Jonathan Gannon ‘more convicted’ that Kyler Murray is Cardinals’ franchise QB

Jan 2, 2024, 3:53 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 1:16 pm

Jonathan Gannon talks with Kyler Murray during a game...

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon congratulates quarterback Kyler Murray (1) after scoring a touchdown in the second half of the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA on December 3, 2023. (Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

TEMPE — Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon had an idea of who Kyler Murray was as a player, having seen what he could bring to the table from afar.

Now after getting to know Murray both on and off the field, there’s no doubt in Gannon’s mind:

Murray is the Cardinals franchise quarterback.

“There’s no doubt (Murray is our quarterback next season). I love that guy. It’s not about one guy, but you know I’m a Kyler guy,” Gannon told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Tuesday. “Being here for a year with him now, I’m more convicted than when I got here, just going through the process and our connection and developed a relationship with him and it being a little odd. You got your franchise quarterback and you know he can’t play. Just seeing the work he put in and the things that we talked about this offseason about what he wanted to improve on, what I wanted to see him improve on … I wanted to make sure that stayed strong.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked. I just feel like what he’s done, the work he’s put in to get to this point, play that type of football that he has in wins or losses, coming off a knee (injury), in a new system. The competitor that he is, I’ve been very pleased with him.”

Murray has bought in from the jump, whether that’s changing up his footwork or working through a new offensive scheme with first-year offensive coordinator Drew Petzing and everything else in between since the new regime’s takeover this past offseason.

And while there have been growing pains, there’s also been obvious growth.

In seven games played since his return from a torn ACL, Murray is 3-4 as a starter behind 1,537 passing yards and nine touchdowns to five interceptions on 64.7% throwing in Arizona’s new-look offense. He’s added another 211 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries.

The Cardinals’ Week 17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles put even more of an exclamation mark on Murray’s place as Arizona’s franchise gunslinger, as the QB completed a season high 80.6% of his throws for 232 yards and three touchdowns to one interception. His 116.7 quarterback rating was also a season high.

“I think everything that you want out of a quarterback; command, competitiveness and then when you talk about the skillset, accuracy, decision making and arm talent (he’s got),” Gannon said Monday. “Then when that doesn’t happen, (he has) the ability to extend plays and he sees the game.

“He’s never sped up, so he sees it extremely quick. Honestly, I think that it will improve as we move forward because he’s eight weeks into a system, so I think the sky’s the limit.”

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