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Cardinals Want To Play Fast In 2020

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray at the line of scrimmage against the Atlanta Falcons in 2019.
QB Kyler Murray was better when the Cardinals didn't huddle in 2019.

The Rams engineered a quick offensive turnaround following the 2017 hire of Sean McVay, in part because of the coach's ability to adjust offensive play calls at the line of scrimmage.

Once the defense showed its hand, McVay would find the optimal counter.

While coach Kliff Kingsbury is similarly praised for his offensive acumen, the approach is different. The Cardinals were fourth in the NFL in offensive pace last season, per Football Outsiders, and with improvement expected, an even quicker tempo could be a hallmark in 2020.

"Our identity is playing offense, and playing fast," wide receivers coach David Raih said Thursday on the Big Red Rage. "What I mean by that is we don't want to sit there and diagnose the defense. We want to make the defense defend us. That may sound weird to some people listening, but there are a lot of offenses that line up, let the play clock run all the way down, get an exact look at the defense, adjust the play and get in the perfect call. That is not us. In 1,000 plays, we might change the play 10 times."

Quarterback Kyler Murray was better in no-huddle situations as a rookie. When the Cardinals ran the hurry-up, he averaged 7.7 yards per attempt with a passer rating of 91.2, according to Pro Football Focus. In huddle situations, Murray averaged 6.2 yards per attempt with a passer rating of 80.0.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was a three-time All-Pro with the Texans, but his numbers could be even splashier with the Cardinals if the tempo lives up to Raih's expectations.

"Obviously I was in a run-first offense with my previous team," Hopkins said. "I still managed to have great seasons. Before that, I was familiar with the no-huddle offense at Clemson. … I liked it. I think I had 18 touchdowns my last year in that offense, as a junior. We were one of the top offenses. We couldn't stop too many people, but we averaged about 35 or so points a game. So I'm familiar with the offense. You have to be in shape, and the defense also has to be in shape that you're going against, which I think is an advantage."

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