Skip to main content

Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information


Presented by

Kyler Murray's Journey To Get Under Center 

Quarterback had non-shotgun snaps spike in Petzing offense

During the 2020 season, Kyler Murray started all 16 games for the Cardinals and it was during that season the team had its most snaps under center while Kliff Kingsbury was coach -- 173 times, according to

Murray played in just nine games for the Cardinals under OC Drew Petzing this season. He was under center 130 times, building up to 55 total in the last two games alone.

"I feel good. I enjoy it," Murray said before the final game of the season. "I know it's something I asked for in the past. I think it gives us a different versatility in the offense that we could've used. It gives the defense a different look. You can't really see the ball as far as play fakes in that split second and play action. It affects the defense, so I enjoy it."

The Cardinals, with their three different QBs, were under center 307 times. That's with a slow roll-out for Murray in his first few games.

In the Kingsbury era it was significantly less:

  • 2022: 163
  • 2021: 149
  • 2020: 173
  • 2019: 169

Between 2020 and 2022, Murray was in shotgun 92.3 percent of the time, the second-highest behind the Eagles' Jalen Hurts, and he lined up under center only 2.9 percent of the time, lowest among all QBs. But with Petzing, those numbers changed. The team's under-center percentages -- which were around middle-of-the-pack -- rose after Murray returned, and their shotgun percentage correspondingly shrunk. 

The Cardinals also nearly cracked the top-10 in play-action percentage and were almost at 25 percent.

"I think in today's day and age you want to put pressure on the defense, and you have to do that with the skillset of your people," coach Jonathan Gannon said after the season. "When you can have different offenses that are really the same, IE under center or in the gun, I think that's very valuable to stress out a defense. Especially when you have the trigger guy that we have that can do those things, so you have all kinds of different play types from under center. You've got all different kinds of play types from gun.

"I would say this too, that with some of the things that (Kyler) is capable of seeing the defense do under center, the look that that gives the defense gives him an advantage and it gives us an advantage so that'll be a part of who we are moving forward."

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the Week 18 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Jan 7, 2024 at State Farm Stadium.