Kyler Murray is in the house, so thankfully the Red Sea can take a deep breath following reports earlier in the week that Murray wasn’t participating in the Cardinals offseason program. It continued with a profootballtalk.com item that claimed his presence on the field for the team’s OTA Wednesday was “for the first time as they continued the third phase of their offseason program.”
The reality, as noted here Tuesday, is that Wednesday’s OTA was the team’s first, making it the start of the third phase and all reports failed to mention that Murray has been participating in virtual meetings since the start of the offseason program last month.
When the issue of Murray working out in Dallas was mentioned to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, he was also asked if that changes “anything development-wise.”
Kingsbury said, “Not at all. I mean, it's a unique offseason. You all understand that, following it the last few months, how it's kind of played out and so just to have him here the next few weeks, it will be great to be around his guys. But he knows our offense inside and out. I think getting the timing down with some of the new players (rookie) Rondale (Moore) and A.J. (Green) will be big and so we'll continue to work through that the next couple of weeks.”
Green was absent from Wednesday’s OTA and the practice consisted of individual drills and basically walk-through work with some limited running and no helmets worn by players.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was present and Kingsbury was asked about them working together in Year 2.
“I do think it took the first half of the season (for them) to really kind of get on the same page. Just not having time on task,” Kingsbury said. “Even out there today, watching them communicate, talk through things; ‘I want it run like this, hey, I can get 'em here.’
“I think it will be huge. There will be a different comfort level with those guys and I'm excited to see where it can go.”
It hasn’t been lost on anyone that in his high school and college career, by playing baseball, Murray didn’t have normal football offseasons and that continued in the NFL with the usual acclimation of a player’s rookie season and then last year’s pandemic affected offseason.
Does Kingsbury expect a big leap this year with it being closer to a normal offseason?
He said, “We hope so. I know he's been working really hard this offseason to try and take that big jump. I thought, not having an offseason last year, rolling into season two, he made huge strides, and then we expect him to make the same (strides) this season.
“He definitely is very confident right now. He's mastered our system. You can see the leadership qualities continuing to emerge. And so we're all just really excited to have him here and watch where this thing could go with him as our leader.”