Season debut of ‘Cardinals Flight Plan’ documents Kyler Murray’s rookie year
“Cardinals Flight Plan” is back, the Arizona Cardinals’ inside look that gives behind the scenes access around the team throughout the year.
The third season premiered on Thursday night and focused on the second-year quarterback and 2019 No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Kyler Murray.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury opened the episode by discussing the difficulties for Murray in his position, the weight of the franchise on his shoulders.
The leadup to Murray’s debut was next, with Murray discussing his music tastes with backup quarterback Brett Hundley before going through throwing drills.
Murray had an eventful debut. The offense struggled immensely in the first half only for them to bounce back in the second half.
That led to overtime, where the Cardinals tied with the Detroit Lions. Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald told Murray in overtime when it was clear the offense was out of chances to win the game that they could build off their play in the second half.
Kingsbury ran through a slideshow of Murray’s areas of improvement for the season, including a zone read against the New York Giants where Murray making the right decision could have won the game, a win the Cardinals had to sweat out in Week 7.
More of Murray’s improvement and initial ability shown was discussed by the likes of Kingsbury, wide receiver Christian Kirk and linebacker Chandler Jones.
“It’s almost like two different players,” Jones said of watching Murray’s film from Week 1 to Week 10.
A reel of Murray’s highlights came next as Murray continued to get more comfortable in his first year as a signal-caller and make more of an impact.
Fitzgerald and offensive tackle D.J. Humphries opened up about Murray, well, opening up to his teammates and not being as much of a loner as he’s accustomed to with his personality.
“Guys started to see what he was about and who he really is,” Kingsbury said.
As Murray’s season started to conclude, his duel with Baker Mayfield in Week 16 was spotlighted, the former Oklahoma teammates.
“Still hate you,” Mayfield joked to Murray in the postgame.
The end of the season wrapped with Murray gifting his offensive line some custom scooters to get around the Cardinals’ facility.
“He killed it. It was a great gift,” offensive lineman A.Q. Shipley said.
The last bits of commentary from the team and Murray on QB1 was on how the top pick developed as a leader and how he has natural traits to do so.
“Easy guy to follow,” Kirk said of Murray.
In his rookie campaign, Murray completed 64.4% of his passes for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. On the ground, he added 544 rushing yards for four touchdowns. Murray won the AP’s 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Murray being given that award was shown and the discussion of what’s next in the future followed.
“I think his jump from year one to year two is going to be incredible,” linebacker Jordan Hicks said.