Brett Hundley isn't going to start for the Cardinals. That's Kyler Murray's job. But Hundley does have a role when it comes to Murray -- he's the veteran in the room. And Hundley's message for Murray after Thursday's night's preseason ugliness was simple.
"You're going to go through ups and go through downs," Hundley said. "It's staying consistent. It's meshing with the offense and continue to have fun out there. Lead these guys, and they'll follow."
What was interesting is that Murray certainly didn't sound like a guy who had his confidence shaken in a poor game. For Murray, a game that doesn't count shouldn't leave scars. He said he didn't think he was in the end zone when he went down for what was called the safety. He said only one throw got away from him, although there were a couple that seemed off-target. Snap-clap-gate left both he and Kliff Kingsbury a little mystified -- that seems like a problem that has the potential to be an issue, truthfully -- but the rookie sure seemed to handle this "down" easily.
"Everybody felt ugly on the sideline after the first four drives or whatever it was," Murray said. "That's part of it. It's good for us to see that. It's good for us to feel that. Like I said, we're very vanilla right now. It's hard to judge, but I think when we get out there (for the regular season), we'll be ready to roll."
That is potentially true. But it isn't just the offense we're talking about. The run defense still looked less than stellar. And the news Robert Alford is going to miss a chunk of the regular season -- meaning the top two Cardinals cornerbacks, thanks to Patrick Peterson's suspension, will be absent -- is rough.
-- Adam Schefter reported the Alford injury would be "about two months." Interestingly, the Cardinals' first game two months from now would be Oct. 20 in New York against the Giants -- which just happens to be the first game back for Peterson.
-- The Cardinals had 14 penalties, 11 of which were in the first half, and that can't happen. Of course, it was topped with the Murray snap-clap issue, which caused two false starts. Kingsbury said the Cards will figure it out with the officials, but I'm curious to know if it will end up being like the strike zone in baseball, with different crews interpreting it slightly different ways. Kingsbury was confident the snap-clap will still work. It'll be something to watch.
-- What to do at cornerback. What a blow to lose Alford. Byron Murphy/Patrick Peterson/linebacker Jordan Hicks were the trio on the side of the field when Ryan Grant was left uncovered for what turned into an easy 13-yard catch-and-run touchdown to start the game. Tramaine Brock lost on a jump ball down the field to Tyrell Williams early. How Murphy and Brock and Chris Jones handle the cornerback work now would seem to determine a lot of how the Cards can play defensively early in the season. Can defensive coordinator Vance Joseph still be aggressive and man-cover?
-- Then again, teams might just run on the Cardinals. The Raiders opened with runs of 6, 8 and 6 yards. Not backbreaking, but impossible to get off the field.
-- If Trent Sherfield hasn't locked down a roster spot at this point, I'll be shocked. He obviously has nice chemistry with Hundley after a second straight game with a TD hookup.
-- Other than Sherfield, not a lot to go on from the receiving corps. Andy Isabella's late touchdown was a nice play, but I think there are still questions to answer.
-- The Cardinals don't have a ton of depth at inside linebacker, but Dennis Gardeck -- starting in place of the injured Haason Reddick -- playing into the fourth quarter likely signals that the coaches think he needs the real-time work.
-- One of those inside linebackers, Tanner Vallejo, was playing a decent game, but he left the game late with his left arm down by his side.
-- The backup offensive tackles looked better this week. Rookie Joshua Miles did -- at least at first glance with me watching everything else at the same time -- a good job at left tackle.
-- The Cardinals are off Friday, and have two more days of training camp at State Farm Stadium. Saturday's penultimate practice is the last one open to the public.