Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is headed into a crucial season. After giving quarterback Kyler Murray a new five-year, $230.5 million deal, with $160 million guaranteed, and extending Kingsbury through 2027, the belief is the pressure falls on both Kingsbury and Murray to get the Cards over the proverbial hump and at least win a playoff game.
In order for that to happen, the play-caller and quarterback have to be on the same page.
According to reports, during a recent practice, Kingsbury became a bit perturbed with Murray shaking his head at some of the play calls. Kingsbury then proceeded to show his star signal-caller that calling plays isn’t as easy as it may look at times, by turning those duties over to Murray during backups and scout team reps.
Here’s what Kingsbury told John Weinfuss of ESPN about the move.
“I just wanted him to know, hey, this sh** ain’t easy. Every now and then, he starts shaking his head when I’m calling it in there, I’m like, all right big dog.”
“Anytime we can keep him involved. He was coaching them up right until the last second, like while they were trying to throw he was saying stuff to them, so probably won’t be doing that again.”
Laughingly, Kingsbury finished his statement like this:
“I would not want to play for Kyler Murray if I was a quarterback and he was the coach.”
Kingsbury said Murray shaking his head is something the diminutive dynamo did quite a bit during games last season. So it’s not like Kingsbury isn’t familiar with Murray’s temperament, but maybe he’s trying to nip it in the bud prior to this season.
Kliff Kingsbury had Kyler Murray call plays to backup quarterbacks in practice. "I just wanted him to know that, hey, this shit ain't easy," Kingsbury said. https://t.co/mEel3rLEN8
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 4, 2022
Murray’s Work Ethic Was Recently Called Into Question
Initially Murray’s historic deal, which is the largest in franchise history, had a study clause that required Murray to do four hours of solo film study per week. To put that in there says the team didn’t believe he was studying his craft on his own. After backlash from various media pundits and Murray defending himself against the allegations, the clause was removed, but the perception of Murray had changed. That’s when his former head coach at Oklahoma, Lincoln Riley stepped in.
During a press conference, the new USC Trojans head coach spoke with Greg Beecham of The Associated Press.
“I really think as concerned when I had him at OU that he was gonna burn himself out. I don’t know why the clause was in there, but having him for three years, I never worried. His work ethic is one thing I’ll never question.”
Murray And Kingsbury Need To Finish Strong
In Kingsbury’s first three seasons Arizona has started great only to plummet in the second half. The have a 5-17 record in their last 22 games over those three seasons. That mean both Kingsbury and Murray must be better late in the season. This offseason they both received security from the team, so now the ball is in their court.