Ertz: Outside expectations want Kyler Murray to be ‘prototypical Tom Brady’

Mar 15, 2022, 5:05 PM | Updated: Mar 21, 2022, 1:14 pm

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals throws the ball during the third quarter against the Dalla...

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals throws the ball during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Leadership questions and fan frustration over how the Arizona Cardinals’ season came to an end have followed quarterback Kyler Murray around this offseason.

Since the team’s NFC Wild Card defeat against the Los Angeles Rams, Murray has scrubbed and unscrubbed his Instagram and traded statements with the Cardinals. His agent took things a step further, issuing a statement of his own over the need for a contract extension this offseason.

While the optics have been less than ideal for Murray, that hasn’t stopped veterans like Zach Ertz and Colt McCoy from re-upping on multi-year deals this offseason, seemingly reassuring their faith in the signal caller.

“Everyone wants everyone to be this prototypical Tom Brady, fiery leader and there are so many different ways to skin the cat in that regard,” Ertz told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Monday. “He’s 24, 25 years old and everyone wants him to be a finished product. I’m still not a finished product and I’m much older than K1, so he’s just going to continue to grow not only as a football player but as a leader.

“People are so quick in society to point out people’s flaws but there’s only one Kyler Murray on the face of this Earth and for me, I love the opportunity to play with him. I’m here to help him continue to grow, not only as a player but as a person, as a friend. And so that’s all I got to say about it.”

Count running back James Conner, who agreed to a three-year deal of his own on Monday, as another returning player who trusts and believes in Murray.

“Kyler is a phenomenal person,” Conner said Tuesday. “Everybody knows how talented he is. It’s early for him in the league, he’s gonna be just fine. I know everything’s going to work out. I was talking with him after I got my deal and even before, so K1 is going to be just fine.

“That’s our QB. We love him, we embrace him, all that and he knows that. I know he’s back there just working champing at the bit to get get back. … I’m confident in him.”

Although reports about the team wanting more from him as a leader have swirled around the quarterback, Murray has helped improve the team’s win total by three in each of the past three seasons while also locking up two Pro Bowl nods the previous two years.

This past season, Murray completed 69.2% of his passes for 3,787 yards and 24 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He also ran the rock 88 times for 423 yards and five scores.

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