Arizona Cardinals found a coach who wanted to work with Murray
By Sion Fawkes
It’s been nearly a week since the Arizona Cardinals landed Jonathan Gannon to be their next head coach, and he also wanted to work with QB Kyler Murray.
The Arizona Cardinals landed a new coach in Jonathan Gannon, who spurned a potential pay raise from the Philadelphia Eagles to take the job. This shows us that, despite Gannon’s defense collapsing in the Super Bowl, the Eagles valued the Cards coach enough to try to keep him around.
And after a brutal season in the desert that included character issues surrounding quarterback Kyler Murray, it now seems as though Gannon wouldn’t have been keen to take the job if the former number one overall pick wasn’t there. This is a stark contrast to rumors that circulated during the Cards coaching search that Murray’s presence was keeping them from taking the job.
No, Murray had no say in who should lead the Cardinals. But his attitude issues last season may have raised a certain red flag. This wasn’t the case with Gannon.
New Arizona Cardinals coach wants to work with Kyler Murray
It’s clear that Gannon understands that Murray can be a great quarterback in this league. Has the quarterback acted immaturely in the past? Absolutely. But we also don’t need to define a player’s attitude by what they do at age 25 if they mature later on.
And with a new coach and a new system, Murray can thrive under Gannon. Here’s what the new Arizona Cardinals coach had to say:
"“If Kyler Murray isn’t here, I don’t take this job. I think this offense will look much different. This guy does things that it completely handcuffs you how you play defense – at times. I think we can take him to another level and unleash his full skill set. We’re not gonna put him in gun all the time, I’ll tell you that. We’ll have two significant offenses with his skill set: one being under center and one being in the gun. Then obviously we’re gonna do what’s comfortable with him.” – via Pro Football Talk"
And Gannon’s absolutely correct. We’ve seen more than a few flashes of what Kyler Murray brings to the table. While he’s seen just moderate success in his first four seasons, and was terrible in 2022, it’s also clear that Murray was never in the right offense under former head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Instead, it’s almost like Kingsbury tried to force-feed Murray the offense, and it predictably ended badly. Look for Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing to build an offense to fit Murray, much like we saw during the quarterback’s college days at Oklahoma with Lincoln Riley.
And this means a new life for Murray once he’s cleared to participate. But long before he takes the field, it’s safe to say Murray will already have a firm grasp of the offense.
Source: FMIA: Jonathan Gannon on Philly’s Defensive Breakdown, and More from My Super Bowl Notebook by Peter King
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