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Kyler Murray Builds Body, Confidence Heading Into Year Two

Quarterback adds muscle, maturation for 2020

Quarterback Kyler Murray has added some muscle since his rookie season.
Quarterback Kyler Murray has added some muscle since his rookie season.

How much muscle Kyler Murray may have put on this offseason the quarterback wouldn't say.

He's still listed at the 207 pounds he was at when he arrived in Arizona in 2019 as the No. 1 overall draft pick. But yes, Murray is a little bigger. He'll let his teammates know too, whether it's out on the practice field or the weight room.

"We're always in there hyping him up a little in the weight room because he knows he got a little swole and got a big chest," wide receiver Christian Kirk said after a chuckle. "Most quarterbacks aren't too willing to go in there and bench and do biceps. But he’s all about it. He gets after it in the weight room."

Murray isn't bragging about any changes. He's not even pointing to the necessity of it, even if the natural assumption is that Murray, at 5-foot-10, needed to further gird himself against the beating of the opposing pass rush.

"I didn't try to go in the weight room to put on weight," he said. "I just think it's the maturation of getting older, working out. It just happened. I didn't go into the offseason saying I need to put on 10 pounds, or however many pounds I put on. That'll always be who I am, I pride myself on working hard."

The comfort level that coach Kliff Kingsbury insisted all summer that his quarterback now had is apparent. Pandemic or not – and Murray did acknowledge he had no problems wearing a mask in games if that was required – it is a confident Murray that enters camp in his second season.

Perhaps that was inevitable, after a rookie season that "was kind of survival mode for him, the way we thrust him in there," Kingsbury said.

"He had to learn on the fly," Kingsbury added. "It's not easy to have to do that at his position in the history of the league, and to live to tell about it."

Now Murray has DeAndre Hopkins, a full season of Kenyan Drake and all the time spent with Kingsbury talking offense this summer, even if it was virtual. What Murray thinks it can actually turn into as a team, the quarterback isn't saying.

"I'm just not going to answer that question," Murray said. "I don't need any … I'll keep that inside."

No reason to absorb any criticism now, not when the time to show things on the field has finally arrived – with his new frame.

"He's also tan, too," linebacker Chandler Jones said. "I make fun of him all the time, 'You got a tan.' But he's definitely bulked up and that'll be good for him, especially in this league. There is no quarterback that goes through games without being sacked. That's just the way it goes. When he has a little more meat on his bones, he can take hits."

Murray, who was sacked 48 times (tied for most of the league) last season, would rather not test that theory.

"I try not to get hit in the first place," Murray said, "so we'll see how I do this year."

Images from Thursday's training camp practice, presented by Hyundai.