Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Gannon already looks like the anti-Kliff
By Sion Fawkes
New Arizona Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon spoke during his introductory press conference on Thursday regarding what he’s looking for.
When the Arizona Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury to be the head coach in 2019 and drafted Kyler Murray in April of that year, you just knew this wasn’t going to end well. And I’m not saying this in hindsight, but in foresight. Foresight such as, on the day the Cards brought Kliff on board.
My gut reaction went something like this: Why would you hire an “Air Raid” guy and (presumably) draft a quarterback who averaged just 26.9 passing attempts per game in 2018?
Contrast Murray’s numbers with Patrick Mahomes’, who played under Kliff while at Texas Tech. In 2015, Mahomes averaged 44 attempts for game, and one season later, he averaged 49.25 per. Hence, an “Air Raid” style quarterback who scrambled when he had to, as Mahomes racked up just 845 rushing yards in his 2.5 seasons as the starter.
Arizona Cardinals new coach wants to play to Kyler Murray’s strengths
Last season, Kyler Murray acted out of line on several occasions. But was it more of having a me-first personality, as we all initially thought, or was it more on Kliff? Clearly, Kliff’s “Air Raid” style did not bode well with the dual-threat, vintage, and backyard football type of quarterback that Murray is.
Gannon, however, is going to change that. He saw first-hand of what happens when you tailor an offensive system around a quarterback’s strengths, which was the case regarding Jalen Hurts.
"“I have a very specific vision of how I want to play on offense, and the person that comes in here to run the offense will understand that everything we do will be structured around the quarterback position to maximize his skill set. And we have an elite one. We also have elite players at different positions already on the roster that I’m very excited to work with.” – Jonathan Gannon, via Arizona Sports"
I don’t know about you, but I’m reading the above quote and saying to myself, “About time!” Murray can be an elite quarterback in this league if someone tailors the offense around his strengths, and it was something we didn’t always see with Kliff running the show.
Gannon is also correct in his “elite players” statement. Elite talents don’t get drafted first overall, and Murray happens to hold that distinction. So it’s refreshing to have a coach who is at least saying the right things early on in that the Arizona Cardinals offense will look quite different in 2023 when Murray eventually returns to the field.
Source: Gannon hints at what Cardinals want in offensive, defensive coordinators by Alex Weiner
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