Kyler Murray saw different side of football as Cardinals’ guest play caller

Aug 16, 2022, 12:11 PM
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals walks across the field before a preseason game against the...
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals walks across the field before a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on August 12, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

GLENDALE — Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray did not play a snap in the team’s 2022 preseason opener.

Attempting a pass was the last thing on the signal caller’s mind in Cincinnati.

That didn’t mean he still wasn’t involved.

Over the first three quarters, Murray played the part of good teammate, supporting his fellow Cardinals with water or words of wisdom.

But in the fourth quarter, Murray went from pseudo-water boy to the man in charge of running the offense. This time, however, he was doing so with a headset on instead of a helmet.

The end result didn’t amount to much, with both of the Murray-called drives ending in three-and-outs (six plays total). Still, head coach Kliff Kingsbury came away impressed.

It also gave the QB a new perspective of the game he loves.

“That was the first time calling plays besides in practice and stuff like that, but I enjoyed it,” Murray said. “Once you call the play, it’s out of your control. Being on that side of it, you can’t control what’s going on on the field. … That was different for me.

“We had guys open. … We didn’t execute,” the QB added. “This isn’t me calling anybody out or anything like that. … I thought the guys did well.”

At this stage of his career, seeing the action unfold from the sideline isn’t where Murray wants to be by a long shot.

But after his signal-calling days come to a close — Murray wants to play until he “can’t” — that perspective might eventually align with the quarterback’s plans. Coaching could be in his future.

“I love the game so much,” Murray said. “I’ve been through every level.

“I feel like I have a great IQ of the game, just be able to give back to the youth and be able to coach those guys up. I think it would be fun.”

And while Murray may be a long way from trading in his helmet for a headset, running back Jonathan Ward can already envision Murray’s coaching tendencies if the day ever comes.

“He has a lot of knowledge for the game,” Ward said. “He would definitely be one of those goal-oriented coaches, though. You won’t have too much slack to play around with him.”

Murray’s not staying close-minded on solely coaching, either.

You don’t have to carve out a coaching role to make it in football, especially when your name carries some weight on its own.

Recruiter Kyler, anyone?

“I was a kid once. When somebody you watched growing up comes into your house, talks to your parents, it definitely makes a difference,” Murray said. “But also being personable, being able to relate to the kids. I know what they’re going through. I feel like I got a little cheat code on that.

“It’s a process (now with the inclusion of the NIL). I’d have to talk to some people. I got some people I could talk to, get some help with it.”

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