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'It Doesn't Affect Me': Kyler Murray Knows Criticisms Constant For Quarterbacks

After bye week, thoughts are on Patriots and final five games

Quarterback Kyler Murray said his focus isn't on off-field criticism but preparing for the Patriots for the next game.
Quarterback Kyler Murray said his focus isn't on off-field criticism but preparing for the Patriots for the next game.

Kyler Murray doesn't have the Twitter app on his phone, and so he didn't know of the criticism leveled on him by former teammate Patrick Peterson last week until current teammate Marquise Brown texted Murray and asked what Murray had done.

"I said, 'I don't know,' " Murray said. "I was confused."

The Cardinals quarterback said he'd had a relaxing bye week, visiting his parents in Texas for a night and resting up his body for the final five games of the season. The rest of what came with the time off – the Peterson comment that Murray was selfish, the national radio and TV pundits running with his Chargers' postgame quote about a fourth-down play being screwed up schematically and wrongly turning that into Murray criticizing Kliff Kingsbury's scheme – added more side stories to a Cardinals' season that has had far too many.

Murray has been a lighting rod for national conversation his whole career, starting with his size and ramping up this offseason with his contract situation and the ebbs and flows of that process. He knows that if the team was 10-2 like last season the barbs wouldn't be as bad – "Our season hasn't gone the way we've wanted it to, so it comes a little heavier" – but something is always going to be in the air as long as he plays in the NFL.

"It's one of those deals, if you win, they are going to say something about you and if you lose they are going to say something about you," Kingsbury said. "So it's making sure you are focused on the right things and that's controlling your attitude (and) your effort.

"The people that matter are the people that are closest to you and the people you work with every day and the rest of it is just noise."

The Cardinals open the final five-game stretch Monday night at home against the Patriots. Murray shrugged off whatever might be flying at him these days, because that's how he usually handles such things.

"You understand the position that you are in, what comes with it, what you have to face," Murray said. "I'm not really new to it. Something I've been dealing with, not my whole life but for the most part of my life having to deal with stuff like that. It doesn't affect me."

"Super-shocked" at Peterson's comments, Murray said he and the longtime Cardinals cornerback had had a "great relationship." The QB acknowledged Peterson had texted him, but noted it was only afterward.

"Hell," Murray said. "What is that gonna do?"

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins also said he was surprised about Peterson's comments, noting "I'm not one to give a PSA about Kyler (but) it's 11 people out there on the field, not just him. I think 10 other people have to do their job for him to be successful. One thing I know about Kyler, he loves this game."

That was in the rear view for Murray, though. That was the bye week, and the Patriots demand his attention now. The chatter and various criticisms are part of the quarterback job description, regardless of who it might be.

"I don't think Kyler and I talk about that that much," backup quarterback Colt McCoy said. "We've both played at colleges where there was a lot of pressure, where there was a lot of media, where there was a lot of attention. He was a first-round pick, I wasn't, but I've played a lot and he's early in his career. You naturally understand the territory that we're in.

"We all understand as a group this is not where we thought we were going to be right now. What we can do now is focus on week-to-week and trying to get a winning record. That should be all of our focus."

Murray laughed when asked if there were times he ever saw or heard a criticism that made him just want to shake his head and say, "C'mon man."

"Some instances yes but not really," he said. "I know who I am and I'm not really tripping on anything that comes my way."

Images of the Cardinals Cheerleaders from our Week 12 game against the Los Angeles Chargers

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