Kyler Murray, Kliff Kingsbury disagree with Brock Huard’s criticism
Kyler Murray does not agree with former NFL quarterback Brock Huard’s assessment that Murray is dealing with an ailing shoulder. And the quarterback’s head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, does not believe Murray lacks focus in practices that he brings to gamedays.
Asked about those two theories examining why the Arizona Cardinals offense has hit a wall, as Murray put it Sunday, the quarterback said his shoulder is “fine.”
Murray also once again said that his relatively low rushing totals — 10 carries for 46 yards over the past two games — are about taking what defenses are giving him.
“If they make me hand the ball off, then I have no choice but to hand the ball off,” Murray said Wednesday. “I don’t know what you want me to do. Do you want me to pull it and run into a (defender)? I don’t know. They’re making me hand the ball off, so that’s what I have to do.
“As far as practice goes, I don’t know if (media members are) even allowed at practice, so I don’t really know what that means.”
Huard, who serves as a FOX NFL analyst, told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Tuesday that he heard Murray does not bring a “laser focus” to practices.
Kingsbury on Wednesday said that he didn’t hear the exact clip of Huard’s criticisms.
As for the content of them: “Obviously, everybody’s entitled to their opinion, but I would strongly disagree,” Kingsbury said.
Huard, who spent time in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts from 1999-2004, told Burns & Gambo that Murray was not seeing the field well in multiple instances per game.
“Here’s what I’m seeing … and it’s some of what I was hearing coming out of there, is that Kyler is laser-focused on Sunday, he loves to compete, but that laser focus is not there Monday through Saturday. I think you’ve seen that show up on Sundays, and it has to be,” Huard said.
“There’s multiple times where he just doesn’t see some things,” Huard added. “I don’t know if that’s inexperience, I don’t know if that’s vision … The pick-six is a perfect example where you’re not seeing the entirety of that coverage.”
Immediately after Murray went 21-for-39 for 173 yards, three touchdowns and an interception against the Los Angeles Rams, Kingsbury said he thought his team practiced well during the week but that it was not translating to games.
Along those lines, the Cardinals as a whole have not publicly questioned the work ethic of their No. 1 overall pick from 2019, nor worried about the locker room fracturing with four losses in five games.
“To be honest, I don’t think we need to change a whole lot, we just need to have better execution,” tight end Dan Arnold said when asked about Murray’s leadership on Wednesday. “I think Kyler, he’s been doing great with all of that. I wouldn’t change anything he’s doing or anyone else is doing.”
On Wednesday, Kingsbury was asked about how Murray responds when things are going poorly.
“Kyler shows up every day and competes his tail off and works hard at his craft, and you can see the progression from Year 1 to Year 2,” the head coach said.
It hasn’t been easy for Arizona’s quarterback of late, however.
Sunday’s 38-28 loss to the Rams was the second week in a row Murray failed to throw for more than 173 yards or rush more than five times. In a 20-17 loss to the New England Patriots a week prior, the second-year pro had posted his worst passer rating of the season (67.0).
Murray said on Wednesday that he is taking his failures in stride.
“I don’t listen to outsiders or nobody,” he said. “None of this affects me. I understand what’s going to happen inside those lines, prepare for the worst. I’m not trippin’ over it. “