Cardinals' Kingsbury Praises Kyler Murray, Sees 'Different Level of Confidence'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 22: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray #1 talk on the sidelines during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 22, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday he's happy with the development of quarterback Kyler Murray, the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, after a year within the team's offensive scheme.

"There's definitely a different level of confidence, a different level of command of the offense and he feels it," Kingsbury told reporters. "Even though we haven't been able to get out on the grass, he definitely feels a lot more comfortable heading into year two."

Murray enjoyed a solid rookie season. He completed 64.4 percent of his throws for 3,722 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He added 544 rushing yards and four scores on the ground.

The 22-year-old University of Oklahoma product, who started all 16 of the Cards' games, ranked 26th in passer rating (87.4) and 15th in ESPN's Total QBR (55.7).

"I would like to be the best to ever play the game," Murray told reporters in September.

Arizona made a major addition to his group of targets during the offseason with a blockbuster trade for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans.

Hopkins is set to join Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk to form one of the league's most talented pass-catching trios.

The front office also bolstered the defense by signing defensive lineman Jordan Phillips and linebacker Devon Kennard before taking Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 draft.

It sets the stage for the Cardinals to make a significant jump after going 5-10-1 last season. That potential rise up the standings is directly tied to Murray's growth, though.

"I try to talk to him at least once a week, if not more," Kingsbury said. "He's doing great. When you watch the installs with him, when you watch plays from last year, you notice how far he's come since [last year's] training camp on."

If Murray does take a second-year leap, Arizona could become a sleeper in the NFC despite playing in perhaps the NFL's toughest division alongside the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.