Sat, 08 Oct 2022

On The Run, Kyler Murray Makes A Difference

Arizona Cardinals
22 Sep 2022, 19:03 GMT+10

It's become indisputable that Cardinals QB has to use his legs to make offense goDarren Urban

Running? No, Kyler Murray never saw the point, not by itself.

In a football game, sure. In a baseball game, OK. But running just to run?

"I was never a track guy," the Cardinals quarterback said. "I never really understood people just running around."

Fortunately, Murray found himself in the middle of a football game against the Raiders, because he certainly did a lot of running around. There was the 21-second two-point conversion that everyone remembers. There was running in the three-year touchdown on the final play of regulation, more scrambling that turned out perfect.

Murray had called his legs a luxury. But after seeing how the Cardinals' offense dramatically changed when Murray is willing to put those legs in play, it's hard not to see those legs as a necessity.

How does coach Kliff Kingsbury see them? "I look at them as a gift from God," he quipped.

"I've never seen any quarterback move like that, the quick-twitch and making people miss and explosiveness," Kingsbury added.

Perhaps it's another stage of Murray's maturation with his perspective on his wheels. He scrambled some in the first half but didn't run the ball until 10:05 was left in the third quarter, a dazzling 22-yard gain that was wiped out because of a penalty.

He ended up with five carries for 28 yards, but one was a touchdown and three others netted first downs. There were a couple other option plays in which Murray pitched to the running back, making the defense think about what might happen.

"It wasn't, 'I need to run more.' It was whatever it takes to win," Murray said. "That's part of my game."

It was the decision-making Kingsbury liked the most, with Murray making the right choice every time of whether to take off or make the throw.

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That doesn't include the scrambling that can buy time and tire the pass rush.

"I don't think that's something you scheme for," said Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner, with the Super Bowl champs visiting State Farm Stadium on Sunday. "That's something you just try not to allow to happen. (Kyler) can extend plays."

No time has that ever been more apparent than the first two-point conversion Sunday, a play that Murray said didn't feel anywhere near 21 seconds and didn't feel anywhere near 85 yards of ground covered by the time it was over.

His linemen didn't agree.

"I thought the play was over three times," left tackle D.J. Humphries said. "He took off that last time and I was like, 'I hope you get there, bud. I don't know if I can get over there or not.' "

Whether Murray ever approaches the 800-plus rushing yards he reached in 2020 isn't a lock. As teammate Hollywood Brown said, he loves watching Murray pile up first downs running it himself "as long as he stays healthy," and that's always the catch.

Murray isn't going to run just to run. But he's too dangerous to not run just to not run either. The Cardinals' offense proved that, and as Murray said, it's part of his game.

"I don't foresee myself getting slower anytime soon," Murray said.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES

The Cardinals, after he cleared waivers, re-signed wide receiver Andre Baccellia to the practice squad on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the Cardinals signed three new players to the practice squad: cornerback Nate Hairston, and wide receivers Stanley Berryhill and C.J. Board. Hairston has played in 59 NFL games with two interceptions. Board has 17 catches in 24 NFL games. Berryhill is a rookie from the University of Arizona.

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