CARDINALS CORNER

Michael Wilson’s extra work with Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray paying off

Jun 11, 2024, 6:44 PM | Updated: 11:11 pm

TEMPE — Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Wilson had a big goal this offseason: Get that much tighter with quarterback Kyler Murray.

The best way to do that? Put in the extra time and effort away from organized team activities and mandatory minicamp.

Done and done — even if it meant “a little bit of bite back” from someone not on the roster.

“The thing that I’m most excited for and most proud about was continuing to build my rapport with Kyler,” Wilson said Tuesday. “I think that’s been amazing to do. We been throwing every single weekend, been throwing at different high schools. Stayed here pretty much every single weekend throughout this whole OTAs specifically so I could train with K1.

“I told my girlfriend I’m not coming to Portland every weekend. I’m staying here so I can work on my relationship with Kyler. It’s really been amazing. I can’t articulate how awesome it’s been.”

Operating in an offense built on rhythm and timing, not so much feel, that extra time on task can make the difference in continually building chemistry and trust between quarterback and pass catcher.

Last year, Wilson — and other wide receivers on the roster — didn’t have that luxury due to the signal caller’s torn ACL and rehab that followed.

It’s a different story in 2024, though, with Wilson and others getting 4-5 days of work with Murray at the training facility on top of fine-tuning things on the weekend throughout the offseason.

And the early returns have been promising.

“I feel like it’s been as seamless and as flawless of OTAs as I could have hoped for,” Wilson said. “I think there’s been less than three balls on the ground between me and him this whole time.”

Getting in that extra work is nothing new for Wilson, who much like rookie Marvin Harrison Jr. and Murray needs to be reeled in at times in an effort to not overdo it.

It’s that dedication to his craft paired with his growing chemistry with Murray that has Gannon and others expecting big things from Wilson after flashing as a rookie.

“Where you’re ultimately evaluated is production on the grass, but how he gets to that production on the grass on a daily basis, I think he’ll take a jump with what he’s doing from all the standpoints of what that means — schematic, technique, physical, his health, what’s in between his ears,” Gannon said Tuesday. “He will take a jump in all those buckets as I call them.

“That will in turn give him a chance to increase his production and help us win. I really like where Mike is at. He’s as smart as they come, as competitive as they come, works on his craft, works on his game. … He’s going to have a good year.”

And as for making it up to his girlfriend, Portland Thorns FC forward and USWNT international Sophia Smith, Wilson has that covered, too.

“This has probably been the most games I’ve been able to go to this year. … I saw all six of (the Gold Cup games) and I think I’ve been to two or three home games in Portland.

“I earned some slack and then I’m going to go spend some time with her after these OTAs, too.”

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