Kyler Murray will wear a black jersey throughout Cardinals training camp, which is a reminder for other players to avoid contact with the prized asset.
The setup could allow the rookie quarterback to sit in the pocket longer and work on his progressions, but the Cardinals prefer a more accurate simulation. When traffic gets heavy in the pocket during practice, Murray plans to exit like he would in a regular game.
“You need to be realistic with yourself, knowing what was going to happen,” Murray said.
While some quarterback scrambles are a last-ditch effort to save a play, Murray’s speed makes it a lethal option. Last season at Oklahoma, he posted a 128.3 passer rating, 78.7 adjusted completion percentage and 8-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio on off-script plays, according to Pro Football Focus. He also averaged 7.9 yards per carry on scrambles.
Even though there is a lot of focus on coach Kliff Kingsbury’s play designs, he wants Murray to abandon them if the passing windows are not open.
“Y’all watch every week the highlight tapes of these guys that can extend plays and make plays, and what a high percentage of offense that is for teams,” Kingsbury said. “If you have that ability, use it.”
The Cardinals will specifically practice scramble drills in addition to the ones Murray creates organically. While his mobility is the main key to success, the pass-catchers need to be on the same page for big plays to happen.
“It’s not just ‘cause I can get around that it’s easy,” Murray said. “It’s something you’ve got to work on. For us and for me, personally, I think, yes, I do need to get out and get the guys going and have them feel me outside the pocket and know where to be.”