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Major Responsibility Awaits Byron Murphy

Notes: Working from shotgun; Reed suffers 'minor' injury

CB Byron Murphy covers WR Larry Fitzgerald during a recent training camp practice.
CB Byron Murphy covers WR Larry Fitzgerald during a recent training camp practice.

Byron Murphy has attached himself to the hip of Patrick Peterson during training camp.

The second-round draft pick is in awe of the way the Pro Bowl cornerback dominates against some of the best athletes in the world.

"I try to watch film with him so I can really break it down, because he makes it look easy," Murphy said. "I'm going to keep watching him."

Murphy has a few more weeks with Peterson, but soon, he will be on his own. Peterson will begin serving a six-week suspension when the regular season begins, which will bar him from the team facility.

For that month-and-a-half, Murphy is expected to play a significant role on defense. He has been the slot cornerback during first-team work in training camp, and is expected to line up there or at outside cornerback when the regular season begins, with veteran Tramaine Brock manning the other spot.

Murphy has been practicing both positions throughout camp.

"He's getting there," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "It's a completely new system for him and things are moving fast. We're asking him to do a lot, when you talk about playing outside and inside for a young guy. He's going to have go grow up fast with Pat's situation, and he understands that. He's come along. He's a guy that the ball tends to find wherever he's at. He's kind of a playmaker. Did that at Washington and we're hoping it continues here."

Murphy is getting a trial by fire, often guarding players like Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. He has won some battles – picking off a pass and dropping another in a recent practice – and has also taken his medicine at times.

"He's having some ups and downs in practice, but that's a good thing," defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said. "Have them now rather than later. He's fully engaged and wants to be good."


Kingbury spoke this offseason about his preference for the shotgun formation, which he believes helps the quarterback on passing plays and doesn't hinder the running game.

The Cardinals have used it as their base set in training camp, and while Kingsbury didn't close the door on going under center if the running game struggles in the preseason, it doesn't seem likely to happen.

Quarterback Kyler Murray is used to playing out of the shotgun, and while running backs David Johnson and Chase Edmonds played in a pro-style offense last year, they both had this type of system in college.

"I feel like I'm at home," Edmonds said. "My four-year career at Fordham, it was nothing but this type of offense. Spread offense, shotgun, and really being able to use my vision in my lanes."

Zone-read handoffs out of the shotgun can sometimes lead to fumbles if there is a miscommunication, but Kingsbury is pleased with the chemistry thus far.

"The ballhandling has been really good with those (two) backs and Kyler," Kingsbury said. "His entire life he was worked those exchanges. It's a tough read when either one of those guys can take the ball and be dangerous."


Outside linebacker Brooks Reed suffered a "minor" injury during practice on Wednesday, but it wasn't related to the hip injury he dealt with this offseason, Kingsbury said.

Reed could miss a few days with the unspecified injury. Veteran outside linebacker Terrell Suggs will get a rest day on Thursday, and those absences could give recent addition Andre Branch some significant work as he aims to lock down a backup edge rusher role.

Images from Wednesday's work at State Farm Stadium

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