You shouldn’t ask yourself “Why?” when it comes to Mike McCoy and the Oakland Raiders. You should really ask “Why not?”.
The ex-Broncos offensive coordinator was discarded by Denver on Monday in a move that wreaked more of desperation rather than sound reason.
“I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out because this is a special organization and a great place to be,” McCoy said in a statement. “I want to thank Vance for the opportunity he gave me and the entire organization from Mr. B (Pat Bowlen) all the way on down. I appreciate the hard work of our players and was proud to work with them along with the rest of our coaching staff. My family and I loved it here, and I’m very thankful for my time with the Denver Broncos.”
Adding the veteran coach to the Silver & Black offense would do more good than harm. Much like John Pagano’s addition this past offseason, the addition of McCoy provides a good sounding board for relative novice play caller Todd Downing.
Oh, and let’s not forget the somewhat insidious potential of McCoy sliding right into play-call duties if things go terribly south — much like rabid Raider Nation has a bloodlust for when it comes to defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. A large sect of fans would be tickled to see Pagano usurp Norton.
But, I digress.
The conjecture on exactly why Denver sent McCoy packing is juicy.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had this to say:
“Mostly, the dissatisfaction comes from the offensive playbook being unwieldy. Elway has always believed in execution over everything — simple and fast — rather than focusing on trying to out-scheme the opponent,” Rapoport wrote on NFL.com. “The belief is the offense has contained too much this year. At times, the playbook has featured more plays than even when Peyton Manning was under center in Denver, except this version of the Broncos has inexperienced QBs.”
McCoy was pinpointed as patient zero by Broncos head coach Vance Joseph for Denver’s floundering offense. The Broncos ranked 24th in the league in scoring at 18.3 points per game and ranked near the bottom in turnovers (23 total; ranked 31st), QB rating (72.3, 30th), sacks allowed (31, 25th).
“Am I satisfied with the play calling? I’ve said this after every loss, we have to coach better,” Joseph said. “When you lose football games in this league, you have to coach better and you have to play better. It’s a league that’s really built and operated to have equal parts, so the difference sometimes is the coaching and the difference is the scheme and play calling. When you don’t win, absolutely you have to coach better and that starts with me. I understand that because in this league coaching is very important and the better coached teams win. I’ll leave it at that.”
So Joseph dropping the axe on McCoy was not surprising.
What else isn’t shocking?
Those statistics due to John Elway’s less-than-stellar ability to build a roster. Denver’s quarterback room is a head scratcher as Trevor Siemian and former reject Brock Osweiler have been under center and former first-round pick Paxton Lynch may get a shot shortly.
But to be frank: Elway might as well have given McCoy his pink slip outright as soon as he inked ex-Raider Menelik Watson to man the right tackle position.
Granted, Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie isn’t a paragon for personnel moves, but he built a formidable crew on offense, starting with a domineering offensive line. McCoy would have a Mike Tice-taught brute-force O-line along with quarterback Derek Carr.
Those two items are enticing for any offensive mind looking for a gig this coming offseason. When given a quality roster to work with, McCoy can orchestrate a quality offense.
McCoy wouldn’t be working with an inexperience signal caller in Oakland. He’d have a franchise gunslinger to tutor. One that is in desperate need of additional guidance.