He may not have actually remained in uniform Friday night however Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was still able to use what he performed in practice in the weeks leading up to the very first preseason video game of the season versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
Murray assisted call offensive plays throughout the 4th quarter of the Cardinals’ 36-23 win over the Bengals along with co-pass-game organizer and quarterbacks coach Cam Turner. Murray was on a headset passing on plays to quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, who played the whole 2nd half.
Murray supervised for 2 real series and after that the 2 kneel-down plays to close the video game, which coach Kliff Kingsbury stated after the video game weren’t Murray’s favored option of plays. Arizona went three-and-out on both of Murray’s series — the “last thing I anticipated,” Kingsbury stated — running 3 pass plays and 2 run plays.
Guarantano was sacked on a play, too. The Cardinals got 15 backyards in overall on those plays.
“He called a couple of really nice plays,” Kingsbury stated. “It just didn’t work out. Had some guys open. He does a good job with it. I’ve been impressed.”
Kingsbury didn’t offer Murray any specifications Friday night. However, Murray wished to toss the ball when Arizona got it back with 1:14 left in the video game, however Kingsbury put the kibosh on that.
“That wasn’t going to happen,” Kingsbury panned.
Kingsbury took his headset off throughout the 4th quarter, not wishing to include anymore pressure to Murray. Delegating an obligation such as playcalling was a little bit of a relief for Kingsbury.
“I liked it,” he stated. “I think that administrative head coach role kind of fits me. I may just figure that out one of these days. I’d be able to sleep in a lot longer.
“Yeah, it’s enjoyable simply to be able to enjoy the general macro point of view and take it all in and not constantly be so taken in with playcalls and things of that nature.”
Murray, who hasn’t practiced since Aug. 5 because of a sore wrist and then COVID-19, has called plays during practice. He started calling them through a handheld mic and graduated to the headset. Kingsbury didn’t want to commit to Murray calling more plays throughout the offseason, saying, “we’ll see,” but he wants to keep the quarterback involved in some way.
Earlier in the game, Murray found a different way to be involved. He was seen by cameras handing out water to teammates on the sideline. Whatever the role Friday night, Murray was embracing it.
“He’s done a great task,” Kingsbury said. “He likes doing it, gets delighted when good ideas occur and he’s a hard coach when bad things occur.”
ESPN’s Ben Baby added to this story.