GLENDALE, Ariz. — Hours before he took the field for his first training camp practice, Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray said he doesn’t understand why there’s skepticism surrounding Kliff Kingsbury’s version of the Air Raid offense.
“I don’t see why everybody thinks that it can’t be successful,” Murray said. “It’s just like any other offense. It’s an offense. We work at it, we practice it and it’s our job to execute it. If we don’t, then it won’t be successful but if we do, like I said, it works at the college level. I don’t see how it couldn’t work at the pro level.
“So, it’s our job to make you believe in that.”
Little is known about Kingsbury’s scheme, which will be a marriage of the system he ran at Texas Tech, the offense Murray commanded at Oklahoma and whatever Kingsbury creates.
But Kingsbury has helped Murray’s transition to the NFL by incorporating “a healthy mix” of the verbiage Murray used in college and what Kingsbury used at Texas Tech.
“We wanted to make sure that he was comfortable,” Kingsbury said. “And if there were things that we could change, we adjusted those things. And if there are things that didn’t work, then then we call it what we call it.”
It’s been helping, Murray added.
“I think it’s helped me a lot just coming in and being more comfortable,” Murray said. “If I was to go anywhere else, play for another guy, I’d have to learn a whole new system, a whole new offense.
“I think it would be a lot harder, obviously doable. But for me coming into this system, Day 1, rookie minicamp, I was a lot more comfortable than probably any other quarterback out there. So, I think it’s helped a lot.”
Thursday’s practice marks the first time the scheme — or parts of it — will be on any sort of display when Arizona takes the field at State Farm Stadium to open training camp.
Kingsbury said the first few days of camp will be a brief review of what’s been installed thus far and the beginning of adding more layers to the scheme, which wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald described Thursday as “not difficult at all.”
With so little known about the Cardinals’ offense, Murray said the offense could be “very dangerous” if it’s executed properly. And he’d know. The Sooners averaged 48.4 points per game last season, the most in college football since 2013.
Murray has seen how teams tried to stop — or at least slow — him down, but it rarely worked.
“We saw a lot of creative defenses in the Big 12 just because it’s tough to stop the offense,” Murray said. “And those coaches have been coaching it for a long time. So, I don’t know if there’s much more that you can possibly see, as far as, defenses go because we saw a lot.”
Fitzgerald, who’s starting his 16th season, will play for his fifth head coach. Murray will be the 21st quarterback to complete a pass to Fitzgerald, who said the rookie has already earned his teammates’ respect even before camp starts, because of how he’s conducted himself.
But Fitzgerald also believes that Kingsbury’s offense will work, in large part because of Murray.
“You know, it’s all about the skill set, obviously, having the right quarterback to be able run the system,” Fitzgerald said. “This is something that Kyler has been doing for a very long time. He’s comfortable in it. He’s got an intimate understanding of what coach Kliff Kingsbury is trying to do with it. He knows exactly what’s going on and every single facet at offense, and having that guy up to speed and familiar and acclimated with what’s going on really is, it makes things go.”