Our lead today isn't directly from Thursday's practice, and it's about a guy who wasn't even practicing. But Kliff Kingsbury was asked about Kyler Murray given the chance to call plays in the Back Together Saturday workout last week (which I noted at the time.) Murray wasn't practicing that day.
"I just wanted him to know that, hey, this (expletive) ain't easy," Kingsbury said with a smile. "Every now and then, he starts shaking his head when I'm calling it in there, I'm like, 'Alright big dog.'
"Anytime we can can keep him involved. He was coaching them up right until the last second, like while they were trying to throw he was saying stuff to them, so probably won't be doing that again."
Kingsbury did sat Murray did a good job. But, "I would not want to play for Kyler Murray if I was a quarterback and he was the coach."
-- In the meantime, with Murray still out because of Covid, Colt McCoy is getting all the first-team reps. That can only help, after McCoy had to start a few games last season. "You've got to embrace it," Kingsbury said.
-- Maxx Williams did more on his first day off the PUP list than I expected, dressing out in full pads and going through not only individual drills but also some of the passing tree group drills. He stopped when the tight ends went to do one-on-one blocking drills. His progress from here will be fascinating to watch; the Cardinals must have confidence he will be ready early in the season because otherwise you keep him on PUP to save a roster spot when it's time to cut to the 53.
-- Isaiah Simmons blew up an attempted screen when he came in on a blitz untouched (he didn't even have to raise his arms to cause a ruckus), but in celebration, he broke out Chandler Jones' air guitar move.
-- Country music artist Parker McCollum was on the sideline during practice, a guest of Kingsbury.
-- Guard Will Hernandez and linebacker Dennis Gardeck briefly tangled on post-play. Two things: Hernandez won't shy away from a confrontation, as seen the other day battling J.J. Watt, and he is a building with feet. Tough to move that guy.
-- Couple of defensive backs were wearing mitts -- think of the pads a boxing trainer wears when he's helping his guy work in the ring -- to cut down on the grabbing and holding the coaches have seen. With NFL officials on hand (they will work Saturday's Red and White practice), Kingsbury wanted to train against penalties.
-- The end of practice featured the two first units in a drive situation. Offense had to have a TD. After driving to a first-and-goal, a Darrel Williams run got to the 1 before Simmons made a stop. Three straight passes fell incomplete, and there were offensive linemen none too pleased the team didn't score.
"We're doing basic installs right now, not scheming up the defense," guard Justin Pugh said. "Sometimes they have a call that's just better than we have. We're not going to check out of it. Sometimes in season you'll get looks that are unfamiliar, so that's a good time to go against an unfamiliar look.
"We're not scheming (against) our defense. If we did, we would've scored there."