow hold if Murray starts the season on the PUP?” Overall, it’s wiser to start a quarterback who doesn’t carry such uncertainties, and McCoy isn’t that guy. 

3 - Inconsistencies

One reason McCoy has lasted so long in the NFL is because he is your prototypical backup quarterback who has proven himself capable of spot starting, but does little else. McCoy has always been a smart, savvy player who strings together solid performances occasionally, as he’s even shown in the desert. 

But McCoy has never once in his 14-year career put together solid starts consistently, just like most backup quarterbacks. We saw this occur last season when he had a remarkable outing against the Los Angeles Rams, only to look spotty at best in subsequent starts. And at age 37, these inconsistencies will show now more than ever.


Source: Cardinals QB Colt McCoy Isn't Assuming Starting Job is Won by Donnie Druin, SI