There is one word that comes to mind after day one of Arizona Cardinals training Camp 2019, and that word would clearly be “tempo”.
That is what instantly stood out to me, the uptempo practice was only a glimpse of how fast this offense will try and get off more plays than the average NFL offense. Everything ran in up-tempo from the drills to the exercise line.
Things moved in a fluent manner with no pauses, only to change sides of the field and between drills and even that was in a jogging and no walking fashion.
The drills started and ended with a no helmet walk -through of the new offense, showing that they have a lot to master in such a short period of time.
The next Takeaway: Kyler Murray.
This kid is the real deal as far as athleticism and arm talent, not one ball he threw was not a spiral and looked like it was fired from the machine thats used in kick-offs and receiver catch drills.
The effortless motion and his light on the feet footwork just looked flawless. I don’t recall him missing on any throws today , in fact, he was so accurate in his ball placement that the wide receivers made catches in tough situations under duress.
Murray was in total control of the offense, at least it seemed he was, he didn’t come off as a rookie with the “dear in headlights’ look, he was more of a teacher on the field. At times he had Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury in his ear working through some of the early kinks that come along in a training camp for a new team.
Over -all Murray and Kingsbury both looked the absolute part of a duo that is confident they can win now.
The next Takeaway: The offense.
The offense and what it would look like has been the number one question coming in, lock and load with four wides on almost every play. It is almost a certainty early in the season that the deception of run or pass by Murray is going to cause defenses some issues.
Then adding the run game which in some ways is still a power style running game with the QB being part of the run scheme on set plays.
After running the offense against the defense after a few plays, Kingsbury called for Murray to run on a designed to run play, and he excited the crowed when he turned on the jets to the left and scampered out of bounds effortlessly.
Kyler’s quick strike arm zipped balls in tight windows through coverage and his decision making was pretty good, but we know that this was a glorified practice, but he sure looked good doing it.
The next Takeaway: Wide Receivers
This wide receiving core looked fast and didn’t look to be confused on any route running. The one thing about the receivers that stood out the most was how much they featured second year man Christian Kirk in the slot position. Kirk was almost the first read on every throw early. All of the rookies were running on the second team, with the exception of a few times Andy Esabella was in the slot with Murray at quarterback.
Larry Fitzgerald was in “Larry, Larry ,Larry” mode as he came up with one of his spectacular catches over a DB with one hand going to the ground, and of course got the cheers from the crowed as if he was the only attraction out there.
One other quick note about the great Fitz was he trimmed the dress down a bit, he looked like a different dude out there and had that smile on his face the entire time.
Kevin White showed out today as well, making a great grab under duress and battled for the ball down the side line, and he made several other catches and looks like he could be the “under the radar surprise guy” this year.
White ran with the first team all practice, along with another guy that was unexpected to be on the first team, Trent Sherfield.
I am looking for consistency throughout this camp, can all of these guys bring it each and every day with no drop off?, that will be determined of course when the pads go on in a few days but until then I was very intrigued and way too early optimism started forming in my mind.
This team has way too many weapons on both sides of the ball to repeat being the worse team in the league.