Last season, many of us in Arizona Cardinals circles heard about everything quarterback Kyler Murray was doing correctly. In 2023, that could be changing.
Let’s go back to October 21st, 2022, the day after the Arizona Cardinals defeated the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. It was the day after Kyler Murray’s infamous shouting match with Kliff Kingsbury, and as I’ve said many times, I had an instant flashback to a Jeff George-June Jones moment over two decades before.
I’d long since had it with Murray. His offseason antics in 2022, his inability to stay fully healthy since 2020 (before his ACL tear), and his tendency to lose during a time of the year when games mattered the most.
Once again, I thought, the Cardinals wasted yet another first round pick on a quarterback in the 21st century, and that Kyler would ultimately go the same way as Matt Leinart and Josh Rosen. Sad, because talent-wise, Kyler was the best of the trio.
Then came the infamous Monday Night Football game against the New England Patriots, when Murray tore his ACL and was done indefinitely. At that moment, I thought to myself, this could be a wakeup call. And per a recent report from ESPN’s Josh Winfuss, Murray may have thought the same.
As much as I like Clayton Tune and the thought that he can start in Week 1, put the team onto his shoulders, and save this franchise, the truth is, he’s not being paid like a franchise quarterback. Kyler Murray is. Murray was also a former number one pick, and he’s been expected to lead the Cardinals to an eventual Lombardi Trophy since the day he was drafted.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback took a different approach this offseason
While Murray has yet to even win a playoff game, it’s not yet game over for the former Oklahoma Sooner. Here is a snippet from the piece that shows just a few of the many things Murray has been doing right this season:
"“Murray still might be weeks or months away from taking the field, but making his presence felt on a daily basis this offseason -- which was a change from past years when he’d spend offseasons working out in Dallas, near where he grew up -- meant “everything” to new coach Jonathan Gannon.”"- Josh Weinfuss
Even if Murray isn’t ready to play in Week 1, and he probably won’t be, it should be reassuring to Cardinals fans everywhere that Murray looks much more the part of being a franchise quarterback than he has at any other time in his career. At least that’s been the case throughout the offseason.
A couple of months back, I wrote about how Murray took the first step of reclaiming, or claiming, really, a leadership role just by attending offseason workouts. This came after he was present in the Cardinals training facility after the team hired Jonathan Gannon to succeed Kliff Kingsbury as the team’s head coach.
Now that Murray has continued spending time around the team, interacting, and paying attention to detail, he’s climbed yet another rung on his way to the top of the Arizona Cardinals leadership hierarchy. The final test, clearly, will be what he looks and acts like on the field.
If Murray’s body language improves and he looks like the leader he needs to be in a game situation, then we can’t count the 25-year-old out just yet. He still has time to turn things around, which would negate the need to draft yet another quarterback, or roll with Tune in 2024 and beyond.
Source: Why Kyler Murray's offseason has earned praise from Cardinals coaches, teammates by Josh Weinfuss, ESPN.com