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Kurt Warner: Cardinals offense needs to evolve with Kyler Murray

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals talks with quarterback Kyler Murray #1 and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 on the field in the second quarter of the game against Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

If there was one constant for the Arizona Cardinals in 2020, it was offensive inconsistency.

At times last season, the Cardinals looked like one of the most high-powered offenses in the league, most notably when Arizona sat atop the NFC West standings after a 6-3 start following the Hail Murray.

But after scoring 30+ plus points in six of their first nine games, the Cardinals were only able to put up 30 points just once in their final seven contests, which resulted in a 2-5 record and an 8-8 overall campaign.

“I think as much as anything it’s evolving offensively and evolving with Kyler to be more comfortable, playing within the scheme, playing on schedule… and not trying to do too much with his legs,” former Cardinals QB Kurt Warner told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Tuesday.

“You saw this year: some games it worked and everything was great and then other games it didn’t work and they couldn’t really do anything offensively. So you have to get better at making your layups and playing on schedule and I think the offense has to evolve a little bit.”

Arizona lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the final week of the regular season to miss out on what would’ve been the team’s first playoff appearance since Bruce Arians was still at the helm in 2015.

Coincidentally, Arians and former Cardinals offensive and defensive coordinators Todd Bowles and Byron Leftwich just won Super Bowl LV with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-9. The Bucs averaged 30.75 points per game last season and scored 31, 30 and 31 points in the three playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl.

Tampa Bay’s offense has certainly set the standard as to what it will take to win a conference title in the NFC. And with the next two Super Bowls being at SoFi Stadium and State Farm Stadium, both the Rams and Cardinals will be trying to emulate the Buccaneers’ feat of lifting the Lombardi Trophy on their home field.

So do the Cardinals need to go after more receiving talent to help free up All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins or do head coach Kliff Kingsbury and Murray need to evolve offensively?

“I think it’s both,” Warner said. “Obviously you have D-Hop, which is great — very few teams have two No. 1 [receivers].

“Christian (Kirk) does a nice job, but I think you can improve what you have there. … I could definitely see them making some moves and upgrading and helping their offense as a whole getting some more explosive guys and better one-on-one guys on the outside.”


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