Cardinals’ Kingsbury downplays Kyler Murray draft talk: ‘Josh is our guy’
TEMPE, Ariz. — There is obviously context leading the foremost NFL experts to believe head coach Kliff Kingsbury wants his Arizona Cardinals to draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.
“I’d take him with the first pick in the draft if I could,” the then-Texas Tech head coach said of Murray this past football season.
Call that all the context needed to stake your opinion of the matter into the turf.
But here is the context that Kingsbury made sure to point out Tuesday when asked about the speculation that the Cardinals could select Murray in the 2019 NFL Draft, thus leading to questions about quarterback Josh Rosen’s future in Arizona.
“Our feelings toward Josh haven’t waned or changed or anything,” the first-year Cardinals head coach said of second-year quarterback Josh Rosen.
“I get we have the first pick and there’s going to be a million scenarios over the next three months that are going to come up. No — Josh is our guy. Kyler is a tremendous player. I said that, was being very complementary before playing an opponent. I understand the soundbite.”
Fueling the assumption the Cardinals would draft Murray first overall is the fact that the Heisman winner, who on Monday announced he would pursue an NFL career and forego a pro baseball future, signed with Kingsbury’s agent, Erik Burkhardt.
The reality is Kingsbury looked at the Cardinals’ job opening and must have liked Rosen on film enough to have confidence in taking on the challenge of coaching him.
President Michael Bidwill made sure to mention that Tuesday while joining Doug &Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. He said Kingsbury, before his job interview with Arizona, asked his interviewees to dust off tape of Rosen. Then, Kingsbury dissected Rosen’s game and showed the Cardinals how he could help the franchise signal-caller.
The Cardinals were obviously impressed.
Now it’s a matter if Murray impresses them more.
“There’s always a lot of speculation that turns out to not be true,” Bidwill said. “Moving forward, we’re going to continue to build this team and build around the foundation that we have.”
Regarding Kingsbury’s comments about Murray, maybe the head coach was just buttering up an opponent who wasn’t even thinking about playing in the NFL at that point.
“I know he signed up to play baseball,” Kingsbury said back in October, “but he is a dominant football player and I would take him with the first pick.”
Then again, he did say it twice.