The Arizona Cardinals are now in the Monti Ossenfort and Jonathan Gannon era, as those two will lead the franchise as GM and head coach. But one thing for certain is both were given firm instructions from team owner Michael Bidwill to build this team around franchise quarterback Kyler Murray.
That means hiring an offensive coordinator that’s going to put a scheme around the diminutive playmaker that fits his unique skill set. Gannon, who was hired after helping lead the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl as its defensive coordinator, used this logic when he hired new offensive coordinator, and how he wants to approach playing offense.
During a presser not too long after his hiring became official, Gannon described his approach for reporters.
“I have a very specific vision of how I want to play on offense, and the person that comes in here to run the offense is going to understand that everything that we do will be structured around the quarterback, the quarterback position, to maximize his skill set. And we have an elite one.”
Gannon then hired Drew Petzing to lead his offense, with Murray at the helm when he returns from his torn ACL suffered during last season.
Cardinals Went All In On Murray With Huge Payday
Despite only one playoff appearance since Murray was taken No. 1 overall in the 2019 NFL draft, the Cardinals made Murray a very rich man last offseason. The team signed their diminutive dynamo to a five-year, $230 million extension, with $160 million guaranteed. The contract came at a time where Murray seemed like he wanted out if they didn’t ante up the new extension, which they did.
The monetary amount of the contract itself went without much fanfare, but it was a weekly study clause that management added to the deal caught the attention of many. And after days of being chastised for that clause, it reportedly was removed from the deal.
Murray then went out and struggled mightily, going 3-8 while passing for career lows in yards and touchdowns prior to his season-ending injury.
Gannon Says Murray’s Rehab On Schedule
While he’s not putting a timetable on Murray’s rehab and return, in the same breath Gannon says his star quarterback is right on schedule. In an interview Thursday afternoon, Gannon talked about where Murray is and how he’s attacking his rehab with vigor.
“He’s been very eager to attack his rehab the way he needs to attack to get back and being him.”
“He’s doing what he needs to do,” Gannon said.
“I’m not going to put a timetable on that right now,” Gannon said. “Whenever Kyler is fully healthy to play, that’s when he’ll play.”
As of now Arizona doesn’t have its starter in Murray or its backup in longtime journeyman Colt McCoy, who’s also out but is expected to be ready to go when the time rolls around. That makes the aforementioned Petzing’s job harder with trying to install a new offense and his top two quarterbacks on the mend.
The Cardinals are probably in a bit of rebuild mode now anyway, so it’s no really no rush for Murray and probably with McCoy as well. Gannon and Ossenfort’s contracts line up with Murray’s, meaning owner Michael Bidwill is looking to let this trio figure out how to get the Cardinals back into respectability.