Arizona Cardinals rookie film room: 5 plays that define Kyler Murray
By Avery Duncan
Play 2: Vs. UCLA, 1st quarter, 1:33 remaining, 2nd & 10
What the offense is running: Mesh concept out of the shotgun, which is a key aspect of the Air Raid. Features an out-and-up route for the Z-receiver.
What the defense is running: A man coverage that was highly modified to defend mesh. There is a four-man rush with the weakside defensive end dropping back in coverage to dissuade the pass to the shallow route by Marquise Brown.
What happens: UCLA’s unique defense at first works against the mesh, a concept specifically designed to beat man coverage. The defensive end dropping back does sort of mask Brown’s shallow route. Unfortunately for Chip Kelly’s Bruins, Kyler reads the defense perfectly.
Notice how Kyler focuses on the two inward facing shallow routes right when the play starts. That’s for a reason, they are easy throws and are his first-reads because they get halted by the end of the field. However, he sees the pseudo-zone coverage underneath, which limits the YAC, so he decides to go big.
On the outside, CeeDee Lamb runs a perfect out-and-up route, but it’s well defended. However, Murray has the arm talent to make the throw, which he does, flawlessly. Instead of ripping it, Murray is able to couple a lob pass with excellent velocity, in turn, creating the perfect pass that only Lamb could catch.
- This isn’t the craziest highlight, but it shows one reason why the Cardinals were so high on him; his understanding of the mesh concept, which is a key aspect of Kingsbury’s scheme. He shows that he knows how defenses play it, what read progressions to make and when.
- Great anticipation. Although Lamb wins the route, it’s marginal. However, Murray anticipates where Lamb is going to be and throws it open.
- That’s a tough throw, and Murray makes it look so easy. His timing set up with the velocity shows two things; arm talent, and excellent mechanics. You need both to make throws like that.
- CeeDee Lamb is nuts. He’s seriously such a perfect fit in the Air Raid offense, he runs a beautiful route here and does so on a regular basis. If the Cardinals were to draft him next year I’d be very happy.