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Rapid Reactions: Kyler Murray’s preseason debut for Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks to throw against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray made his preseason debut on Thursday.

He was sharp, completing six of his seven passing attempts for 44 yards in his one and only drive.

See what 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s hosts, reporters and more thought of their first look at Murray playing in a Cardinals uniform.

Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo

Accurate. Composed. Mobile when he needed to be. Smart about taking a sack when he needed to. Murray was as advertised on Thursday night.

It takes your eyes a moment to adjust to a QB operating out of the shotgun from his own two-yard line. That will take some getting used to. He threw a nice ball on run to KeeSean Johnson though it was called back for illegal touching.

In short, he looked like he belonged. The offense didn’t move with much pace; at one point the play clock nearly hit zero. Likely a part of the “vanilla” preseason.

Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta

It seems like it’s taken forever to get to this point, but we finally got to see Kyler Murray at the controls of the Arizona Cardinals’ offense.

It wasn’t Earth-shattering, but it’s also hard not to walk away impressed. Murray has shown tremendous poise, confidence and comfort in his first training camp and all that was on display Thursday night. He finished 6-of-7, and even that incompletion was caught, but wiped out by a penalty. The rookie spread his six completions out to four different receivers and showed touch and variety in his throws.

We were told the offense in this opener was going to be vanilla, and it was, but Murray’s first impression was a strong one.

Luke Lapinski, host of The Rundown, reporter

It’s one drive in a meaningless preseason game in early August. In the big picture of Kyler Murray’s career and the Arizona Cardinals’ direction as an organization, it means nothing. I get that. But it’s undeniable that there was a buzz in State Farm Stadium prior to kickoff tonight – the type of energy you don’t typically get for the preseason, and that we weren’t even getting for the regular season by the end of 2018.

Murray did his part in that one drive too, completing six of his seven passes while flashing some speed. And he would’ve been 7-for-7 if KeeSean Johnson hadn’t taken a penalty for stepping out of bounds before catching the last throw.

It’s inevitable that people are going to overreact to this. Probably moreso nationally than locally, where Cardinals fans seem to be taking more of a cautiously optimistic approach this year. And that’s understandable, given how last season went. Tonight was a minuscule step in the Kyler Murray Era. But it was the first one, and it was a good one.

Jordan Byrd, host of Arizona Sports Saturday, producer of Burns & Gambo

The Cardinals and Kyler Murray showed more than I thought they were going to Thursday night. For Murray, we saw it all. Accuracy on his throws, mobility scrambling from pressure and even an RPO screen pass to Larry Fitzgerald.

It’s hard not to get excited about what he showed against the Chargers. Unfortunately, something else was noticeable last night. It’s only one game but the offensive line has some growing up to do. D.J. Humphries got easily beaten on the 3rd-and-9 play that ended in Kyler getting sacked.

Murray flashed the brilliance we have all been promised. I just hope the Cardinals have a front five that can protect him.

Kevin Zimmerman, editor and reporter for ArizonaSports.com

The balls were accurate and the receivers were wide open. Everything operated smoothly. If anything, the first series of the Kyler Murray era looked like business as usual for the quarterback, who has looked mighty comfy all training camp. The preseason opener also provided a glimpse that the basics of Kliff Kingsbury’s offense might work, at least until opposing defensive coordinators get a better feel for what he’s trying to accomplish.

But it was all good things regarding Murray. His wheels showed on a near-sack and pass completion that was called back after rookie receiver KeeSean Johnson stepped out of bounds before making the catch. And Murray even ran an RPO keeper with a second option to head upfield or dump it on the move to Larry Fitzgerald on a screen. He’s got the basics down and didn’t show any signs of jitters.

If only Arizona’s defensive performance could have been as promising.

Kellan Olson, editor and reporter for ArizonaSports.com

It was pretty good!

He was set up for success with the playcalling and how much time he got in the pocket but he deserves credit for taking advantage of it with sharp, precise throws.

The biggest moment for Murray is when things didn’t go according to plan and he had to escape the pocket to make a throw. If not for KeeSean Johnson stepping out of bounds, that would have been his defining completion of the night.

I still want to see him run in the open field to get a real feel for that big-play potential with his legs on an NFL field, but for now, I patiently continue waiting.

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