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A Study In Kyler Murray: Teammates Confident In QB Knowledge

After news of contract language, Ertz notes 'he was on the same page'

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray arrives at the Wigwam Tuesday as the veterans reported to training camp.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray arrives at the Wigwam Tuesday as the veterans reported to training camp.

Kyler Murray knows the playbook better than anyone on the Cardinals.

That is the assessment of tight end Zach Ertz, who was not surprisingly asked Tuesday – as the Cardinals reported to training camp at their new team hotel, The Wigwam Resort – about his quarterback and the now-public knowledge that there is language in his new contract requiring at least four hours of video study on his own every week during the season.

The news broke Monday, a few days after Murray held a press conference about his new contract.

Knowing the playbook is important, but Ertz also emphasized Murray knew what he needed about opposing defenses too – which would be at the crux of most film study.

"Anytime I brought up questions about how their defense was playing certain techniques or whatever, he knew what I was talking about," Ertz said. "From my standpoint, I'm not in there watching film with him, obviously … but anytime I wanted to talk about certain techniques they were doing or something I saw based on my study, he was on the same page with me the majority of the time."

Getting the contract done prior to camp starting was a significant hurdle for Murray and the team, and the new money on the five-year extension – through 2028 – does provide him with a hefty $46.1 million per year average starting in 2024.

Kliff Kingsbury, talking for the first time since the deal was done, acknowledged "it means a lot to me to see this come to fruition" given how much belief he has in Murray dating back to Murray's high school days.

But the coach said he doesn't get involved in contract negotiations, so couldn't speak on the addition of the study addendum.

"Honestly, my who entire role in (the contract) was prayer and pleading to both parties," Kingsbury said.

With Murray, "his development in all areas, all he's done is get dramatically better each and every year. That's what I judge it by. There are a handful of quarterbacks that can win a Super Bowl in this league, and we feel he is one of them."

Just putting time in watching video doesn't necessarily mean it's good time put in watching video, and that goes for any player, Kingsbury said. In the end, the coach said, it is the results by which everyone is judged.

"I know that K1 is a hard worker," safety Budda Baker said. "Guys are all different. Some guys like to stay at the facility and watch film, some guys like to watch film not on their team-issued iPads (but) in their big (meeting) rooms. Some guys at home.

"He just got paid so everything is good. All he thinks about is football anyway."

Ertz talked about his process watching video to prepare each week, honed over a decade in the league. But he echoed Baker's thoughts on it being unique to each player.

"The addendum is what it is, but in my opinion, Kyler knows the playbook inside and out," Ertz said.

"You can get so hyper-focused on film, it can be you're trying to see things that really aren't there during a game," Ertz added. "There is a fine line, in my opinion, in watching too much film and trying to overanalyze things and playing fast. Each and every player has to find their own process."

Murray and owner Michael Bidwill were all smiles when the QB signed his contract Monday, according to photos posted by the team. That's the vibe Murray's teammates reported Tuesday as well.

"No matter what the contract says, (Kyler) is happy," Ertz said. "That's all that matters to me."

Take a look at the Arizona Cardinals arriving to The Wigwam resort before the 2022 Cardinals Training Camp