I have to admit—-I am wrong about the Cardinals and QB Kyler Murray.
It’s not necessarily that I am wrong about Murray’s talents—-it’s just that I have been clinging to an impossible dream, because the Cardinals are all-in on Josh Rosen.
As the vast majority of you have understood—-Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim. Adrian Wilson and, most importantly, Kliff Kingsbury—-are all-in on Josh Rosen.
On Doug and Wolf this morning, Michael Bidwill brought perfect clarity to the situation when he informed Cardinals’ fans that Kliff Kingsbury was the only coach they interviewed who asked the Cardinals to set up video clips of Josh Rosen so that Kingsbury could show Bidwill, Keim and Adrian Wilson precisely what he would do to help Rosen and the offense improve.
Kingsbury explained how he would protect Rosen better and he explained how he would help Rosen read defenses more effectively during the pre-snap and how he could help Rosen throw with stronger precision.
When asked by Doug whether the Cardinals are worried that hiring a college coach with no NFL coaching experience and a losing record as a college head coach, Bidwill said that Kingsbury is “one of the great offensive minds in all of football” and that “in his six years as a college OC (2) and HC (4), his offenses have averaged 39.6 points per game, versus strong competition.”
Ideally, it would be best for the Cardinals to cash in on Rosen’s talents and to use every resource they have to make the Cardinals’ roster one of the deepest and most talented in the NFL.
This is exactly what Bidwill, Keim, Wilson and Kingsbury have in mind. In fact, Bidwill went as far as to say that “we intend to flip this around quickly so that the fans at State Farm Stadium will be able to see an exciting brand of football this fall.”
I was drawn to Kyler Murray because of his electrifying mobility and baseball-like accuracy with the football. I believe he is going to be a nightmare for opposing teams, particularly in the red zone, where if he gets a small crease he is going to be doing his patented little hop over the goal line.
As Cardinals’ fans we haven’t seen that type of mobility from our QBs in ages—-really we would have to go back to Jake Plummer to get any semblance of one.
As much as we have lamented the year-in and year-out struggles of our offensive lines, one of the best ways to take the pressure off of an offensive line is to have a supremely mobile QB. Mobile QBs actually slow down pass rushes and make them stay in the lanes for fear of the QB scramble.
There is no question that the Cardinals change their pass rush when they play Russell Wilson—-delivering controlled rushes from the edges so as not to give up contain—-and tight lane rushes from the inside so as not to give Wilson an easy escape into daylight.
Josh Rosen is a better athlete than advertised—-and he showed last year that at times he can use his feet to escape pressure. This year he is in an offense that will be more disciplined, diverse and aggressive. This year he has a head coach who knows what it takes to get the most out of the QB position.
Perhaps it was a harbinger of sorts, but last night when I heard that the Oakland A’s (who like every other MLB team received a pre-MLB 2018 draft letter from Kyle Murray assuring all of them that he was “100% committed to baseball”) while answering media questions about whether Murray would show up for spring training and thus honor the $5M commitment the A’s made to him as the #9 pick) learned—-just as you and I did—-via Twitter that Murray is now “100% committed to football” and that “football has always been the love of my life.”
That Murray’s tweet made no mention at all of the A’s or offered no thanks for their commitment to him—-I thought wow, this is disgraceful.
Then on the NFL Network last night, they showed an interview of Murray given by Deion Sanders, in which Sanders baited Murray with the question as to whether Murray had a higher purpose for playing football this past season, even though he had signed with the A’s. Murray took the bait, hook, line and sinker—-and said, “well, yeah, I did.”
The news this morning that Murray just hired Kliff Kingsbury’s agent would have given me goosebumps yesterday—-but today not so much.
What makes this scenario worse for me is that I am a life-long Oakland A’s fan. My boyhood baseball idols were Jim “Catfish” Hunter and Joe Rudi.
Perhaps subconsciously I have been wishing that if my A’s couldn’t cash in on Murray, then at least my Cardinals could.
For those who have felt I have “hated” Josh Rosen—-I can honestly say that it hasn’t been hate for Rosen, it’s been an avid love for Murray in Kingsbury’s Air Raid.
I have had my concerns about Rosen well before the Cardinals drafted him. I have also been fascinated with his potential—-I think we all are.
But now I place my faith in Kliff Kingsbury and Tom Clements. If anyone can bring out the best in Josh Rosen and all of the Cardinals’ QBs, I eagerly trust that Kingsbury and Clements can.
To the fans at ROTB—-those of you who said the Cardinals are all-in on Rosen—-you were right.
As the poet Langston Hughes poses in in the final line of his poem “Harlem,” to the question of “what happens to a dream deferred?”...he asks, “Or—-does it explode?”
However—-I continue to cling to the belief that Kyler Murray is the better fit for Kingsbury’s offense. But, today, seemingly for certain, that’s a point that has been rendered completely moot by the owner and team president of the Arizona Cardinals.