As practice wrapped up Wednesday, rookie quarterback Kyler Murray told Kliff Kingsbury how much more comfortable he had been during the workout compared to the previous couple of weeks.
The earlier work hadn’t been as crisp as Murray wanted. Murray still didn’t get the result out of every play he wanted as the Cardinals began their second week of organized team activities, but it is still just May, with six OTAs and a minicamp left to go.
Murray will be patient. There’s no reason not to be.
“(I know) this is all a process, a learning experience right now,” Murray said. “A couple months from now I’ll know everything I didn’t know now. Knowing it’s a process, that’s always been good for me.”
Murray’s spot, as a rookie starting quarterback who was drafted first overall, was automatically going to generate frequent updates on his learning curve. But he continues to impress the players whom he must lead.
Murray’s passes are “never a duck, it’s always a spiral,” wide receiver Christian Kirk said. “It’s exciting to see him grow in these couple practices already."
“There’s no one really out there who is doing it like him,” Kirk added.
Running back David Johnson said Murray has been “a lot faster and quicker than I thought he was.” He also said he thinks people underestimate Murray’s throwing ability, and Johnson’s eyes lit up when talking about the “dynamic” offense possible with he and Murray in the backfield.
Still, there is much ground to cover between the “what” and the “what if” of this offense. Kirk said the Cardinals won’t know their identity offensively until sometime in training camp. Having a rookie quarterback creates even rougher terrain on that path.
“There are definitely growing pains, timing-wise,” Kirk said. “Every day there’s a new route you are running, a new concept. That’s stuff we have to work through the kinks.”
But, Kirk said, “looking from last year, the only way we can go is up. It’s the truth.”
Benchmarks for Murray’s advancement aren’t necessarily tangible for Kingsbury. The coach just wants ongoing improvement in what will be a daily process.
“It’s never going to stop with what we expect with how his improvement goes, however many years he is here,” Kingsbury said.
Year One has barely just begun.
“For me, there are no limitations,” Murray said. “I’d never do that to myself. But I’m coming in as if it was my senior year (last year in college.) The circumstances are a little different, I’m new to the league, but at the same time, I’m treating it all the same, trying to get up to speed as if I was a freshman. Obviously, there will be some ups and downs, but every time I touch the field I want to win.”
Images from practice as the Cardinals start their second week of OTAs in 2019