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Highs, lows of college play prepared Cardinals’ Kyler Murray for NFL

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray goes through drills during the team’s minicamp on Tuesday, June 11, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/ArizonaSports)

TEMPE — Kyler Murray kept his cards close to the vest following the Arizona Cardinals’ minicamp Tuesday afternoon.

The rookie quarterback did, however, give a short answer when asked what the new-look Cardinals offense will consist of come Week 1.

“Explosive.”

But before Murray and the rest of the Cardinals offense can step onto the field at State Farm Stadium, the rookie still has to go through some growing pains as he picks up the NFL speed of things.

“Playing early my freshman year in college and struggling a little bit, I think that’s prepared me for a little bit of failure,” Murray said when asked if he knew there would be struggles adjusting to the league. “We don’t hope to fail but it’s part of it and when it happens I’ll know how to handle it.

“I approach every game the same, going into win. It takes a lot of hard work throughout practice, the gameplan and how we feel about it. There’s a lot that goes into it. … It’s the best of the best, it’s the NFL, and I know that.”

While mistakes are a given for any rookie player — especially a quarterback — head coach Kliff Kingsbury sees the errors as building blocks to the team’s success.

“A little of both, I like his attitude because he’s going to take chances and this is the time to do it,” Kingsbury said. “See what you can get away with, if you want to go against [Patrick Peterson] a couple times, that’s usually all it takes to learn.

“But he’s aggressive in nature in the way he thinks and attacks when he’s out on the football field and I like that.”

Murray’s freshman year at Texas A&M was one to forget, as he threw for just five touchdowns and recorded seven interceptions. His senior year at Oklahoma was the complete opposite, as Murray’s play showed what he could bring to the table.

Completing 69% of his passes, the QB threw for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns, along with just seven picks, on his way to winning the 2018 Heisman Trophy.

Taking what he’s learned from both sides of the spectrum, Murray believes he has a foundation to build on, regardless of the circumstance.

“I think coming off a pretty good season at Oklahoma, playing good football, knowing what it takes to be good at that level,” Murray said when asked about getting reps right away. “Hopefully bringing that into this season obviously but I think it’s going to take a lot of reps between me and the guys getting on the same page.

“Obviously this is coach Kingsbury’s first year so just find that groove and once we do I think we can be pretty dangerous.”

And although Murray hasn’t seen any live action, the quarterback can already see the meshing of the offensive group around him, saying the unit’s getting better “week by week.”

Just don’t ask for details.

“I don’t want to give any specifics, but everyone’s getting on the same page, working hard each and everyday. And you can tell,” Murray said.

“I think everybody could tell it was kinda iffy at first once everyone was getting in the system and learning the nuances of it, but now it’s been a lot smoother.”

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