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Carson Palmer: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray showed maturity vs. 49ers

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals in action against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Carson Palmer believes there’s no fretting about the Arizona Cardinals’ passing attack from their Week 1 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

The former Arizona signal-caller doesn’t have a problem with how Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury got the ball out of quarterback Kyler Murray’s hands quickly against San Francisco’s talented pass-rush. No deep shots, not a worry.

Palmer saw Murray take what was given to him to average 5.8 yards on 40 passing attempts, which tied for the fifth-lowest average in the NFL for Week 1.

In fact, Palmer loved it.

“I think that’s one of the best things I noticed,” the Cardinals Ring of Honor member told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf. “He wasn’t just trying to get the ball downfield and throw the ball over everybody’s heads, try to score quick, try to make something magical happen. It was really, really poised. He got rid of the ball, he checked the ball down, he took the short completions. And he got the ball in his playmaker’s hands.

“I thought it showed a lot of maturity for a guy coming off a Rookie of the Year campaign, going into a really, really difficult defense to play against on the road.”

Murray, who completed 26 of 40 passes, attempted six passes from 10-20 yards down the field and just three beyond 20 yards.

Eleven of his passes were behind the line of scrimmage as the Cardinals hit bubble screens and used a dump-off for their first touchdown in which running back Chase Edmonds raced for a 10-yard score after making the reception.

Receiver DeAndre Hopkins benefited from the quick passing game, taking a career-high 14 catches for 151 yards.

Of course, the bulk of the attention was on Murray hitting the 100-yard rushing mark before late kneel-downs dropped his total to double-digits. Palmer noticed how Murray avoided contact on 13 rushes and didn’t believe the second-year quarterback was ditching the pocket too early.

Palmer believes Murray did all he could to give his receivers a chance to separate down the field.

“Maybe that’s a stigma that running quarterbacks or great runners don’t want to be categorized as running quarterbacks,” Palmer said. “Maybe that’s a stigma they’re trying to shake. It doesn’t look to me that Kyler’s looking to take off and run. It moreso looks that he’s trying to find a guy to get open before that absolute last resort happens.”


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