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Carson Palmer: No ‘major areas of concern’ for Cardinals’ Kyler Murray

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Big sacks taken and two interceptions thrown shouldn’t raise red flags about Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, according to one of his predecessors.

Former Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer doesn’t “see any major areas of concern” out of Murray through three winless weeks of the No. 1 overall pick’s career.

“I don’t see a bunch of turnovers, I don’t see issues in the pocket with ball security, I don’t see really bad decisions,” Palmer told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

“I know it wasn’t a great statistical day, but we’re seeing him figure things out. I felt like yesterday we were watching him kind of get a feel for how he can run in this league. For the first time, he really kind of got outside of the pocket and tested his speed versus the speed of the NFL. I really like what we’re seeing from him from that standpoint.”

Murray rushed eight times for 69 yards after he pulled it six times for 17 yards through the first two weeks of the season.

He completed 30 of 43 passes for 173 yards as well, the fewest total yards through the air on 30 or more completions. Still, Murray took what the Carolina Panthers offense gave him — at least until he threw two late picks trying to fit balls into a zone defense daring him to fit throws into tight windows.

“We got to keep things in perspective,” Palmer said. “This is Week 3 for a guy that didn’t play four years (of) college football.”

Murray, of course, only played one full season (14 games) at Oklahoma, where he won a Heisman by completing 260 of 377 passes for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns. Prior to that, he played in 15 games but threw a combined 142 passes in limited snaps with Texas A&M as a freshman in 2015 and as Oklahoma’s backup in 2017.

While Murray’s 1,001 rushing yards in 2018 added to his Heisman campaign, it was a wonder of how that would translate to the NFL level.

Palmer believes the Week 3 loss to the Panthers showed it can translate well.

“He’s going to get more and more confident and he’s going to trust his speed and trust his feet more,” Palmer said.

Palmer was watching the Cardinals game alongside the Baltimore Ravens’ matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. And as Palmer saw Ravens dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson take hits while on the move, Murray for the most part avoided contact when he opted to run.

“You don’t see Kyler taking those kind of hits outside the pocket,” Palmer said. “That’s one thing that jumped out to me. Watching Lamar play … he is getting absolutely hammered a handful of times a game. You just won’t last.

“The thing you see with Kyler is he’s stepping out of bounds, he’s sliding. The hits inside the pocket and the sacks, those aren’t what take games away from you from an injury standpoint and take years off your career.”

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