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Offseason Job One For Michael Wilson: Bond With Kyler Murray

Wide receiver has made sure to develop chemistry with QB

For Michael Wilson, this has been the K1 offseason.

The second-year receiver has stayed in Arizona each weekend specifically to train with quarterback Kyler Murray. He didn't get that chance as a rookie, since Murray was still rehabbing from his ACL tear. Changing that up this offseason included telling his girlfriend -- USA soccer star Sophia Smith, who plays professionally for the Portland Thorns -- that he was not going the Pacific Northwest "because I'm staying here so I can work on my relationship with Kyler."

"The thing I'm most excited about is continuing to build my rapport with Kyler," Wilson said. "That's been amazing to do."

Yes, the Cardinals have Marvin Harrison Jr., and he is going to be WR1. But Wilson's development -- and his chemistry with Kyler -- should not be understated.

"I call him at 3 a.m., he's there," Murray said. "He loves this (expletive). I fully expect Mike to go off this year."

OK, so 3 a.m. might be hyperbole, but Wilson said he has gone out almost every weekend with Murray (and other receivers) to throw extra, and work more on the timing that the offense of Drew Petzing is predicated upon. The text will come in the night before from Murray, you around to throw the next morning at 10?

"I told him, 'Bro, I'm here for you,'" Wilson said. "I want to help him turn this thing around and build this around you. I'll put everything else to the side unless it's something major."

WIlson said the two have built a relationship where each is comfortable telling the other what more they need, whether it comes with Murray's pass placement or Wilson's depth of route. The two now have a "feel" for each other that can be hard to quantify.

"I can't even articulate how amazing it's been," Wilson said.

Murray and his receivers are planning more work in the upcoming weeks before training camp, Wilson said, now that the official offseason program has ended.

On a more personal note, Wilson did say he has been able to see nine of Smith's games this offseason, thanks to USA playing in L.A. while he was training there. He just hasn't been able to get back to Portland of late. So, Wilson was asked, how did Smith take the news that the Kyler relationship was taking precedence for now?

"She's a professional athlete so ..." Wilson said, noting her understanding.

"But," he added, "she is a girlfriend at the same time."

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Wilson (14) during the Week 18 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Jan 7, 2024 at State Farm Stadium.