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Jon Gruden made sure Raiders respected Cardinals’ Kyler Murray

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, greets Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden after an an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Raiders won 33-26. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

Whenever there’s a certain amount of hype around an unproven rookie, established players can be skeptical.

In a special look on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” Jon Gruden wanted to make absolutely sure the Oakland Raiders didn’t make the mistake of thinking No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray wasn’t just all hype.

Prior to his team’s Week 2 preseason matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, part of Gruden’s team meeting that week was focused on Murray.

With highlights of Murray’s best plays rolling on the projection screen behind him, Gruden prepared his squad for the Cardinals and their biggest attraction.

Gruden touted Murray’s playmaking ability, calling Arizona “dangerous.”

“And I’m just telling you when I studied Murray, you can say whatever you want, but I ain’t ever seen a quarterback that runs 4.3 that’s a dual-threat like this guy,” he said.

“We make a mistake on him, he can hurt us real bad. We gotta contain him, we gotta get after his (expletive.)

“Have a respect for this cat, now. And he can run. And he can throw. And he doesn’t need a lot of protection. He can find cracks in the defense. He keeps his vision down the field. This guy’s dangerous. Respect him. Let’s get after his (expletive.)”

The Raiders, of course, showed how much they respect Murray by completely shutting him and the Cardinals offense down in the game. Murray completed 3 of 8 passes and the offense only had 22 yards in his four drives.

“Ain’t nothing there baby! Nothing there! Not tonight man! Nice job,” Gruden exclaimed from the sideline during the game.

Before that fourth and final drive for Murray, Raiders defensive backs coach Jim O’Neil told his players he wanted the rookie to return.

“I hope Kyler comes out there one more time,” he said. “Bring him out there one more time.”

That was all the NFL Films cameras showed to the extent of criticizing the Cardinals and head coach Kliff Kingsbury, though.

Raiders defensive back Lamarcus Joyner brought on headlines when he described Kingsbury’s offense to ESPN’s Lisa Salters as “pretty boy offense” that he wanted to “run that kind of offense out of the NFL”

The Cardinals lost the game 33-26 and return to action on Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings at 10 a.m. You can hear that game live on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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