NFL Network was airing live from Cardinals camp Sunday, with Hall of Famer Kurt Warner looking on and evaluating his former team and the newest iteration at his position, Kyler Murray. Warner and his viewers saw another solid day from Murray, who will have his ups and downs but -- at this point -- has had many more ups.
As for the downs, Kliff Kingsbury can live with them. It's time to learn. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph got aggressive in Saturday's practice and Kingsbury noted mistakes would be made as Murray sees things he hasn't before. He just wants Murray to remain aggressive himself to a point, after talking about an end-zone interception Murray forced.
“You want to see what you can get away with during training camp, particularly the first week,” Kingsbury said. “He’s made plays like that his whole life, so you’re not going to reel him in completely, but, hey, let’s learn from that. Particularly down there (in the red zone). It’s third down. We know we’ve got a field goal. That can’t happen. He knows what he can do and can’t do. The speed of the game is something he will continually get adjusted to.”
“Kyler is getting a vast array of looks and pre-snap things rotating, so that should only make him better.”
Speaking of the quarterback position, last year the Cardinals gave rookie QB Josh Rosen a locker in the main locker room at State Farm Stadium, with the idea he needed to start bonding with his teammates. (With 90-man rosters, rookies have a separate locker room at the stadium, and in Tempe, there is an overflow locker room that houses many rookies). Murray has a locker in the main room in Tempe, but he is with the rookies at the stadium during the preseason.
"I didn’t want to break that group up," Kingsbury said. "Those guys have got to earn their way into that locker room and he’s going to do that”
As for Sunday's practice:
-- Rookie wide receiver Hakeem Butler has things he has to work on. He's not a natural route runner, and as a bigger guy he has to work hard to get out of his breaks. But he's looks like he is improving overall in practice, and during one-on-one red-zone work, he made three straight fantastic contested touchdown receptions. One he went up to snare with one hand, the other he made while being hit going inside, and the final one (pictured) he high-pointed the ball. You can see Butler's tools.
-- With Patrick Peterson out of practice for the first time, Tramaine Brock went to Peterson's outside role and Byron Murphy was in the slot.
-- On offense, with Larry Fitzgerald sitting, it was Pharoh Cooper getting his first-team reps. KeeSean Johnson remained the lone rookie wideout to get first-unit reps.
-- Especially with the release of Matt Longacre, the Cardinals have to figure things out at backup outside linebacker. Brooks Reed has slid right in after coming off PUP, but a name to remember is Pete Robertson, who got significant work in the offseason when Terrell Suggs wasn't there and who looks quick off the edge.
-- The Cardinals are off tomorrow. Practice resumes Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.