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Wristbands, Huddling, And Friday Before The Seahawks

Kyler Murray chuckled, and yeah, you don't want to make too big a deal about it, but the wristband he wore last week in Minnesota felt weird to him. The reality is, most players want to uniform up a certain way – there is a reason the "look good, feel good, play good" mantra is pervasive in NFL locker rooms – and then, there was this.

"It was a big-ass wristband," Murray said with a smile. "It took up half of my arm.

"Once you get in the game it wasn't any different, but I didn't feel too great about it leading up to the week."

(Side note: Not looking for people wanting to take Kyler to task for that perspective. You'd be missing the point.)

Murray said the purpose of the wristband was to help combat the noise in Minnesota, so it's possible he will be wristband-less Sunday against the Seahawks. Kliff Kingsbury said it "helped with a few concepts" and that the Cardinals want to fine-tune it.

But it was one of a couple things the Cardinals are trying to employ to help smooth out the offense getting the plays called and snapped in time. The other has been huddling, which Kingsbury said was "a chance for everybody to kind of take a breath, talk through things, have a chance to think about it more and try to execute."

Neither Murray nor Kingsbury have done a lot of huddling in their careers.

"I get to see the O-line's face a little bit more, talk to everybody and communicate," Murray said. "I think we started (with it) against the Saints and I think everybody enjoyed it. To get on the same page, break the huddle with confidence and understand what we're trying to do. Last game, it was a little rowdy in there, so it's kind of tough to hear, but other than that it's been fine."

There is a give and take.

"As an offense, we are so used to playing fast, slowing things down can kind of get guys out of rhythm and you are giving defenses a chance to catch their breath," center Billy Price said. "So with our guys being able to exploit our speed, exploit getting on edge, it helps with tempo.

"But with new guys like myself, a couple other offensive line pieces, it's nice to keep everyone on the same page because at the end of the day you want to be efficient executing your plays as opposed to just running around out there."

There have been some obvious times when – apparently for multiple reasons, although no one is being specific – the Cardinals have had issues getting the play called/snap off before having to use a timeout or even rushing at the end of the playclock.

But the Cardinals are also moving the ball offensively better since DeAndre Hopkins returned, and it'll be interesting to see what all of it looks like – the huddle, the tempo, even perhaps a wristband – against the Seahawks Sunday after the Cardinals only scored three points on offense in Seattle.

"At the beginning of season, it's kind of like you felt like you had no hope—at least that's what it looked like," Murray said. "Now we look like an actual offense, so I feel good about it."

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the 2022 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022 in Minneapolis, MN.

-- The Seahawks are playing well. Can't deny that. Geno Smith has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. But he wasn't as dominant against the Cardinals in the first meeting. The Seahawks stalled a few times, forced to kick field goals, and Vance Joseph has done well scheming against Seattle. The Cardinals sacked Smith five times last game, and in seven games Joseph as Cardinals DC, he has made life tough – first for Russell Wilson and now Smith. In four of those games, the Cardinals have had at least four sacks.

-- It feels a little must-winny. Not a big fan of going there, but the Cardinals are kind of in that spot now.

-- Kingsbury talked this week about getting the downfield passing game going. According to Pro Football Focus, Murray has attempted 37 passes this season that have traveled at least 20 yards; he has completed just 10 of them, with one touchdown and four interceptions. His lone long TD pass was to Hollywood Brown late in the Carolina win covering 23 yards. Seven of Murray's TD passes have been nine air yards or less. Kingsbury said potential deep threat Robbie Anderson is going to have to play more, but there could be some growing pains.

-- Don't forget the rest of the country changes their clocks Saturday night, so the morning NFL window will begin at 11 a.m. and the afternoon at 2 p.m., instead of 10 and 1. Kickoff for the Seahawks game is 2 p.m.

-- There is a championship NASCAR race at PIR on the west side of town Sunday, so keep that in mind with the I-10 – traffic will be heavy.

-- Yes, I too wonder if Rodney Hudson is going to be back out there. Again, a big reason why he wasn't sure about playing this season was whether his body would hold up; that knee has been a problem and at games, you can see it when he walks around.

"I'm more so just worried for him," Murray said. "I know how much he loves the game and how much he wants to be out there. To not be able to be out there and not be able to give the team what brings to the table—I know how much it kills him. I'm fine with Billy (Price) being out there. Would love to have Rodney obviously, but he's got to get his health right and his mental."

-- Kingsbury said this week the Cardinals have been behind 91 percent of the time in their eight games this season. That's a scary number and easy to understand why they are under .500.

-- This week/game will be the basis of the first Hard Knocks episode, premiering Wednesday. Buckle up.

-- The last word comes from Isaiah Simmons, who had a big strip-sack in Minnesota (which should've swung the game in the Cardinals' favor) after his electrifying pick-6 against the Saints.

"I'm happy to help the team with plays like that. I kinds of feel like I'm just getting started with what I can do," Simmons said, before being asked about if this is what he envisioned for his play.

"I envision myself never coming off the field," he added. "But I'm a team player. … I'm going make the best out of every single snap I get."

See you Sunday.

The Cardinals break the huddle against the Vikings in Minnesota.
The Cardinals break the huddle against the Vikings in Minnesota.