McNulty move meant to be proactive

Posted by Darren Urban on February 8, 2012 – 3:38 pm

John McNulty was talking with Larry Fitzgerald after interviewing for the Cards’ open spot of quarterbacks coach. Fitz liked working with his receivers coach enough that he flew McNulty to the Pro Bowl this season as a guest, and he wondered (worried?) aloud to McNulty about who would end up coaching Fitzgerald if McNulty moved to work with QBs.

But McNulty had a simple thought: He thought he could help the quarterback spot, and that, in turn, could help the whole offense.

“I said, ‘Larry, we can sit here and complain about it and be frustrated, or I can try to do something about it,’ ” McNulty said. “I coached the position before, I think I can help those guys and I feel I can get them in a position where they can be more productive for our team. As opposed to, ‘I hope the next guy does this’ or ‘I wish we would do that.’ I figured I’d just throw the hat in the ring.”

One thing you definitely get the feeling of, and it’s McNulty’s passion and confidence in his new job. That’s what came across when he interviewed for the spot (and why both Ken Whisenhunt and president Michael Bidwill were so impressed).

“We’re beyond the replacing-of-Kurt-Warner at this stage,” McNulty said. “That’s not what we are talking about. When we are talking about production, you don’t have to win the game on your own, put the team on your shoulders.

“I’ve always taken a ground zero-type approach to teaching even the most base plays and teaching the fundamentals, where the mental and physical kind of mesh to the point to where, when it is all flying at you full speed, your body, your footwork, your training takes over, and you are able to operate with an efficiency to where the play is designed to operate. Anything after that, there’s enough going on in the game that anything can happen, good and bad. But you have to be on point with what you are supposed to do. That comes with repetitions.”

McNulty would love to get Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Rich Bartel working on those reps now, although the new collective bargaining agreement prohibits work with coaches for a while. Whenever it is, however, McNulty wants his players going over footwork, mentally picturing plays and blitzes and the like, and having the quarterbacks do it over and over. And over, and over again.

“The nature of the business, if you are not productive, you won’t play,” McNulty said. “We have talented guys that have shown they can play and win games. It’s a matter of doing it more consistently.”

There is a familiarity with the quarterbacks that will help with the process. McNulty has seen Kolb and Skelton each from the first days they arrived in Arizona and has been able to observe what their strengths are and what needs improvement. Those are specifics with which to start, although, McNulty said, “there is no preconceived notion of who is going to be ‘The Guy.’ Just more of a knowledge base.”

As for Fitzgerald’s new boss, Fitz kept it simple in a text message when asked about what he thought of Reich coming aboard: “Congrats, and welcome to the family.”

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40 Responses to “McNulty move meant to be proactive”

  1. By Corgon on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply

    “Hello guys my name is John. Maybe you know me, I’am the guy, who worked with the WRs for several years.
    -Hello John!
    – Ok, let’s start it. First lesson: say 10 000 times, I’ll throw the ball to Larry. You’re thi first Kevin!….No-no, don’t start to run arond the desk, just say it. And please don’t drop the pencil down again. Weeeeeell, we’ll working on it. You’re next John!
    – I’ll throw the ball to Larry’s direction. I’ll throw the ball to Larry’s direction…..
    – No, no, no…not Larry’s direction, to. To Larry. OK, we’ll working on it. Rich! Your turn!
    – I’ll throw….I’ll…sorry coach i’dont think so
    – Neither do I,but who knows…keep practicing!
    – OK guys, see tomorrow
    – Khmm…Sorry
    – Yes?
    – Hello, my name is Peyton. I’m new here, but I’ll throw the ball to Larry.
    – Sounds good. Come again!
    – My name is Peyton and I’ll throw the ball to Larry. Funny but i have these prints in my pocket…in this play he was wide open, Here, here, here, as well. On this one other i’d take one step forward and then wide open Larry, this is a nasty one, but Larry is there with two guy on his neck, but i have a crazy hunch that he can make it, and on this play….
    – Ok, ok. That’s enough for today. See tomor…..wait a minute…..we hav only 3 seats. The first 3 who can take a seat will be here tomorrow. On 3. 1,2,3!….no-no-no Kevin. I told you before, don’t run around the desk, just sit down. Now look what have you done! We’re out of chairs!”

  2. By cards62 on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply

    John McNulty seems to be in demand so I am happy he will be coaching our QBs next year,

    I also like bringing in Colts WR coach, Frank Reich,
    Peyton oh Peyton there is a familar face in the building,
    plus Colts seem to do a nice job with young receivers.

    Whats up with the Steelers hiring our boy Haley? Are they trying to be the Cardinals of the East? I honestly wish we could have brought Todd back as our OC, but I wish him the best as he is returning home to where is father was in player personnel I believe for the Steelers during their true glory years.

    Go Cards and Rod Graves you are on the clock

  3. By Eazy E on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply

    He seems like he is a good coach. It doesn’t matter though if Kolb is his QB, what is his strenghts? He hasn’t proved that he can win games? He lost 6 in a row! He doesn’t have a big arm, inconsistent accuracy, figgity in the pocket, above average running ability is really his only plus. No leadership in my opinion either. Now, Peyton is someone he would love working with. Peyton is who we should go after PERIOD!

  4. By WildCard on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply

    tic tok cards on the clock time to make those moves to get peyton to our block

  5. By Superfuzz on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply

    hahaha Corgon..

  6. By EX on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply

    Awesome hire! = Leverage for Payton to come here

  7. By Chuck 1 on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply

    For those fans who write that NO offensive line e.g. the Patriots and Giants can protect ANY QB from getting sacked, hit, hurried etc., you are certainly correct.

    HOWEVER, some Offensive Lines allow that more than others. The Cards’ OL has proven that that it doesn’t protect Kolb, Skelton and Bartell as well as other OLs protect their QBs.

    Hence, signing Free Agent OLinemen and/or drafting ready-to-play OLinemen is a top priority. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter if Peyton Manning, Kolb, Skelton or Bartell is the QB, they are NOT going to be upright or effective.

  8. By Chuck 1 on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply

    Even if Peyton is available, he would cost too much. Don’t sign him.

    Spend the money on other players e.g. Campbell, OL Free Agents and a top notch #2 WR.

    Give the ball to Kolb for four games (if he isn’t injured before then) and if he doesn’t cut it, play Skelton.

  9. By Mal on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply


    very funny, really clever!

  10. By maham on Feb 8, 2012 | Reply

    Peyton will be knocking our door down the day he is released. Graves will just have to entertain his agent for a while but eventually he will be here. This team is sick as is – just add a 1st round line man and another veteran and we’re set. Peyton will make Doucet look like Boldin and Roberts look like Breaston…..Oh and he would make Warner look over-rated. Hopefully Skelton will stick around and learn a thing or two.

  11. By John the Draft Guy on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    For those wanting big name FA’s (see Darren’s article on the cap)

    The cards will have roughly 4-5 million after they cut Brown, Sign Campbell, sign rookies, and sign RFAs.

    Now cutting Heap can save a couple million, Cutting Bradley would save 2.5 million ( 4 of his 6.5 million would count) and others can restructured. With the Manning signing and cutting Kolb, that would only save 2.5 million.

    Of course, this is before we sign our own FAs like Marshall (4-5 million).

    So where do we get the cap space to sign a big time #2 wr or Grubbs and/or Nicks at guard or Bell at LT???

    The Manning deal will be incentive driven. ( if it even happens). Other than that, don’t expect a big signing. I would keep Heap,. I would cut Bradley only out of necessity, and Kolb is kept unless Manning is brought in.

    The rest of the team will be brought to you by the draft. Get to know the name Mike Adams. I’ll go out on a limb early and say he is our first round pick.

  12. By cardsalltheway on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    Kurt Warner(comments) is becoming an embarrassment and I even attended the same university as him. If he were on the up and up and spoke about what he knew about(Ken W.’s weaknesses) I might appreciate it. Making stupid statements about Eli and his lack of qualifications currently make me cringe. Get a life Kurt, Eli has more Super Bowl wins than YOU!

    The recent QB coach hire ain’t gonna do much because Ken W. still calls offensive plays, tends NOT to select offensive lineman in the draft, and doesn’t publicly support his QB’s due to wish-washy comments on the matter.

  13. By D on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    If the Cards get lucky in the draft and get a starting Left tackle, do you think L. Brown at a reduced rate would come back and play Right tackle?
    (7-9mil per year)

  14. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Levi

    As I have said before, I do think there is a chance Levi returns. Playing what side I am not sure. It may depend on whomever else the team acquires.

  15. By Peter on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    I say we cut Kolb. From the outside looking in:
    -he doesn’t win games that aren’t handed to him
    -has no ability to orchestrate a drive to any degree
    -there is no faith in the O line to last for a couple seconds on a quick throw
    -Skelton has taken way more hits and he still stands behind that O line like he has another 5 seconds to throw
    -Kolb takes off receivers and doesn’t really have his eyes down the field
    -doesn’t really get past his third reads
    -doesn’t really take risks or even take off when everyone is covered (but Skelton does)
    -Skelton may not be the leader everyone is dreaming to play with, but he’s like the younger brother of the Cardinals everyone wants to protect and make sure he succeeds
    -Kolb’s relies on his receivers to make the play
    -never has both feet under him
    -makes poor adjustments at the line of scrimmage against the blitz
    -poor play recognition
    -forces throws
    -only worries about pass conversions and never really settles in
    -Skelton has taken more collective hits
    -Has a complete lack of clutch
    -bungled his attempts to be a QB and can’t run a simple 2 minutes offence
    -If anyone has not been worth their pay day this March, it’s Kolb

    I guess this is purely my opinion but I feel like no one gives the coaches props for trying to accommodate Kolb. In any given set, there are throws that every QB can make. He needs to be able to throw a slant to Larry Fitzgerald at the very least. I understand the Cards could get more out of their screen game but, to me, they were never a screen team. Really excited to see Ryan Williams play next season though. With a man like Peyton having the potential to come to Arizona, I think the Kolb project should be over. Skelton has a cannon for an arm and, if he can learn to aim it, he could have the potential for a HOF career. But what do I know? I only watch the game.

  16. By cardsalltheway on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    “Fitz liked working with his receivers coach enough that he flew McNulty to the Pro Bowl this season as a guest, and…”

    So, if Fitz liked working with McNulty so much then why did R. Grimm throw over-the-head tosses to Fitz? I hope our new WR coach can do what R. Grimm has been doing because I’d rather our OL coach work with our far less than stellar O Linemen than with the WR’s.

    Was throwing over-the-head tosses to L. Fitz part of the job skill-set requirements for the new WR coaching position? If not, that is really SAD! Does R. Grimm spend time(do his thing) with L. Fitz before games on Sundays? If so, that is really bad for the Offensive Linemen since it sounds like a misappropriation of time.

  17. By Sir60 on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    A strong aggressive O-line with a mean streak and attitude is all we need. Guys like Dierdorf and Dobler. We don’t need an elite quarter back, just one that protects the ball, like Alex Smith or Joe Flacco. Show Skelton how to throw the ball out of bounds. A punt beats the hell out of a sack, fumble or interception. The key to a winning season is O-line, D-line. Draft Martin or Decastro or Rieff.

  18. By kevin on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    Thank GOD the coaches dont read comments unless they need a laugh. Can see the true fans over the rest. The ones saying cut Kolb not fans of the Cards.
    For those thinking we will cut Kolb for Peyton come on get for real. Peyton will not be heading here. Kolb is our QB when he starts winning looking forward to seeing the comments.

  19. By TUCSTEVE on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    people should stop with the hole peyton manning coming here comments. he hasnt even been released yet. its getting old fast

  20. By cards62 on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy

    The two college teams I follow closely are Ohio State and Tennessee.
    I hope there are great OT when we draft in the first round. Mike Adams
    is risky at # 13.
    He did not do much his first two years of college and was not even a starter.
    Junior season was great and he made all Big Ten.
    Senior season he was suspended for first 5 games for selling college awards and gear. He took his punishment like a man and played well when he returned, but
    not great or dominant. He was highly recruited out of high school and I think
    you will see him test well at the combine. He knows how to play the game, but I do not know if he has the heart for the NFL. I am not saying he does not I am just saying he is a coin flip to me. I was hoping we could get him with a mid round pick, before the senior bowl, but I know he created a lot of positive buzz and is now projected to be a first rounder. Mike Adams definitely has size and skill I just do not know if he has the passion and the work ethic to be successful in the NFL.
    Do any Cardinal fans follow the Stanford Cardinals closely to tell us about their 2 offensive linemen?

    Go Cards and Rod Graves you are on the clock.

  21. By BIG RED on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    A standing ovation for Peter. As for Kevin you might be right about Peyton. But like all morons let’s really get rid of Kolb. I guess we all have different opinions, that’s why we’re all morons. Go! Cardinals it’s all just having fun. At the end we all stick together. We do this together!!!!!

  22. By D on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    Would be nice to get Campbell sign before March 13 so they would have a little more $ to work with, or else:
    per football outsiders-

    Defensive Ends
    Projected Franchise Tender: $10.595M – $11.002M

    of course they could place it, then try before training camp to get a long term done, but most of the good UFA would be signed by then…

  23. By Soares20 on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    @ Kevin

    Could not agree more with you. I am so excited next year to see all of the people who wanted Kolb to be cut or thought he was the worst QB on our roster. To turn around and praise him for all he is going to do for us next year. I am glad there is still some slivers of praise and hope for Kevin Kolb amongst the fans because next year he is going to show everyone why we gave up a pick for him.

  24. By maham on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply


    Don’t you understand Kolb was not the QB the staff wanted, he was the only one available that would guarantee Fitz would sign a new contract. He was traded for to renew Fitz not because he is a franchise QB. If this Peyton situation had happened a year ago do you really think the Cards would pass on Peyton for Kolb – give me a break.

  25. By John the Draft Guy on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply


    I’ve always said we need to trade down and get a second round pick. I never thought of taking Adams at 13. Landing Adams in the 20’s would be huge.

    I see Adams as a guy with great size, strength, and very good feet.
    Martin is more finesse. Athletic and a good pass blocker. I just like Adams overall game. I think all the questions regarding Adams will be taken care of in interviews. As for Decastro, I would never take a guard in the first 15 picks.

    Knowing our cap #’s, and our needs, we could really use a 2nd round pick. Trading out of 13, picking up another pick and landing Adams would be ideal. Now you can come back in rounds 2-3 and land a wr, another Olineman, or inside LB.

  26. By John the Draft Guy on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply


    Couldn’t agree more. That is why I agreed with the trade. Keeping Fitz was worth it.

  27. By D on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    easier said than done John the draft guy…you have to find a partner who really wants a player to move up to 13, I don’t see the teams with more than one pick wanting to do that…yes, I would love to get a 2nd round pick, but it could be difficult to accomplish..

  28. By earl on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    I would rather have even a 85% to 90% Peyton Manning than Kolb any day, just Peytons knowledge of the game is like having a coach on the field, so let me tell you what will happen, all this talk and new signings are not for nothing he will get a good incentive based contract and we take the chance of winning now just like we did with warner, but we cannot stop there Peyton will have a Fitz but he will need some familiarity early on with WR, so we will bring in Pierre Garcon to be the number 2 and we are set.

    see you in the playoffs every year for at least 3 to 4 years. and perhaps a few Superbowl appearances ???????????????What do you think , I already made the changes on Madden12 ,looks sweet!!! lololo, yeah I know “get a life”

  29. By John the Draft Guy on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply


    Here is an example. The Pats have struggled to find a passrusher. Let’s say they have rated Melvin Ingram high. They get a chance to move their 27th pick and 49th to move up and get him with our 13th.
    The Pats still have the 31st plus another 2nd, so the price is not too costly and they land a player their defense (ranked 31st) needs.

    The cards are thrilled and land Mike Adams(LT) with the 27th pick and come back in the 49th with a guard or Wr, or Inside or Outside LB.

    OK, Before you say the Pats never move up, understand that their current model of trading down has netted them no deep threats at wr and the 31st defense. ( Still, when you have a guy like Brady, you go to Superbowls in spite of all that)

  30. By John the Draft Guy on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    Funny guys,
    Just saw Chad Reuter’s mock draft on
    He has the Cards taking Mike Adams at 13.
    Again, I think we could trade down, but still, interesting.

  31. By Kiven Klob on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    I’m Kiven Klob and I aprove this comments (Jhon the draft guy and Maham)

  32. By Daniel on Feb 10, 2012 | Reply


    if you should make a proposal about what cards are going to do this offseason with signings what would it be? from your point of view

  33. By johnnybluenose on Feb 11, 2012 | Reply

    with frank reich coming here as wr coach you have to wonder if manning will soon be on the way too. i hope not. i would rather graves state right now that we have no interest in manning. i think that would give kolb and skelton a lot of confidence going into pre-season.

  34. By kkfan on Feb 11, 2012 | Reply

    Those who are relying on Peyton to come here ,are like those looking for gold in a copper mine. .

    As for Kolb ,I’m with Kevin and Soares20. I too, want to see what those who think he is bust have to say when they are trying to take their big foot out of their mouths. My guess is, many of them will say “they always knew he would turn out to be a solid QB.” Or will have changed their id’s just so no one remembers they were part of the Kolb trashing brigade!

  35. By Joseph on Feb 11, 2012 | Reply

    I can’t help but think of a player for the New England Patriots that returned to the team in 2011. He was asked why he had returned. The annoucer was told that there was a certain consistency with New England that was sorely lacking in many of the other teams. I believe that we need to have a heightened
    level of consistency here with the Cardinals. For many years different coaches with different temperments took the helm, there have been armies of players that seemed to be lack luster here but sparkled on other teams once they left the Cards. For a long time the opinion was that it was the older Bidwell’s fault. Now with the son in charge that is no longer true (if it ever was). We finally went to the Super Bowl although we didn’t win it, we were there! Every year we seem to be on the verge of turning everything around and then at the last second we are asking ourselves–what happened? Kolb may or not be the answer, but if you see the expression on his face it’s that of frustration and disappointment. Bottom line is for anyone on the team, on both sides of the ball–if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. Is the cost of Peyton worth the effort?
    That’s for the coach and the upper eschelon to work out. Either way I hope that 2012 is where we start to become more consistant in forming positive avenues and finally turn this team around once and for all. My goal is simple: Beat Dallas and the 49’ers each and every time and to force every one of those “professional” sports announcers to eat crow by giving the Cardinals the pat on the back that they richly deserve and that lesser teams have so wrongly recieved by these announcer’s.

  36. By Cactus jeff on Feb 11, 2012 | Reply

    Can you say DeSeanJackson! I think Skelton could look like Eli if he had Fitzgerald, DeSean and Housler…..c’mon cards go get him!

  37. By cards62 on Feb 12, 2012 | Reply

    John the Draft Guy

    Thank you for your reply. I

    f a stud tackle is not available at 13 I agree with you that we trade down. I like Mike Adams but not at # 13. You are the first person I have talked with that liked Adams over Martin or even Decastro.

    If your trade down works and you could have Adams or Decastro in the 20s who are you taking?

    Go Cards and Rod Graves you are on the clock.

  38. By John the Draft Guy on Feb 13, 2012 | Reply


    All players are so hard to rate unless you have coaches film, especially guards and centers..
    Tackles, although assignments can change, are easier to notice by those watching the games..
    Therefore, all I can do is read about Decastro as a dominant guard even though I watched a few Stanford games, but I’ve seen Adams dominate, especially against the talent at the senior bowl.

    Next, I think tackle is a bigger need. probowl guards like Nicks(5th round) and Evans (4th) were taken later.

    But overall, landing a guy who can step in on day one and play LT is my pick.
    When I saw the film from the senior bowl practices, Adams dominated guys like Ingram. Some scouts think he is plodding and not as quick footed. I think the combine will be interesting.
    By the way, I like Florida States Sanders also. The senior bowl had him at right tackle, I think he could be a LT.

    But to answer your question, I think Decastro most likely is the better player, but because of position, I just would take a potential LT over a guard in the first. As for Martin, he may be better also, but the thought of trading down and still landing a good LT is more appealing to me.

  39. By cards62 on Feb 15, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks John.

    I am taking Decastro over Adams in round 1 if both are available. You have to hit your first round draft choices and Decastro will be a much safer pick. Adams has talent that is for sure but for me too much risk. I still remember Levi Brown over Adrian Peterson too well. Our free agency moves could change my mind.

    Go Cards and Rod Graves you are on the clock.

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