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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Thud.
That just about sums up the tough evening on the workplace for prized Arizona Cardinals rookie Kyler Murray, who met the NFL studying curve in complete pressure.
On his first snap towards the Oakland Raiders, Murray escaped the pocket and ran out of bounds.
By no means thoughts the popcorn. Little did we all know that brief scramble would rank as considered one of Murray’s highlights.
On his closing snap, he was once sacked in any case zone by way of protection Lamarcus Joyner for a security — due to but some other Raiders blitz that saved the younger quarterback continuously at the transfer.
In between, the blitzes had been compounded by way of much more consequences that helped derail no matter just right intentions Murray got here to paintings with.
After an excellent preseason debut, Kyler Murray regressed in his 2nd NFL sport. (Picture: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports activities)
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It was my first glimpse of Murray in live action — a week after his near-perfect preseason debut in one series against the Los Angeles Chargers.
My first impression? Thank goodness it won’t be the last impression.
The stats told only part of the story: Murray completed just 3 of 8 passes for a paltry 12 yards, was sacked twice, blitzed five times and managed a 45.8 passer rating. In four series with Murray at quarterback, the Cardinals managed just two first downs — both by penalty on the first drive as Raiders rookie end Clelin Ferrell was flagged for illegal hands to the face. Otherwise, it was zero earned first downs and a 26-0 hole when Murray gave way to Brett Hundley late in the second quarter.
Yet the numbers, as bad as they were, don’t reflect the situational difficulties that set the tone for Murray’s lesson plan. On two of the series, the Cardinals began backed up at their 10-yard line due to special teams infractions. The two other drives fizzled when apparent third-down conversions were negated by penalties. The Cardinals had 10 penalties for 89 yards (including the two special teams flags) while Murray was in the game.
Although Murray was penalized twice for false starts — the first instance proved he couldn’t catch a break as a rookie, with the official throwing the flag as he too-tightly interpreted Murray’s clapping as a violation that forced the defense to react — the sloppiness was widespread. Another flag came for delay of game, with could link directly to rookie coach Kliff Kingsbury getting his play-calls in from the sideline. Add the typical holding, illegal blocks and the like and it all tallied to 14 penalties for 108 yards to contribute to the 33-26 defeat.
That underscores a larger lesson for the Cardinals than for Murray. The expectancies for Murray are reputedly poised to blow during the roof at State Farm Stadium, which is what you get for gamers drafted No.1 general and what you’d be expecting for a thrilling ability who can remove breath along with his arm or his legs. However up to a celebrity quarterback can lift the staff round him, Murray — like every younger quarterback — wishes a robust supporting solid. Sloppy errors that put the rookie’s again towards the wall with long-yardage eventualities will counteract the positives in a rush.
The opposite factor, so obvious within the face of the blitzes dialed by way of on Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, is coverage. With out it, Murray and the Cardinals gained’t stand an opportunity. The blockading breakdowns towards Oakland supplied an enormous lesson about what Murray can be expecting week after week – particularly if the Cardinals don’t end up cast sufficient to deal with it – as groups will creatively take a look at Kingsbury’s unfold offense with all sorts of unique pressures.
And simply assume: The programs the Raiders threw at Murray simply represented an advent.
“While you play those unfold groups they usually’re spreading you out, working the quarterback, you’ve were given to take some gaps away,” Raiders trainer Jon Gruden mentioned. “You attempt to provide some other seems to be. Another way, they’ll cube you. I feel we did a just right activity blending it up. We had some well timed blitzes.”
The Raiders are being documented by way of NFL Motion pictures this summer season for the yearly fact sequence, however on Thursday evening Murray was once necessarily Mr. Exhausting Knocks.
Every other influence: Sure, Murray demonstrated some positives that aren’t mirrored with the stats. It would were worse. However on a handful of events, he have shyed away from threat and scrambled out of sacks. He secure himself when he ran, scooting out of bounds as soon as and sliding into 2nd base (it gave the impression) on some other run the place he have shyed away from taking the large hit. He’s were given not unusual sense to head with the soccer IQ that folks rave about.
Murray by no means dedicated a turnover, both, protective the soccer and by way of extension his staff, too. And with a flick the wrist, he threw a few darts (together with one over the center that was once dropped and some other that was once referred to as again by way of a flag) that demonstrated a snappy free up that he made glance simple. No, he’s now not typical or prototypical. He doesn’t all the time step into his throws. However he nonetheless seems to be the phase, even with the base line effects on Thursday evening.
Stated Kingsbury: “He carried out smartly beneath the instances and made the proper selections with the soccer.”
Which is one solution to navigate a steep studying curve.
Observe USA TODAY Sports activities’ Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.
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