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Cardinals' Kyler Murray on Hype Entering Rookie Season: 'I Don't Feel Pressure'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 2, 2019

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws a pass during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray is used to facing significant pressure after leading Oklahoma to a Big 12 title and a College Football Playoff appearance during a Heisman Trophy-winning 2018 campaign.

That doesn't appear to startle him.  

"I don't feel pressure," Murray told reporters at training camp on Thursday. 

The quarterback also seems aware of the criticism he'll face if he doesn't perform but understands it's part of the gig.

"I got to go out and play well," Murray said. "And if I don't, then people are gonna be mad, I'm gonna be mad, everybody's gonna be mad. So, my focus is play well."

Murray completed 69 percent of his passes for 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions last year. He also rushed for 1,001 yards and 12 scores.

Posting astronomical numbers in the NFL won't be nearly as easy for Murray, and there may be a learning curve as he adapts to a new team and a first-year head coach in Kliff Kingsbury, who made the jump from the college ranks to the pros, as well.

Still, Murray isn't necessarily under pressure to lead his team to greatness off the bat. Per the Westgate SuperBook (h/t Scott T. Miller of The Action Network), Arizona's over/under win total is just five, tied with the Miami Dolphins for the lowest mark in the league.

He'll probably hear from critics if he doesn't perform well, but the transition will be easier because he isn't inheriting a team on the doorstep of Super Bowl contention. That should at least ease the pressure somewhat, or as much as possible for a No. 1 overall pick and Rookie of the Year favorite.

Arizona opens its 2019 season at home against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, Sept. 8.