On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers return to Lambeau Field to take on the Arizona Cardinals. Seth Cox of Revenge of the Birds was kind enough to answer some of our questions about the Cardinals. Acme Packing Company will post all of his answers over the course of the week.
APC: The Cardinals fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy midway through the season, replacing him with Byron Leftwich. What has changed schematically since the play-caller switch, and has the move improved the offense in a significant way?
Schematically you are seeing slightly more in terms of running plays utilizing zone blocking schemes and screens for David Johnson. Outside of that, there has not been much simply because of the limitations of the team.
Leftwich was given McCoy’s playbook to work from and quite frankly, that left the NFL a decade ago.
It is why you are seeing such futile work week in and week out from the Cardinals offensively.
It doesn’t help when you have nary a one offensive linemen who would be starting for other teams playing, but still, the imagination that we hoped to see with Leftwich is not there. Much of that can be traced back to the head coach though. Steve Wilks has stated from his hire date that he wanted to be a team that ran the ball and won with defense. Unfortunately for Wilks, that is not a realistic mantra with the talent he has, or the way the NFL is geared in 2018.
So, the Cardinals have struggled from the jump. There have been minor improvements with Leftwich, more max protect, usage of Johnson and Christian Kirk in the screen game, the zone running schemes, but it is so minimal that it doesn’t matter.
We’d like to thank Seth and Revenge of the Birds for his insight. Be sure to check out our other Q&A session over there, as well as their fantastic coverage of all things Cardinals. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Sunday for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Cardinals versus Packers.