DAN BICKLEY

Sean Payton is the remedy to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray’s struggles

Jan 10, 2023, 3:14 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2023, 2:02 pm
Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints on the sidelines before the game against the Atlan...
Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints on the sidelines before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

If Kyler Murray is a problem, Sean Payton is the solution.

Imagine what an authentic, innovative, alpha male, highly demanding, Super Bowl-winning coach might do for our slow-growing franchise quarterback.

Apparently, Payton already has.

“What would I like to see?” Payton said during a television appearance with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd. “I’d love to see him have a better running game under center. I’d love to see him hand the ball off to another really good player and take a deep breath.

“I want to see him have a few more layups. And I think, when I need those (impact plays from Murray), they are going to come spontaneously, red zone or third down. But I think if we’re counting on those every week, that’s a stressful job.”

In summary, Payton said he would design an offensive package that “suits his talent but takes some of the pressure off of him as well.”

It’s not the first time Payton has implied real interest in Arizona’s head coaching vacancy. His speculative vision for Murray comes after a November appearance on Cowherd’s show where he reminisced about a summer job in St. Louis, when he worked as a Cardinals ball boy.

There is a chance Payton is playing the Cardinals for leverage. Or he truly believes he can design an offense that will unleash the best of Murray on the rest of the NFL. After all, that’s his thing.

Payton is a real mastermind. His specialty is building packages around players, sculpting offenses around the talent at his disposal. Remember, this is the guy that called plays for Drew Brees, produced the best version of Jameis Winston, and fell in love with Taysom Hill.

As a result, his flirtation with Arizona and Murray might be very real. And it might help explain the positive vibes flowing from Michael Bidwill at Monday’s press conference, where the Cardinals owner did not look like a man in distress or someone who had just swallowed an enormous contract for breakfast.

Bidwill took the important steps of firing Kliff Kingsbury and officially clearing out the general manager’s office. He said he has begun his search for Steve Keim’s replacement and seems to understand the magnitude of the moment. He may have also learned one of the former general manager’s greatest tricks:

In times of trouble and fan unrest, make a big splash. Trade for DeAndre Hopkins. Sign J.J. Watt. Pursue Sean Payton at all costs.

Bidwill said repeatedly on Monday that he’s casting a wide net. Hopefully, it’s big enough for a whale.

Reach Bickley at dbickley@arizonasports.com. Listen to Bickley & Marotta mornings from 6-10 a.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7.

Arizona Cardinals TE Trey McBride warms up ahead of practice on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury smiles during practice on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury smiles during practice on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB David Blough (left) and WR Hollywood Brown (right) smile during practice on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR A.J. Green runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Javon Wims runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR A.J. Green runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR A.J. Green and the rest of the team's wideouts run through drills during practice on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt looks on during practice on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Pharoh Cooper runs through drills during practice on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Dan Bickley

(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Dan Bickley

Tom Brady set an impossible standard for all QBs to come

Tom Brady’s closing act was stupendous, right down to the heartfelt message he posted on social media on Wednesday.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray scrambles for a late first-half touchdown against the Lo...
Dan Bickley

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray must learn from moxie of Championship Sunday QBs

Kyler Murray is on the record. He said he wants to win Super Bowls with the Cardinals. Let’s hope he spent the weekend taking notes.
5 days ago
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy speaks at a news conference after an NFL divisional pla...
Dan Bickley

The Valley, even Cardinals fans, should root for the 49ers and Brock Purdy

The Cardinals became the first team in three seasons to miss out on a homefield championship. In their place, we should cheer for the 49ers.
12 days ago
Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort speaks with reporters during his introductory press conference...
Dan Bickley

Cardinals’ hiring of GM Monti Ossenfort is sign of progress, step in right direction

It proves that owner Michael Bidwill is not afraid to open his organization to outsiders, handing a high level of control to a fresh set of eyes.
19 days ago
President and owner Michael Bidwill of the Arizona Cardinals before the NFL preseason game against ...
Dan Bickley

Arizona Cardinals’ Michael Bidwill at own crossroads with changes looming

The Cardinals need an overhaul. They need an owner smart enough to look in the mirror and brave enough to step outside his comfort zone.
27 days ago
Dan Bickley

Cardinals can reset by trading high draft pick, DeAndre Hopkins

The Cardinals can secure a top-four pick, trade down and then turn to dealing their elite wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins to pile up assets.
1 month ago
Sean Payton is the remedy to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray’s struggles