Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury will let it fly on offense this weekend when the club hosts the Detroit Lions
All throughout the summer, fans of the Arizona Cardinals were told not to worry. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has promised that the offense that has been on display during the preseason is just a watered-down version. Cards rookie quarterback Kyler Murray joined in, telling anyone that would listen that the plays they’ve been running are about as vanilla as they come.
The time for making excuses will be over on Sunday, when the Cardinals kick off the 2019 campaign against the Detroit Lions. Kingsbury will finally get to unleash the “Air Raid” system that has been both praised and criticized for the past eight months. Arizona’s newest on-field leader will be attempting to run his scheme in the NFL for the first time, and the eyes of the league will be watching to see if it can work.
Kingsbury’s offense will run primarily through Murray. The 22-year old passer can do just as much damage with his legs as he can with his arm. Keeping the 5’10, 206 pound Murray upright for 16 games may be a tall task, however.
The Cards offensive line, which is already full of question marks, will be without the undependable Marcus Gilbert on opening day. The squad’s brittle right tackle managed to hurt his knee during practice on Thursday, three days before his Arizona debut. Left guard Justin Pugh will now have to kick out to right tackle, a position he hasn’t played since 2014.
Running back David Johnson has been told by the Cardinals coaching staff that he’ll be heavily-utilized in the gameplans. Giving the star ball-carrier a ton of touches may cut down on the need for Murray to gain yards on the ground, which could help keep the tiny signal-caller healthy. Johnson also has a superb pair of hands, a trait which should bode well for the 27-year old in what appears to be a pass-happy system.
It looks as if Murray has plenty of viable options to throw to. A wide receiver group that includes Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Michael Crabtree and first-year sensation KeeSean Johnson are just some of the targets. The Cards kept just two tight ends on the final roster, Charles Clay and Maxx Williams, but both are talented pass-catchers.
We are now just one day away. All of the questions that have been asked about the offensive side of the ball will be answered very soon. Then, and only then, will the nation get to see what kind of scoring attack the Cardinals really have.