Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury on QB Kyler Murray: ‘It’s his team now’
GLENDALE — For the most part, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has had early success since entering the NFL in 2019.
He got his feet wet in a big way his rookie season, racking up 24 total touchdowns before pumping that number up to 37 in Year 2.
While the stat sheet screams improvement and progression, his play hasn’t been the only thing to see an uptick as he enters his third season in the desert.
“Going into Year 3 I feel like he really feels like it’s his team now,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Friday after training camp. “That ownership aspect has definitely grown. He’s handling himself that way, adversity just in practices.
“When things don’t go well, he’s handling that type of the ups and downs a lot better than those first two years when I think he felt like the weight of the world was on him, he had to perfect every play. He understands now in this game it’s not about that, it’s about finding a way at the end.”
Despite some talk about his leadership qualities, Murray is proving to Kingsbury he can handle more than just the Xs and Os, working through much more philosophical and team-oriented talk with his coach than in seasons past.
It’s all part of the territory for Murray.
“That’s the position I play,” he said. “Guys look to me to be the leader of the team. I touch the ball every play. I make decisions every play. I’ve held that my whole life, so I don’t feel any different with whoever’s not here, who’s here. I’m going to be me and that’s really all I can be.”
Kingsbury stayed along those lines, adding that he will never ask a player to change up his personality to fit the team’s makeup or narrative.
It’s more about giving players the opportunity to find their bearings, so when they finally get somewhat comfortable in the league, they can continue to improve on more than just their play on game days.
“Early on he was just trying to survive, himself, trying to keep his head above water as a rookie quarterback trying to figure it out,” Kingsbury said. “And now, he may have those moments where he’s frustrated but he’ll always go to the guy and talk through it and lift him up, so that’s been really good progress.”