Cardinals’ WRs coach: Job doesn’t change no matter which quarterback starts

Aug 7, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: 5:23 pm

Arizona Cardinals wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Drew Terrell stressed that his unit’s job does not change whether it is Kyler Murray, Colt McCoy, Clayton Tune or David Blough under center.

Cardinals started four quarterbacks last year with Murray, McCoy, Blough and Trace McSorley due to injuries and face uncertainty with the season opener just over a month away. The Week 1 starting job remains unclaimed with no specific timeline for Murray’s return (torn ACL).

“Who’s back behind center doesn’t have any effect on the way we train, talk, or coach the position,” Terrell told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Monday. “It shouldn’t have any effect on the way those guys in that room go about their business. At the end of the day, and I know it sounds cliché, that’s out of their control. They should make the quarterback’s job, no matter who it is, they should make it easier on that person. So we can’t be concerned about who’s behind center, we just got to be at the spot we’re supposed to be at when we’re supposed to be there and make the play.”

Greg Dortch told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta last week the same message, joking that James Conner could be the quarterback for all he cares.

The receivers have a new system to master first under offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, who has talked about blending what he saw work with the Cleveland Browns last year — more snaps under center and heavier run focus — with what Arizona’s personnel strengths are. He has said the offense will change to tailor to whomever plays quarterback.

Terrell said he’s been impressed with how the receivers have handled the process, noting that they made a lot more errors in spring than at training camp to this point.

“You could tell guys have really been in the book studying that stuff,” Terrell said. “I anticipated a little more mental errors, to be honest with you, but those guys are doing awesome.”

The Cardinals are coming off a season in which they finished last in yards gained per pass attempt and yards per completion. They were also last in first down reception percentage and No. 27 in 20-yard catches with 40.

That falls on the entire offense, but Terrell is confident his group has playmakers to do damage down the field this year when given the chance.

Rondale Moore’s camp

Terrell said third-year receiver Rondale Moore has not missed a rep at training camp so far after injuries held him to eight games last season. Moore has said earlier this offseason that he and the receivers coach talked about him staying on the field and trusting his ability when healthy.

“He’s doing everything we ask of him, a guy that fast and that explosive certainly gets an offense excited,” Terrell said. “It’s gonna be a week by week basis how we use him based on how we can attack the defense, but I anticipate being able to have him be kind of an interchangeable piece you can move around for matchup reasons.”

Terrell said Moore has embraced his role in the offense.

Moore has 95 catches in his career working primarily in the slot and has been utilized on screens and jets. His average yards before the catch per reception last year was 3.2 under former head coach and play caller Kliff Kingsbury, although he has put on tape stellar moments down the field.

Pressuring Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson is another Cardinals receiver who is anticipated to move around, and Terrell complimented his play speed.

“He plays fast, he’s a sharp guy, he can move around all three spots and we’re going to continue putting that pressure on him because that’s something he’s going to have to do for us in the season,” Terrell said. 

Wilson is one of the taller receivers in the room at 6-foot-2, and he has experience playing inside during college ball at Stanford. Terrell said Wilson has the ball skills and awareness to do it along with the frame and speed to go outside.

That’s not to say Wilson has been flawless in his first NFL offseason, despite the praise from coaches and teammates. Terrell said he can improve on his decision making while running routes.

“Sometimes he’s a little too savvy, thinks he has all day to win on a route,” Terrell said. “That’s something for young guys getting into this league, all of them kind of have that problem initially you got to train every day, you got to go fast, go fast, go fast. Then we have changeups off of that. Give them the fastball and then the off-speed pitch comes later.”

Terrell said Wilson is aware of it and working to improve.

Dortch noted Wilson has played his role well, asking the right questions without being the loudest guy in the room as a rookie.

“Whenever his number is call, he’s making plays, he’s asking questions, he’s doing a really good job,” Dortch said. 

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Zaven Collins walks off the field...

Arizona Sports

Injury report: Zaven Collins back at practice ahead of Cardinals-49ers

The Arizona Cardinals enter Week 4 with an 1-2 record against the NFC East as they prepare to play against the San Francisco 49ers.

38 minutes ago

Arizona Cardinals kicker Matt Prater...

Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ Matt Prater named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for performance vs. Cowboys

Cardinals kicker Matt Prater was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after Arizona's win against the Dallas Cowboys.

8 hours ago

Wide receiver Rondale Moore #4 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the football ahead of linebacker ...

Kellan Olson

Arizona Cardinals OC embracing unique utilization of WR Rondale Moore

Arizona Cardinals wideout Rondale Moore was one of a few skill players to have a big gain on Sunday, and his came from the backfield.

23 hours ago

Joshua Dobbs...

Haboob Blog

Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs has finally made it in the team shop

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs' jersey is now available in the Arizona Cardinals team shop after he could not find it.

1 day ago

Roy Lopez...

Arizona Sports

Cardinals sign former Mesquite HS, Arizona DT Roy Lopez

The Arizona Cardinals signed Valley native and former Houston Texans defensive tackle Roy Lopez to the active roster on Tuesday.

1 day ago

Taylor Swift at Chiefs-Bears to watch Travis Kelce...

Associated Press

Taylor Swift’s appearance at Chiefs game spikes Travis Kelce jersey sales

Taylor Swift's trip to watch the Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce play football on Sunday didn't just have the internet talking nonstop.

1 day ago

Cardinals’ WRs coach: Job doesn’t change no matter which quarterback starts