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Kyler The Inquisitor, And Camp Practice Aftermath

Daily discussions between the quarterback and head coach make a difference

Kyler Murray can't practice. But he can watch. And talk. And discuss.

And that's what the injured quarterback has done more than a few times with head coach Jonathan Gannon during 7-on-7 and especially 11-on-11 work, as Murray tries to get as much out of camp as he can.

"He's kind of a ball junkie," Gannon said. "He wants to understand the why -- why is (DC Nick) Rallis doing that, why is (CB) Marco (Wilson) playing it that way, why is this going on, different things. 'Why would you call that right there?' I'd say, 'I don't know why Nick would call that right there, I wouldn't.'

"But I try to educate him on those things. He wants to know defense. Good quarterbacks do. And he's very intelligent. You can talk with him on a level like he's a coach, because he's smart and he understands. For me, it's good to hear from his perspective. 'Is that hard on you guys?' 'No it's not hard.' Or, 'You should do more of that because here's why it's hard on us.' Just the back and forth of the quarterback position."

Murray is engaged, certainly. That will only help him so much in his return to the field -- his body and being comfortable with the physicality is going to be paramount -- but it's hard to believe he won't be mentally prepared in a football sense.

-- The Cardinals were out for their second padded practice on Thursday. During the OL-v-DL drills, it was interesting to see rookie tackle Paris Johnson Jr. get visibly irritated with himself when he was beat by edge rusher Dennis Gardeck. The next time the two paired up, PJJ took care of business, basically throwing Gardeck to the side.

-- That said it was a good period for Gardeck, and it will be interesting with all the uncertainty at OLB how much opportunity Gardeck could get in terms of defensive snaps.

-- The same group of injured(?) players were not doing most of the work, including three tight ends and wide receiver Hollywood Brown.

-- Rookie WR Michael Wilson and second-year cornerback Christian Matthew have matched up quite a bit early on. The first rep they took against each other Matthew was flagged for holding as Wilson came out of his break. That's been the concern with Matthew is how he can get grabby, and that's something he will have to continue to work on.

-- It was already known that Matthew and rookie Kei'Trel Clark were both being looked at across from Marco Wilson, but Clark got some of the first-team reps on Thursday.

-- Greg Dortch made a heck of a sideline grab on a Clayton Tune pass, and the defensive backs tried to point to the divot Dortch left with one of his feet as proof it was out of bounds. It was ruled a catch.

-- Pat Elflein was getting some second-team reps at center, although one his shotgun snaps airmailed the head of Tune and it was "returned" for a touchdown by linebacker Jesse Luketa.

-- First-team QB Colt McCoy sat out the last 11-on-11 period, and it looked like it could be the framework of what the Cardinals might want to do in the first preseason game.

-- The session ended when a Jeff Driskel pass intended for tight end Blake Whiteheart was deflected by Clark and into the hands of safety JuJu Hughes for an interception.

Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during 2023 Cardinals Training Camp at State Farm Stadium on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.