Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsburg said it is difficult to understand what is going through Kyler Murray’s mind ahead of the quarterback’s NFL debut.
Murray – the number one pick in the 2019 draft – will make his bow when the Cardinals face the Detroit Lions in their NFL opener on Sunday.
It is unclear how the Cardinals will fare with rookie quarterback Murray under center, and not even Kingsbury is sure as the 22-year-old is naturally a more reserved person.
Kingsbury, who also is in his first season as an NFL coach, said: “That’s what he is and who he is. I guess he thought he was going to be here his entire life, so it’s just the next step for him.
“I’ve said it all along: He’s a rookie quarterback in the NFL starting Week 1. There’s going to be some ups and downs. We’re going to make some mistakes. We’ll work through those and try to continue to improve together.”
Murray and Kingsbury have known each other since the QB was being scouted by Texas Tech.
Even though they have built a relationship over the years, Kingsbury said it is difficult to get Murray to tell him what plays he is most comfortable with running.
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“It’s like pulling teeth with him trying to [get him to] tell me that ‘I don’t like a play’ because he wants to make them all work and that’s his attitude,” Kingsbury said. “But there’s good conversations and after today, walking off the practice field, I’ll try to get, ‘Hey, what don’t you like?’ and he’ll say, ‘I love it all’ and we’ll move forward. That’s how he is.
“He’s competitive, and he wants to make it all work. But, yeah, there’s definitely those conversations going on. We want to make sure he’s as comfortable as possible because it will be a tough challenge.
“It’s hard to step in as a rookie Day one and win a football game, and we understand that, so we’re going to try to help him as much as possible.”
Kingsbury later said he does expect Murray to blossom as the season progresses and for him to speak up and become a leader on and off the field.
“What you see is what you get,” Kingsbury said. “He’s not going to be over the top, rainbows and sunshine with you, and I like that because that’s how he carries himself.
“He’s very confident, very competitive. I like where he’s at. I don’t ever see him bringing me cupcakes on game day or anything like that. I think he’s going to be who he is and we’ll continue our relationship.”
Before this alarms Cardinals fans, Kingsbury said Murray already is ahead of the curve when it comes to first-year starting quarterbacks and that “it’s not like he’s coming in here trying to learn Chinese as a lot of those first-year quarterbacks.”