ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals expect improving DB Byron Murphy to contribute right away

Aug 1, 2019, 11:34 AM
Arizona's Cardinals' Byron Murphy (33) works out during an NFL football organized team activity, We...
Arizona's Cardinals' Byron Murphy (33) works out during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t answer questions about down-the-road decisions with certainty. Just more than one full week into camp, maybe that’s fair.

He did, however, lend a somewhat strong indication of what the starting defensive backfield will look like when the regular season opens with cornerback Patrick Peterson suspended for the first six games.

Offseason addition Robert Alford, veteran pickup Tramaine Brock and rookie second-round pick Byron Murphy will likely be the first three defensive backs. Which of Brock or Murphy plays at corner and nickel remains to be seen, though Murphy has earned reps in the slot over the past few days of practice.

“You know we’re still working through that but I think some combination of that, whether Byron’s out there or Tramaine’s inside,” Kingsbury said Thursday.

Murphy’s first few days of practice included an accidental run-in while defending Larry Fitzgerald in a non-tackling drill. Kingsbury, who hasn’t been much of a yeller, didn’t lay into the rookie, believing he was already “petrified” of potentially hitting a future Hall of Famer.

“I just had it in my mind. I should have eased up a little earlier, but hey, I’m just trying to make a play,” Murphy said.

Since then, he’s posted an interception, another near-interception in the end zone and a few batted down passes, including one defending Fitzgerald on Wednesday.

The Cardinals have forced Murphy, who played cornerback at Washington, to learn corner, nickel and safety in the spring. They’ve attempted to reel him in with reps at just corner and nickel as he prepares to take live snaps.

Teaching Murphy the entire backend was necessary especially with Peterson’s suspension, Kingsbury said.

“He has a big job for us,” added defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. “The first month and a half of the season, he’s going to have a chance to play and help us win. But he’s a smart kid, he wants to play well for us.

“He’s had his ups and downs in practice — that’s a good thing. Have them now rather than later. He’s fully engaged and wants to be good.”

Murphy is utilizing an invaluable resource of knowledge in Peterson, who he goes to with questions about coverage or footwork.

And Peterson has welcomed adding the role of teacher to his duties as lockdown corner. He believes that once Murphy settles into a position, the rookie will be ready to play on Sept. 8 when Arizona opens the year hosting the Detroit Lions.

“Byron is definitely — he’s coming along, very steady right now,” Peterson said. “They got him playing all over the place so his head’s kind of spinning, he’s not really sold on one position just yet, but I mean, he can play it all. A great, great asset for us being he’s very interchangeable.”

Array

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals' Trey McBride runs drills at the NFL football team's rookie minicamp, Friday, May...
Jake Anderson

Arizona Cardinals ink 2nd-round TE Trey McBride, 2 others to rookie deals

The Arizona Cardinals signed three of their 2022 NFL Draft picks to four-year contracts, the team announced on Tuesday.
18 hours ago
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 26: Jessie Lemonier #52 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a fumble recovery ag...
Wills Rice

Cardinals claim LB Jesse Lemonier off waivers, release DL LaRon Stokes

The Cardinals announced that the team has claimed LB Jesse Lemonier off waivers from the Lions and released DL LaRon Stokes.
18 hours ago
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals donating 200,000 meals to United Food Bank

The Arizona Cardinals and Albertsons/Safeway are partnering to donate 200,000 meals to the United Food Bank.
18 hours ago
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals calls a play during the first half against the ...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner podcast: Is Kliff Kingsbury ready for a gauntlet schedule?

Following last season's epic collapse to end the season, a lot of the focus and criticism shifted toward head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
18 hours ago
An Arizona Cardinals helmet on the grass during Arizona Cardinals training camp on July 30, 2021 at...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals sign 6 players to roster following tryouts at rookie minicamp

The Arizona Cardinals signed and released six players following tryouts at rookie minicamp, the team announced Monday.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals' Keaontay Ingram (30) runs drills at the NFL football team's rookie minicamp, Fri...
Wills Rice

Cardinals RB Keaontay Ingram excited to prove himself on the field

Cardinals RB Keaontay Ingram said he is ready to prove that the running back position is still the engine of the team.
3 days ago
Cardinals expect improving DB Byron Murphy to contribute right away