ARIZONA CARDINALS

Return of Cardinals’ Kyler Murray, other vets make for ‘spirited’ OTAs

Jun 1, 2022, 3:23 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2022, 11:03 am

TEMPE — Unlike previous voluntary workouts this offseason, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray graced the team’s practice field in Tempe on Wednesday.

Along with a handful of other veterans, Murray was back in the OTA fold, diving into drills and looking the part as Arizona’s franchise signal caller after missing the last round of OTAs on top of the team’s strength and conditioning workout.

Wednesday’s session certainly had that first-day-of-school feel for starting offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum, who was among the batch of veterans showing up to voluntary workouts for the first time.

“It’s always great to be with your friends, guys that you have worked with in the past and guys you’re still excited to work with in the future, Beachum said. “Glad that (Murray’s) back, glad that we’re back and excited to continue working on some of the things we need to work on to be better this coming year.”

Beachum has been one of Murray’s biggest proponents this offseason amid a contract extension back-and-forth that has gone on between the quarterback’s side and the team.

Jumping on national broadcasts this offseason, Beachum has stuck by his signal caller amid all the noise.

Seeing him back on the practice field and getting to work with his team despite ongoing contract extension speculation gives Beachum’s stance a whole lot more backing.

He knows Murray brings with him the presence of a leader, it’s just about continuing to fine-tune the intangibles.

“I just walked by the team room and he’s leading the 7-on-7 film work, so he’s putting in the work,” Beachum said. “It’s been a maturation process like I’ve said this entire offseason and he’s continuing to get better and he’s continuing to mature.

“I think when you look at somebody who you want to see progress week in and week out, year in and year out, that maturation process is really starting to take place.”

For head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the plan all along was to have Murray back for the first week of June OTAs. Beyond this session of voluntary workouts remains day to day, but still shows the quarterback’s willingness to be back working with his teammates.

“It’s good, I thought having him, having Beachum, having Pugh, Hollywood, Hump that’s always good,” Kingsbury said. “A lot of starters were back so I thought the work was good, spirited and it was nice.”

Still, some time has passed since the last time Kingsbury saw his quarterback in the flesh.

On top of his new hair style, Kingsbury can see the signal caller is sticking with his offseason routine.

“He looks good, been working out,” Kingsbury said. “Obviously we knew (strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris was) in constant contact with his trainer there in Dallas so we knew what he’s been doing. He looks like he’s been working hard.”

But while Murray, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, James Conner and a good portion of the starting offensive linemen were in a Cardinals practice uniform on Wednesday, there was one veteran producing a glaring hole on the field in defensive lineman J.J. Watt.

Coincidence or is there yet another layer to Arizona’s offseason we are now unearthing?

“(Zach Ertz) with the donuts, Kyler coming back — I’m not saying that there’s problems, but there could be problems,” Watt joked with the Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday. “Kyler was in the building yesterday, I saw that he was there. Our media guy came up to me and said, ‘Hey, Wednesday is our only open media session for OTAs. Will you speak afterwards?’ I said, ‘You know what? I’m not even going to be there.'”

“Nobody’s fretting any of it because we all understand how it goes,” Watt added on Murray’s contract situation. “My brother just did his deal last year. It took until the last week of preseason. That’s just the way these things go. None of us are worried about it. … I’m sure it all get worked out and I look forward to having Kyler out there.”

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