Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake has only had Kliff Kingsbury as his head coach for eight games. However, he knows the value Kingsbury brings to the offense, especially as more pieces get added.
There are those that have compared Kingsbury to a mad scientist, and Drake concurs.
In a videoconference with reports Tuesday, Drake said, “Coach Kingsbury is always coming up with different plays; like he always has a play up the sleeve to go out there and get a first down in a crunch situation. It might be short yardage or it could be a long yardage or it could just be a big gainer. He always has something up his sleeve.”
Drake said watching film in depth of all levels of football is part of the approach to see what other teams and coaches are doing and “what makes them real special.”
While insisting that “it's not necessarily a copycat league,” Drake explained, “When you see things that work on other teams and you have the same personnel and you can tweak it and make it your own, it's not the same then and it can't be really scouted because somebody else did it. But you put your own variation of it, you can go out there and surprise the team.
“He's really good at doing that. Putting his playmakers in the best situation to get the ball. And when that number is called you’re excited because you practice all week it's going to be a big momentum swing because he just has a knack for (not only) calling the play, but calling it in the right situation.”
While the addition of wide receiver Deandre Hopkins gives the Cardinals even more options in the passing game, Drake believes that will provide more room to run along with quarterback Kyler Murray’s ability to run.
“I definitely feel with the dynamic weapon Kyler is, teams (won’t) run-blitz maybe as much as they would like to or be able to fill the box up as much as they would like. Because he not only can run the ball, but he can throw the ball very well. And then also you add the weapons that we have on the outside, just specifically DeAndre Hopkins, who adds another weapon on the outside that takes away from guys being in the box.
“The less players they have in the box, the easier it is to run against that box. I’m looking forward to not necessarily having easier boxes to run through, but they wouldn’t be able to put that many people to the run game when you have so many dynamic weapons around in Kyler and Larry (Fitzgerald) and everybody else that we have that can create a threat on the outside as well as me lining up out wide, (running back) Chase (Edmonds) lining up out wide. We just have a very versatile offense that you can’t really focus on one thing.”