Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury on QB Kyler Murray: ‘It’s his team now’

Jul 30, 2021, 4:24 PM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws a pass during NFL football training camp practice...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws a pass during NFL football training camp practice, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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.”

Arizona Cardinals

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones interacts with Arizona Cardinals tight end Darrell Dan...
Arizona Sports

Texans-Cardinals injury report: Arizona TE Darrell Daniels, DT Rashard Lawrence out

The Cardinals are nicked up at tight end, on the offensive line and at linebacker as they prepare for Week 7 against the Houston Texans.
14 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kylie Fitts (49), Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones (55) and Card...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones out of COVID-19 protocols, Fitts’ year over

Cardinals outside linebacker Kylie Fitts said on Instagram that his season is over, though it is not clear what has led to his year ending.
14 hours ago
The Arizona Cardinals prepare to take the field for a game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEne...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals OL making up for Hudson absence; Green to Ertz: ‘Play fast’

TEMPE — Not only did the Arizona Cardinals have to deal with a handful of coaches and players testing positive for COVID-19 when they took on the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, they did so without starting center Rodney Hudson, who was placed on the injured reserve with rib and shoulder injuries ahead of the action. […]
2 days ago
Cardinals DL Jordan Phillips looks on during practice Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyler Drak...
Arizona Sports

Report: Cardinals restructure Jordan Phillips’ deal after Zach Ertz add

In order to make the trade for TE Zach Ertz happen, Cardinals GM Steve Keim had to pull some strings with the team's salary cap construction.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury chats with cornerback Robert Alford during practice We...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals embark on Week 7 with Kliff Kingsbury still sidelined

The Arizona Cardinals kicked off Week 7 without head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who is away from the team due to COVID-19.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals TE Zach Ertz warms up ahead of practice Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyle...
Tyler Drake

Zach Ertz quickly immersing himself in all things Arizona Cardinals

One day after Zach Ertz became a Cardinal, he was off to Cleveland on board the team's plane, with QB Kyler Murray seated right next to him.
3 days ago
Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury on QB Kyler Murray: ‘It’s his team now’