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.
This Rondale Moore catch 🔥🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/G79468XW4j
— Football Outsiders (@fboutsiders) November 14, 2022
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.”
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) August 5, 2023
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.