Arizona Cardinals: Can Kyler win CPOY under Gannon, Petzing?
If there is one certainty in 2023, it's that Kyler Murray is new Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon's guy, no questions asked.
It's been said about a hundred times, but it also needs reiteration: Kyler Murray played about as bad as any full-time starting quarterback could in 2022. His attitude and approach was no better, and he even had a Jeff George type of moment in his shouting match with Kliff Kingsbury during an eventual win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
But then again, and I've theorized this before, maybe Murray was just sick of head coach Kliff Kingsbury's approach. We know Kliff embraced the "Air Raid" offense, yet Murray should have never played in such a system. A dual-threat player, Murray rushed over 100 times in a season just once, and that occurred in 2020.
By contrast, other dual threat quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts regularly rush over 100 times each year. Yet Murray was stuck in an offense he wasn't suited for. Exit Kliff, enter Jonathan Gannon and new offensive coordinator, Drew Petzing.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback could have a comeback season under Gannon, Petzing
The first thing I noticed about Gannon is that instead of trying to force-feed a system Murray doesn't fit into, he's instead taking the high road and centering the offense around his quarterback's skill-set. At least that's how he sounds here in February. This is the same thing John Harbaugh did in Baltimore, and Nick Sirianni did in Philadelphia. So it's safe to say the philosophy works.
Better yet, Gannon hired an offensive coordinator in Drew Petzing who had to deal with simplifying the Cleveland Browns offense to best fit backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett's skill-set. Brissett doesn't have the skills to be a full-time starter, but Petzing helped turn Brissett into a more than serviceable option while incumbent starter DeShaun Watson served an 11-game suspension.
Considering Murray makes it back in time, and owner Michael Bidwill believes the quarterback will return before we think, he could very well be in play for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Finally, he has a head coach who isn't taking the 'My Way or the Highway' approach, and an offensive coordinator who has worked well with quarterbacks.
If Petzing can fulfill Gannon's vision of building around Murray's skill-set, the former number one overall pick is going to be fun to watch when he takes the field again. And hopefully, it occurs sooner than later.
Source: New Cardinals OC Drew Petzing eager to coach Kyler Murray by Josh Weinfuss, ESPN.com.