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Camp K report: Murray unfazed by loss, opportunity awaits CB Murphy

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Some believe the sky’s already falling on the Arizona Cardinals following a poor showing against the Oakland Raiders.

Kyler Murray, however, is not one of those critics.

Poor play for a rookie player is bound to show up in some capacity. It’s how they bounce back that matters most.

But having Murray take those lumps early on in the preseason can also be seen as a blessing in disguise, as the adversity is only going to help him progress as an NFL QB down the line.

It also helps to have the type of demeanor Murray possesses.

“He doesn’t get fazed,” Kingsbury said of his signal caller. “He’s always going to understand who he is and what he’s capable of.

“He knows where we’re at in our offense and the things we’ve got to clean up. So we addressed those things, but as far as his mental makeup, not much bothers him.”

The scores don’t matter right now, but executing at a high level does.

“If we’re running base plays and they cover everything, you do your job, you get through your progressions, you take the proper footwork,” Kingsbury said when asked what he expects from Murray in the team’s third preseason game.

“And if it’s not there we’ll throw it away, but I think just do your job at the highest level, regardless of what’s going on. That’s what we can control, so that’s going to be our focus.”

Murray will get his next shot at live NFL action Saturday when the Cardinals face the Minnesota Vikings.

The plan is to give him the most looks he’s gotten all preseason, with up to a half of play expected.

“We’ll see how the game’s going. [I’d] love to get some positive plays early, some good drives going,” Kingsbury said. “Got to eliminate those penalties and see where he’s at mentally and we’ll go from there.”

Opportunities await Byron Murphy, rookies

Quite a bit of roster shuffling has already taken place for the Cardinals in 2019.

From releases, to suspensions, to injuries, Arizona has been through the ringer and there’s still two preseason games yet to be played.

More than ever, the team’s rookies are already expected to pick up the slack. Something Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim took into account back in late April.

“We feel great about who we brought in in that draft class,” Kingsbury said. “Talking with Steve [Keim] before the draft we knew we needed guys who could come in and have an immediate impact. High-character guys that we could help build a culture around and that’s what we feel like we did.”

One of those draft picks is first-round cornerback Byron Murphy, who finds himself in a massive role defensively with Patrick Peterson’s suspension and Robert Alford’s injury sidelining the duo for an extended period of time.

The Arizona native is taking it in stride, noting it was only a matter of time before he and others got the call.

“I think all rookies have to come in with a mindset to play right away,” Murphy said. “We get drafted for a reason, so just staying positive. Whatever situation happens somebody’s got to carry the flag. It’s a team sport so the next man always has to step up.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure, we just have to stick to being ourselves. The standard’s always been set so we’ve just got to keep pushing forward.”

Murphy comes over to the Cardinals after a successful collegiate career. As a member of the Huskies (two seasons), Murphy tallied 74 total tackles, 20 passes defensed and six interceptions. He also forced two fumbles and added a sack.

The Cardinals are hoping his college years were just scratching the surface of what’s to come from the CB. It’s evident they view Murphy as one of their impact rookies, moving him into different positions around the field.

Offensively, KeeSean Johnson continues to separate himself from the group of rookie and veteran receivers fighting for the remaining spots on the roster.

And though the early returns have been glowing in terms of his play up to this point, Johnson isn’t taking his foot off the gas.

“You gotta just keep working everyday. There’s more things that you can learn to make you even better,” Johnson said. “I’m going to come in everyday and try to learn something from the older guys. Might be little things here and there that I know I can do better at. So I gotta just keep progressing and keep getting to where I want to be.”

At Fresno State, Johnson showed he could be a factor in games, recording back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and 16 touchdowns combined over his final two years.

While the two factor to be some of the more vital pieces of the team moving forward, they aren’t the only one’s benefiting from extra reps.

Defensive linemen Zach Allen and Michael Dogbe, and offensive linemen Lamont Gaillard and Josh Miles have all seen increased time on the field as the team works to fill voids left behind by injuries and releases.

It may only be preseason, but the added reps are yet another stepping stone in the rookies’ development as NFL players.

EXTRA POINTS

– After throwing two interceptions early on in Saturday’s practice, Murray settled in, launching a 65-yard touchdown pass to WR Pharoh Cooper before connecting with rookie wideout Andy Isabella for the short score as time expired in the team’s two-minute drill.

– Kingsbury on Patrick Peterson’s playing time:

“We’re still talking through that. We like getting him out there with our team, it gives us confidence, and we like what he’s about and brings to the table.

“But as a staff we’re going to talk about what’s best for us moving forward, knowing those guys have to be ready to play Week 1.”

– Larry Fitzgerald was not at Saturday’s practice as he attended and spoke at former Cardinals wide receiver coach Darryl Drake’s funeral.

– Kingsbury on Justin Pugh’s availability for Thursday’s game:

“We hope he’ll be back. I’m not sure 100% but I think by Tuesday we’ll have a pretty cool feel for that.”

– Kingsbury on Haason Reddick’s status:

“Haason’s still working through [his injury]. He’s come a long way and don’t expect him to play this week.”

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