ARIZONA CARDINALS

Warner: Cardinals will be better if Kyler Murray makes more ‘lay-ups’

Apr 23, 2021, 8:30 PM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws against the Buffalo Bills during the first ha...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray made a leap in 2020, but Kurt Warner thinks Murray still has room to grow in his game.

Warner, the 1999 and 2001 NFL MVP, believes that Murray improved vastly last year in comparison with his rookie season.

“I thought he made a nice leap,” Warner said during Thursday’s Big Red Rage on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “From year one to year two … a lot of players say that that’s where you make your biggest jump. … As you come in the first year, you’re just a wide-eyed rookie, trying to just survive and figure it out. … Then once you settle in and you figure out what it’s all about, you can make a big jump into year two.”

Despite throwing for 3,971 yards and 26 touchdowns last season, Murray still has room to grow, according to Warner.

“I believe for all young guys and all quarterbacks specifically, is that you continue to see the progression,” Warner said. “Let’s remember. … Kyler Murray for the first half of the year was a part of the MVP conversation.

“Let’s not sit here and go, ‘Oh gosh, he’s got to get so much better. Let’s hope he makes a big leap.’ He was in that conversation for a big part of the year. … There is definitely room to grow because a lot of that hype was around what he was doing with his legs.”

Even though Murray has had no issue producing spectacular plays, the Cardinals will be better suited if Murray is put in a position where all he has to do is make the easy reads, according to Warner.

“Playing within the pocket and deciphering defenses and some of that stuff. … That’s where I want to see him get better,” Warner said. “I think he just needs to grow in that mental side of understanding what he’s seeing and making more of the lay-ups.”

The less time Murray spends creating plays from nothing, the better suited the Cardinals will be, according to Warner.

“Even the best quarterbacks in the league that can do those things, the more they live in that world, the more their team struggles,” Warner said. “Make the lay-ups, make the plays you’re supposed to.

“Those are the teams to me that really push the envelope and become playoff teams and … championship teams. Because you know, when you’re playing against good teams, it’s hard to be that special player. … Do what you’re supposed to do. And then give me just a little bit extra.”

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