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Kyler Murray’s first Cardinals ride is mild compared to the wild ahead

first_imgConsider the massive rookie hype around Kyler Murray raised to a whole new level after the Cardinals’ No.1 overall pick played his first game as an NFL quarterback Thursday night. He owned the moment of his preseason debut from the moment he stepped on to the field with the same Heisman swagger he had at Oklahoma.Not lacking in confidence and in full comfort, Murray went to work on the Chargers’ talented defense with zero concern about being overwhelmed by coach Kilf Kingsbury’s unique shotgun spread scheme. Instead with one efficient but reserved non-scoring drive, he enjoyed the equivalent of a job-secure veteran passer’s tuneup outing. With Kingsbury holding back the creative and big-play elements of his offense, Murray matriculated the ball on home field by stretching the field vertically. That gave Murray the chance to show off standout traits of accuracy and zip on his balls without showing anything of what he could do as a deep passer and aggressive, dynamic runner.SN’s 2019 NFL PREDICTIONS:Standings, playoff projections, Super Bowl pickKyler Murray goes perfect in first NFL action: 6-for-6 for 44 yards 🎯@K1 | #LACvsAZ pic.twitter.com/Y67gOVciV9— NFL (@NFL) August 9, 2019Murray mostly dinked and dunked with a steady. diet of well-placed quick outs. His most impressive pass was a precision screen to who will be his go-to guy, running back David Johnson, which also turned out to be his longest pass, 14 yards. Murray also threw in a rollout-fueled completion to wide receiver Trent Sherfield and “run-action pass” on a run-pass option to Larry Fitzgerald.Had rookie wide receiver KeeSean Johnson not stepped out of bounds after catching Murray’s seventh and final attempt, Murray would have been a perfect one and done. With a sack ending his night and a solid 92.9 passer rating, the spectacular was missing.Kingsbury played it right with Murray, giving him enough to do at a high level without tipping his hand on what all Murray can do in an offense tailored to his skill set, which he knows better than anyone else on the team. Consider tat the Cardinals’ two fastest wideouts for Murray, Christian Kirk and rookie Andy Isabella, weren’t even playing.2019 NFL PREDICTIONS:AFC East | AFC West | AFC North | AFC SouthNFC East | NFC West | NFC North | NFC South File Murray’s initial performance as mildly successful because it was incomplete. He scratched the Bermuda Grass of the show he will be allowed to truly put on when everything counts.Exposing Murray to more explosive rewards also increases the chances for bumps along his rookie ride. There will be consistent opportunities to throw and run wild, knowing some of the bad consequences will be mitigated by Murray’s arm and athleticism turning some broken plays into big plays.The appetizer we got from Murray represented the ceiling of most rookie quarterbacks. For Murray in 2019, it felt like the floor, leaving us wanting a whole lot more.last_img read more