Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising, but Cardinals GM Steve Keim was impressed with the way rookie quarterback Kyler Murray played in the preseason opener.
"He's looked the same since we drafted him, since he got through baggage claim in May," Keim said during his interview on the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station. "Everything he does just looks different than any other quarterback I've evaluated in my time in the National Football League."
At the same time, Keim is trying to view what Murray did against the Chargers in the same light of how he looked at the first-unit defense, which did not look great on it's one series. "In the preseason, you have to be careful how high and how low you get on certain things."
Keim did say he hopes to see Murray play more next week, but acknowledged some of that is just the enjoyment of watching Murray play. There is little question Murray's entertainment value when he does his thing on the field is attention-grabbing.
-- The offensive line will be something to watch. Keim said the one sack of Murray, in which the QB ended up falling on the ball, was not the fault of right tackle Marcus Gilbert (and in fact, right after the play, Gilbert had his hands up in a 'What happened?' gesture. Keim said there had been a miscommunication.) Keim liked the physicality brought by newcomers Gilbert and guard J.R. Sweezy, and thinks A.Q. Shipley is playing pretty well (it seems as if Shipley definitely has the inside track to ultimately win that job.)
-- Keim said Mason Cole was "pretty good" starting at left guard in place of the injured Justin Pugh, and that rookie center Lamont Gaillard continued a good training camp with a solid presesaon debut.
-- Keim was asked in a overreaching way if the Cardinals might look into a trade to help the offensive line. "We are constantly working the phones," Keim said. "Sometimes you hear about those things because people talk and it gets reported, but for the most part those things go untalked about."
The Cardinals definitely have to be thinking about backup tackle depth, after an up-and-down extended night for both Korey Cunningham and Rees Odhiambo. "I don't think there is any secret depth on the offensive line is a concern," Keim said. "That is unfortunately a league-wide situation."
-- Among the receivers fighting for a job, Trent Sherfield stood out, as did rookie KeeSean Johnson -- Keim even praised the route Johnson ran on the pass he caught after stepping out of bounds first. Damiere Byrd "did some nice things" and showed off his speed, Keim said.
-- Keim said he was disappointed in the defense with urgency getting off blocks, run fits and tackling. He acknowledged tackling issues at this point are a conundrum. "To be a good tackler you have to tackle, and there is just not a lot of live football outside of preseason games and games in the regular season," Keim said.
-- Other players that stood out to Keim included cornerback Chris Jones, rookie safeties Jalen Thompson (who can also play nickle) and Deionte Thompson, and tight end Maxx Williams, who is emerging as the Cards' blocking answer at that position.