Kurt Warner on Kyler Murray: ‘I still think he’s got a long way to go’
Dec 12, 2020, 10:00 AM
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Arizona fans are used to seeing Kyler Murray zip down the field ball in hand, but since Week 11 against the Seattle Seahawks, Murray’s rushing attempts have been contained to under 40 total yards.
Expectations have been high for the quarterback as he plays his second season.
However, Hall of Famer and former Cardinal Kurt Warner says many need to reevaluate setting the bar so high for young players.
“I still think he’s got a long way to go. It’s easy to expect a certain thing from guys when they get to this level and they’ve had a level of success,” Warner said on Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf Thursday. “But I think it’s very important that we step back and we look at how guys have had success up to this point and what they were when they came into the league and what they need to grow with.”
Athletic quarterbacks who can move outside the pocket have dominated NFL headlines in recent years, with the likes of Cam Newton, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Murray.
But Warner, who spent 12 years at the position, says the young group of starters need to keep expanding their skill set and not rely on their fast legs alone to win games.
“Athleticism is not something that we can always rely on in the NFL and we’re seeing that with these tremendous athletes,” he said. “Yes, they can rely on it at times, but you can’t rely on it week in and week out against good teams that know how to take it away. You’ve got to be able to get better in the other areas, specifically pocket.”
“You’ve got to learn how to play differently to survive in this business, whether that be in the course of the season … but more importantly through the course of a career,” he added.
Murray, with 10 rushing touchdowns on the season, ranks second behind New England’s Cam Newton (11), yet hasn’t run in a score in the past three games.
Arizona has lost all but one game this year in which Murray totaled under 40 yards rushing.
While Warner noted that Murray does have talent, he says these stats prove the year-two QB has much more room to grow by building chemistry with teammates and continuing his adjustment to the high-powered NFL.
“Kyler Murray’s (special) is making a guy miss, getting around the edge and making one of his special runs. Those things are awesome but you have to be able to make the layups,” Warner said. “These guys to me, I don’t want to say it’s a disservice, but these guys are getting further and further without learning how to do that.
“And then we’re expecting them to be able to learn that overnight or in a year, and be a guy that can do everything along with their athleticism. I just think it’s a really, really hard thing to do.”