In his last 17 starts, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has gone 5-12 and has spent the 2022 season regressing.
Know why so many Arizona Cardinals fans want to believe there is nothing wrong with the way Kyler Murray’s season has gone? Or why they turn blind eyes and deaf ears to the fourth-year quarterback’s shortcomings? Because regarding young star quarterbacks who have played for the Redbirds since they moved to Phoenix in 1988, who else is there?
And it’s not just the Cardinals faithful. Go to Lake Erie and look at fans of the Cleveland Browns, who looked for every excuse to believe in Baker Mayfield, a mediocre quarterback who took them further than (at least) the last 30 took them combined. Then when they traded for Deshaun Watson, how many of them looked beyond his plethora of serious accusations? More than you think.
Who was the last halfway decent young quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals? It wasn’t Josh Rosen, John Skelton, or Matt Leinart. They were all supposed to be the future. I remember how ecstatic half the fanbase was when the Redbirds went with a 27-year-old Derek Anderson in 2010. Anderson flopped, and a year later, Kevin Kolb took the reins.
For obvious reasons, we’re not talking about Kurt Warner or Carson Palmer, since they were in their respective career twilight modes. But they have been arguably the two best quarterbacks since the Cardinals arrived in the desert since 1988.
So was the last decent young quarterback for the Cardinals? It wasn’t Josh McCown, though he had a couple of memorable moments. Like Murray, McCown was supposed to be the answer, not the career journeyman he became.
Arizona Cardinals faithful wants to see a young quarterback take charge
Let’s talk about Jake Plummer. The fanbase still loves to give Plummer the benefit of the doubt. Yeah, he won you a playoff game…against the Dallas Cowboys of all teams! But in all honesty, the guy was barely a decent quarterback, bottoming out in 1999 when he threw 24 interceptions compared to just nine touchdown passes in 11 starts.
Do you want my honest answer of who the best young quarterback is in the history of the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals? It is Kyler Murray, but when you look at the names listed above, that really isn’t saying much.
That’s why the fanbase wants to look beyond Murray’s flaws that Patrick Peterson exposed this week, but most NFL fans already know about. I talk to fans of multiple teams on a weekly basis, and none of them have a high opinion of Murray. Unless you run into a Redbirds fan.
Earlier today, I was watching a channel that went over the most disappointing player on each team in 2022. Kyler Murray was featured several times in that video. And it just provides further reinforcement of the inconvenient truth is that Murray isn’t the answer. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was wearing another uniform in 2024.
Throughout the last month, I’ve compared Murray to a young Jack Eichel, a former second overall pick for the Buffalo Sabres. He was also a player who many in the Sabres fanbase view in hindsight as a “cancer,” among other terms. In foresight, before his infamous trade to Vegas, many wanted to look past his flaws, ignoring the inevitable reality that he wasn’t the leader the Sabres envisioned.
Neither is Kyler Murray, and it’s something the faithful will realize in time. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a quarterback who will lead the Arizona Cardinals atop a platform the franchise has never stood upon. It just won’t be Kyler Murray, though I can see why many fans want(ed) it to be him, myself included, once upon a time.
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