Clayton Tune has impressed the Arizona Cardinals so far, and the rookie would give more hope to the Redbirds than what you may be led to believe.
The assumption going around is that if someone other than Kyler Murray lines up under center for the Arizona Cardinals, then the team has no chance to win in 2023. For example, John W. Buckley of Revenge of the Birds had this to say about the other Cardinals quarterbacks:
"“I know not everyone is the biggest Kyler fan, but if it’s Colt McCoy or Clayton Tune or whoever starting most of the season, this team is dead in the water. Simple as that.” "- John W. Buckley
Source: What does ‘ahead of schedule’ look like for the 2023 Arizona CardinalsRevengeOfTheBirds.com
I don’t know about you, but the last I checked, Kyler won just three out of 11 games this past season and was awful for most of the year. He’s also proven since 2020 that he has a hard time staying healthy, which makes him even more unreliable to the team’s success. And while I have no doubt that Kyler would fare better in a system better geared around his talents, to claim Clayton Tune would take this team nowhere is premature.
I’ll agree about McCoy, as the 36-year-old has done next to nothing over his 14 seasons in the league and is a better fit to be a player-coach than he is to line up under center this season. That said, if Tune starts, don’t think for a second that he’ll be the 2023 version of DeShone Kizer, who once led the Cleveland Browns to a winless season.
Why the Arizona Cardinals would be okay with Clayton Tune
Now I’m not going to lie: There is a reason Kyler Murray is a former first overall pick, and there is a reason Clayton Tune dropped to the fifth round. But that’s not the point. Last season, Brock Purdy showed us that literally any NFL quarterback could succeed IF the talent around them and the system are up to par.
And while many claim the Cards have no talent, then they’re not looking hard enough at the roster. For one, many players on the offensive line are capable of at least starting in the NFL. And that number can grow if the Cards sign Chase Roullier.
For another, it’s clear that offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, a Kevin Stefanski disciple, favors the run. And while the Cards would do well to add another running back to the mix, someone like James Robinson or Justin Jackson, they do have a legitimate RB1 in James Conner plus an intriguing prospect in Emari Demercado.
Finally, the Cards have a pair of tight ends in Trey McBride and Zach Ertz (assuming he’s ready for Week 1), plus a big target on the outside in Michael Wilson. They may even add to this group if they can get Milton Wright in the supplemental draft.
Overall, as it stands, Clayton Tune’s chances of succeeding in Kyler Murray’s place is better than many want to believe, and it’s premature to make the assumption that the Cards will fall flat if he is under center for an extended time. What’s more, is that with a few more moves, the Arizona Cardinals could have an incredible run-first offense complete with an array of big targets that would only benefit a rookie quarterback.