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Mystery around ‘new’ Cardinals permeates NFL Combine in Indy

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS – “What are they doing?”

That’s not a direct quote attributed to any particular person, but suffice it to say, it was a common reaction nationally when the Arizona Cardinals named Kliff Kingsbury as their new head coach in January.

There is some merit in the question.

Kingsbury had just been fired after a tenure as head coach at his alma mater, Texas Tech, that ended with a 35-40 record.

It’s just not common to see a fired college coach make the elevation to the NFL the very next season.

But now, as the Cardinals (and 31 other teams) descend on Indianapolis for this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, the question has shifted to “what are they going to do?”

Nobody has a real feel on how Kingsbury’s version of the Air Raid offense will translate to the NFL and right now, and the new head coach is digging that.

“Yeah, I think it’s fun,” Kingsbury said on Bickley & Marotta Wednesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “I think it adds to the motivation.”

Another layer of mystery is the Kyler Murray question? Kingsbury “loves” the Oklahoma Heisman winner and went over-the-top effusive in his praise before Texas Tech faced him and the Sooners last October. Of course, that means the Cardinals are going to draft him and turn away from last year’s top pick, Josh Rosen, after one year, right?

Well, no. But the Cardinals are playing coy with those possibilities.

General manager Steve Keim made headlines Wednesday when he was asked if Rosen is his starting quarterback.

“Is Josh Rosen our quarterback?” Keim reiterated. “Yeah, he is right now, for sure.”

There’s nothing untrue about what Keim said. Who, other than Rosen, is equipped to start?

But it’s the “right now” part that everyone is focusing on. Anything can change. I feel that the Cardinals would be hasty at best to draft another quarterback and turn on Rosen, but they shouldn’t tell anyone definitively that they’re not going to do that.

It’s lying season in the NFL, and the Cardinals are playing the game right now — and they’re playing it well.

After the disastrous 2018 season we all just endured, anything they do well in trying to turn things around is a welcome change.

Bickley & Marotta

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