Can Arizona Trust Kyler Murray to Lead?
I need to be honest and put something out in the air briefly before starting. I believe Charley Casserly gets paid to destroy draft stock in players and create drama, ultimately turning the draft on its head. I believe any GM or Coach that entertains his misinformed, under-the-table money taking malarkey should reconsider. His comments about Kyler Murray were there to destroy his image.
Now that my shot across the bow has been fired, I will get to what I really would like to focus. That focus being Kyler Murray. This next level will have responsibilities that maybe were not as intense at the collegiate level or could not exist at all. As the signal caller of your team, you may have to fill multiple roles. Team Leader, Game Manager and Game Changer just to name a few. Can Kyler fill these roles?
Leadership qualities and credibility both on and off the field are what it takes to be that team’s leader.
Jeff Darlington of NFL.com wrote,
“Whether a captain must carry an entire organization on his back or simply quell the occasional locker-room drama, some players would argue there’s no one more important to a team’s ultimate success.”
We know a few signal callers that could not do this in their rookie year. Cam Newton was not designated as team captain until his third season because it was something that had to be earned from the team. Not to mention they already had vets like Steve Smith Sr. and Jordan Gross in place. In addition, honestly, we have seen some of the maturity issues with Newton on the field. The projected 2019 1st overall pick will join some prominent leaders who already own the Arizona Cardinals’ lockerroom, should they select him. Patrick Peterson being one of those leaders. Larry “Legend” Fitzgerald is another leader who has truly set the mark for leading by example. Is this something Kyler Murray is prepared to do from day one?
There are times in a game where the defense is controlling the tempo of the game, and it is close. All they are expecting the offense to do is slow the game down and pull out the “W” by controlling the clock. We’ve seen rookies like Lamar Jackson who came in week 9 last season and averaged 33 min per game of offense which was ranked 1st in the league in 2018. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner is a full-on highlight-reel. Can Kyler show restraint and not take as many chances to secure those wins by following the scheme according to what potential coach Kliff Kingsbury puts out there? Sometimes it’s as simple as following instructions.
Let’s face it. AZ gave up 425 points last season. If the NFL’s 26th ranked scoring defense is expected to ignore their glaring need at interior defensive linemen for the drafts most exciting player he’s going to really need to bring his “A” game. 15 Receiving TDs on the season is not going to cut it. That was what the last ranked offense in the league did in 2018. I’m not saying the kid has to come out and be Kurt Warner or Carson Palmer immediately but what I am saying is the people inside the University of Phoenix Arena deserve a reason to show up to games and it should be because their signal caller electrifies the team into big plays and big wins.
Sure we do not know what the future holds for the number 1 selection or for Kyler Murray but what we do know is this. There are responsibilities that have to be taken seriously if a team is ready to throw it all on the line for you with their top pick. Whether you fill the roles properly or not will determine if they have to do it all over again the next season. Good luck young Kyler!