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Steve Keim: Ready To See What Kyler Murray Can Do

For the debut of Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury, it's not just the fans waiting to see what will happen in the first Cardinals' game that counts Sunday against the Lions.

"This has to be rank up there as the most anticipated game for me in my time with the Cardinals," General Manager Steve Keim said during his appearance on the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station.

From his rookie quarterback, Keim's expectations aren't outlandish.

"More than anything, for a young quarterback, it's to play well within the system," Keim said. "To do the little things correctly, the operation, to locate secondary options, the things we saw him do at the college level and hopefully he'll be able to transfer it to the National Football League.

"From everything I have seen, in the springtime, through practices and OTAs and preseason and training camp, he's just gotten better and better and better, and I think that'll be the trajectory he'll be on for the rest of his career."

But Keim also said, despite all of Murray's talents, he needs to take care of the ball and avoid mistakes too often (it's worth noting Murray did not turn the ball over during preseason play.)

-- Keim expressed optimism about his oft-maligned offensive line. "They have a chip on their shoulder," Keim said, noting that coach Sean Kugler has done a good job with the group. "We have to make sure we play in unison on Sunday," he said, a detail that often did not take place in 2018.

-- Keim said he really likes the two waiver-claimed linemen the Cardinals got. Justin Murray can play both tackles and guard, while the Cardinals liked Army-produced Brett Toth when he was at the Senior Bowl.

-- Wide receiver Michael Crabtree's active status against the Lions will be a gameday decision, Keim said. He did note that there is a difference between being in shape and being in football shape, so we'll see if that has an impact.

-- Two players off-the-radar a bit that Keim noted. He brought up the improvement of wide receiver Damiere Byrd since Byrd was signed, as a route runner and a pass catcher. "He's earned it," Keim said of Byrd's roster status. He also said he was excited about the signing of outside linebacker Cassius Marsh. Marsh can get off the ball quickly, shows a good speed-to-power combination, and Keim added that Marsh is excellent on special teams.

-- Keim said he believes in the 53-man roster, both with the upside of the young players but the character of the group, saying he has no doubts that the effort will be good. But he also said with so many young players and a first-year head coach, a strong start would be helpful.

"It's a long season but it's extremely important to go out and play well to build confidence," Keim said.

Steve Keim before a 2019 preseason game

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