Arizona Cardinals must minimize hits on rookie quarterback
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury must take extra measures to ensure that quarterback Kyler Murray remains healthy
The Arizona Cardinals have quite a dilemma on their hands. Sure, having a dual-threat quarterback like Kyler Murray can be a wonderful thing. Preserving the rookie is of the utmost importance, however, so Kliff Kingsbury must be extra careful with the explosive toy that Cards’ management has handed him.
Murray’s running ability was a huge part of his success at the University of Oklahoma. While Arizona’s first-year signal-caller is an incredibly talented passer, the former Sooner can cause havoc on the ground as well. In fact, Murray was a 1000-yard rusher in 2018 and added 12 rushing touchdowns to the impressive passing statistics he also compiled.
While it certainly would be tempting to allow Murray to run wild against the NFL’s defenses, it would be smart for Kingsbury to keep that urge in check. The undersized passer, generously listed at 5’10 and 207 pounds, is not big enough to endure an abundance of punishment at the professional level. Murray must remain healthy for the Cardinals to have any hopes for a postseason appearance in 2019.
What Kingsbury needs to do is limit Murray’s running, not eliminate it. For one thing, designed rushing play calls must be kept to a minimum. The Cards’ coaching staff must also insist that the youngster perfects his slide, a useful tool that takes away a defender’s right to inflict a debilitating hit on him.
In year’s past, Arizona’s front office has supplied the squad with sufficient depth at the quarterback position. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case, now that the mediocre Brett Hundley is Murray’s number-one backup. Losing the starter for any amount of time would severely diminish the team’s already slim playoff aspirations for the upcoming campaign.
There’s no denying that Murray’s legs can be utilized as a lethal weapon. The Cardinals would be silly not to use that aspect of the player’s repertoire to their advantage. Kingsbury’s task is to devise a plan that can maximize Murray’s all-around talent and keep him off of the injured reserve list at the same time.