ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray steps out of comfort zone in his own defense

Jul 28, 2022, 12:20 PM | Updated: 2:44 pm
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray runs sprints during the NFL football team's training cam...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray runs sprints during the NFL football team's training camp Wednesday, July 27, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE — Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has not been one to voluntarily put himself in front of the microphone.

Yet there he was Thursday, doing a lot of things he normally does not do:

— Murray called an impromptu press conference

— He spoke in depth about himself and his accomplishments

— He mentioned his height and his past baseball career

— Murray grabbed control of a narrative that was used to attack his work ethic

None of those things have been on Murray’s radar in the first three years of being in the NFL, let alone in his wheelhouse. The criticism that stemmed from a clause in Murray’s new contract that said he was required to study on his own at least four hours every game week got to him, the quarterback admitted.

He called it “disrespectful.”

“I’m honestly flattered that y’all think that at my size, I can go out there and not prepare for the game and not take it serious,” Murray said. “It’s disrespectful to my peers … this game’s too hard. To play the position I play in this league, it’s too hard. I don’t do this often, I don’t talk about myself but today I have to. I’m going to list the accolades.”

Murray mentioned his spotless 43 games playing high school football in Texas and being the only player ever picked in the first round — and in the top-10 — in both the NFL and MLB drafts. Nobody has accomplished either of those things, he pointed out.

Playing two sports in college and, to this point in the NFL, making two Pro Bowls, takes effort and a work ethic.

“I refuse to let my work ethic, my preparation be in question,” Murray said.

Murray passed on commenting about how negotiations around that independent study clause went — or what he thought about it.

Many former NFL players and executives have said they’ve never seen such a clause in a contract, let alone one as massive as the reported $230.5 million Murray inked this past week before training camp for his fourth NFL season begins.

Among the many relatively new things Murray did Thursday, he mentioned his height and his baseball background, using them to respectfully make a point.

“I’m already behind the eight-ball and I can’t afford to take any short-cuts, no pun intended,” he said. “Those things you can’t accomplish if you don’t take the game serious, you don’t prepare the right way. Like I said, it’s laughable.”

And again, the quarterback stepped up to that microphone with assertiveness — but also politeness. Murray spoke about his excitement for camp and after speaking on the misconception of his work ethic took questions.

Murray pushed back that his reaction and assertiveness was a new thing.

“If this would have happened three years ago, I would have done the same thing,” he said.

To be fair, he also reacted in a similar way — though in the offseason via a statement — a day after the Super Bowl, when reports surfaced about discontent about his leadership.

This time, Murray made sure to shut down the narrative about how he operates as a professional, knowing full well a bad game could spring another wave of jokes about that curious contractual agreement.

Asked if the contract clause and the reaction to it would in any way change how he approaches football, Murray said this:

“No, no, no, no — no. We put in hours and hours of work. Like I said, I’m living out a childhood dream of mine that I don’t take for granted. … You never know when your last play is going to be. You never know. Tomorrow could be my last practice. For people to think I come out here and disrespect the game in that way, I feel like it would have … caught up with me.”

And you know what? He’s right.

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt walks the sideline during the team's NFL football preseas...
Haboob Blog

Cardinals’ J.J. Watt encounters ‘baby rattlesnake’ in bathroom

Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt found himself in a situation many who call Arizona home never wish to be in. Or at least he thought so.
1 day ago
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) greets San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Sha...
Tom Kuebel

Kliff Kingsbury lends support for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan in hat ‘beef’

Kliff Kingsbury tendered support for San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in his ongoing hat drama with the NFL.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward (29) celebrates his touchdown against the Cincinnati B...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: Arizona standouts aplenty in win over Bengals

Arizona Sports' Cardinals reporter Tyler Drake and 98.7 FM's Erik Ruby give their top standouts in the team's 36-23 win over the Bengals.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, left, talks with quarterback Kyler Murray during the ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury ‘impressed’ with Kyler Murray’s play-calling

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury handed over play-calling duties to QB Kyler Murray in the team's 36-23 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
2 days ago
(Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

Victor Dimukeje, Trace McSorley pace Arizona Cardinals in rout of Bengals

Arizona Cardinals OLB Victor Dimukeje and QB Trace McSorley made the most of their opportunities in Friday's win over the Bengals.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley looks for a receiver during the team's NFL football pr...
Kellan Olson

Trace McSorley throws TD in 1st preseason drive, Cardinals beat Bengals

The Arizona Cardinals' first series of the preseason was a positive one and they never looked back from there to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
2 days ago
Cardinals QB Kyler Murray steps out of comfort zone in his own defense