Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake reveling in ref’s compliment

Sep 18, 2020, 3:05 PM | Updated: 7:45 pm
Running back Kenyan Drake #41 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after scoring on a five yard rush...
Running back Kenyan Drake #41 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after scoring on a five yard rushing touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Kenyan Drake drew a compliment from a ref, but it wasn’t for his fourth-quarter touchdown.

The Arizona Cardinals running back gained attention from refs and the San Francisco 49ers defense for a block that led to a 25-yard run by Kyler Murray on 3rd-and-17 in the third quarter of Arizona’s win on Sunday.

“After that play, the ref actually came to me on the sideline the next break and was like, ‘Yeah 41, that’s a great play. That’s going on our teaching tape at the end of the season,'” Drake said.

Creating space and time for Murray to throw or run has been key emphasis for the Cardinals. With a quarterback who can move, the team had been focusing on scramble drills throughout training camp for situations exactly like this one.

“I turned around to try to find a block and I remember at that moment what we talked about in camp about how they were really making an emphasis on blocking back toward our own line of scrimmage,” Drake said.

“So at that moment, I kind of just turned my back to create a wall for Kyler as he uses his obvious great ability to escape the pressure and get the first down.”

What fueled that moment was chippy banter between Drake and 49ers star defensive end Nick Bosa in the previous play after Drake had a false start.

“Bosa was kinda like ‘Oh you want to be in such a hurry to try and chip me or whatever’ and I was like ‘Yeah, cause I was gonna put it on you.’ I guess he kind of took offense to that,” Drake said.

During the next play, Bosa came right for Drake instead of rushing for the tackle.

“Obviously (it) was advantageous for myself because now he’s trying to focus on me instead of trying to get into the backfield,” he added.

Drake shook off Bosa and held off two other 49ers as Murray ran for the first down.

While Drake’s block may or may not end up on NFL refs’ training footage, it will always be a memorable moment for him.

“I guess that’s pretty cool,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve never had a ref come and congratulate me on a play in the middle of a game.”


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries for a touchdown in front of New Orleans Sai...
Tyler Drake

Same but different: Cardinals face similar test as Week 1 in Cook, Vikings

Much like the Tennessee Titans, the Minnesota Vikings present a stout running game, two impressive receivers and a capable quarterback.
1 day ago
General manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals waves to fans before the NFL game against the P...
Kevin Zimmerman

GM: Cards want to re-sign Chandler Jones; P2 departure was ‘business decision’

Chandler Jones tossed imaginary cash to celebrate a sack, then searched for more money in his general manager's pockets last Sunday.
1 day ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Tyler Drake

Rodney Hudson already an integral part of Cardinals’ offensive success

The Arizona Cardinals' throttling of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday spoke volumes to the impact center Rodney Hudson has on the offense.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Devon Kennard runs during a pass rushing drill during NFL foot...
Arizona Sports

Vikings-Cardinals injury report: LB Devon Kennard ruled out

The Cardinals' injury report ahead of a Week 2 showdown with the Vikings included right tackle Kelvin Beachum not practicing.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals fans cheer during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City...
Arizona Sports

Reminders for fans attending Cardinals’ home opener vs. Vikings

With a full house expected, the Cardinals reminded fans of the rules in place for the game on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. against the Vikings.
1 day ago
The Arizona Cardinals run onto the field for the NFL game against the New England Patriots at the U...
Dan Bickley

Will Red Sea reignite as fans sell out Cardinals’ home opener?

State Farm Stadium was eerily quiet in 2020, when a pandemic interrupted a streak of 144 consecutive sellouts. A new era begins Sunday.
2 days ago
Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake reveling in ref’s compliment