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Kyler Murray Enjoying Pro Bowl Knowing There Is Work To Do

Cardinals quarterback knows team's next step 'doesn't get any easier'

Quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass during a Pro Bowl practice this week.
Quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass during a Pro Bowl practice this week.

Kyler Murray has thrown, during this week's Pro Bowl practices, passes to every one of his teammates that are in Las Vegas for Sunday's game.

That's running back James Conner, but also tackle D.J. Humphries, and linebacker Chandler Jones, and safety Budda Baker.

No, the Cardinals aren't going to be incorporating some new crazy offensive system next season. Then again, what the Cards might need to do -- or what Murray is planning for himself this offseason -- remains an unknown right now. All Murray knows is that some change is necessary, after the Cardinals' 11-win season fizzled with a first-round playoff loss while Murray had his worst game of the season that night.

"I wouldn't get into too much detail, but just get better," Murray told azcardinals.com on Saturday. "I think there are a lot of things we all need to address individually. Team-wise we understand kind of what happened, how we get there. We've got to do it together. Obviously everyone has to work hard individually. When we come together we've got to be ready to go, because it doesn't get any easier.

"We made strides throughout the three years I've been here but we haven't reached that ultimate goal."

Murray's performances were uneven after his midseason ankle injury, mirroring the struggles of the offense over all. Still, he finished the regular season with two good games against the Cowboys and Seahawks, making his rough day in Los Angeles in the playoffs a surprise.

His 40.9 passing rating against the Rams was the worst of his career. His previous low was a 56.4 in a home loss to the Rams back in his rookie season of 2019.

Even with some of the up-and-down play, Murray's passer rating finished over 100 (100.6 ) for the first time in his career and was an MVP candidate. He will be entering a crucial year in his career, now eligible for a contract extension for the first time and with the Cardinals having until May if they prefer instead to exercise the fifth-year option for his rookie deal for the 2023 season.

First, Murray is going to finish up the 2021 season, which comes in the Pro Bowl. It's the first time he'll play in the game, given that 2020 -- when Murray was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time -- a game was not actually played because of Covid.

"This is a dream come true," Murray said. "Growing up, watching the Pro Bowl, watching the NFL, wanting to be here one day. Actually being here and not having to do it virtually, it's a blessing."

Images from the five Cardinals -- Kyler Murray, D.J. Humphries, James Conner, Chandler Jones and Budda Baker -- during practice at the 2021 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas.

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