Shopping and traveling. That was one of the things that caught my attention about Kyler Murray in the Murray-centric "Cardinals Flight Plan" episode that premiered on Thursday night.
Between the episode and Wednesday's story, there was -- through the prism of Murray's rehab from his ACL surgery -- an insight to him that we have rarely gotten a chance to see since he was drafted in 2019. At the end of the show, when he is asked about what his hobbies away from football are (and yes, he acknowledges and makes a comment about playing Call of Duty, noting it is a great way to spend time with friends who don't live nearby), he talks about shopping and traveling. The shopping part isn't a surprise given his bank account; he jokes about it being an "addiction."
But the traveling thing? He notes he never really went on vacations until he got to the NFL because it was always either football or baseball season until then. He was always playing something.
It's interesting in an episode that had a lot of Kyler rehabbing -- at the team facility, at his home in Paradise Valley, even in Hawaii -- and showing the work he has put in to try and return as soon as he can.
Most players who care about their careers are going to work in rehab to return. There was never really any question Kyler was gonna be one of those guys. But seeing him talk about his comeback, talk about the rigors of that work, and talk about what he does off the field felt like seeing a Kyler of which we usually don't see. For a guy coming off a hard knee injury, he acts as if a weight has been lifted. And frankly, he said as much.
"As far as the chip on my shoulder, like what type of energy I'm coming with into the season, I feel free in a sense, you know, especially with the change of upstairs and the organization," Murray said. "I feel like they've done a great job since coming in, holding people accountable, (and) the leadership. They are really trying to build something from the ground up.
"The way we're going, the way I feel like, personally, the sky is the limit."
Murray has to get back on the field, first to practice and then to play, and how that goes ultimately will be the deciding factor whether Murray will be who he needs to be for both himself and the franchise. But in the first real glimpse of the quarterback since he blew out his knee, he seems to be in the right headspace to get there.