Arizona Cardinals: Run-first offense may be perfect for Jeff Driskel if Kyler can’t go

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The Arizona Cardinals could end draft weekend with puzzle pieces to create a formidable run-first offense, and that would be great for more than Kyler Murray.

The Arizona Cardinals could, and should, roll with a run-first offense for 2023 and beyond. They have an offensive coordinator in Drew Petzing who basically “grew up” in the offense, dating back to his days with the Minnesota Vikings, and they have not one, but two quarterbacks on the depth chart who can contribute to such a system. 

Kyler Murray is the shoo-in. And while I was high on David Blough when the Redbirds decided to bring him back, Jeff Driskel could be the perfect substitute for Murray if the Cards take the run-first, smashmouth approach. 

One reason is that Driskel can be a dual-threat quarterback, just like Murray, evidenced by his 368 rushing yards in 20 career games (10 starts), and 5.6 yards per carry. Another is that, if such an offense utilizes tight ends more often, someone with Driskel’s limited skill-set could also provide serviceable play. 

Arizona Cardinals backup quarterback would benefit from run-first offense

This approach, with a blueprint on how to get there shown in my latest mock draft, could let a Driskel-led Cardinals team move the ball down the field methodically, using a three-headed rushing attack led by James Conner and a repurposed offensive line. By rotating backs (Conner, plus two rookies), Driskel would also have fresh legs on the field at all times, allowing the Cards to pick up, ideally, between four and five yards per play. 

As you can see, this approach wouldn’t be anything fancy, and it definitely won’t do much for the Arizona Cardinals yards per play statistic (a controversial stat, anyway). But it would be great for a backup quarterback like Jeff Driskel, who is simultaneously capable of running the ball, himself. 

You won’t see many big plays with such a simple offense, but you don’t need big plays to win football games. You only need consistency. 

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(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)