When you make the NFL look foolish by juking and faking guys out and putting guys on highlight reels, the league hunts you down and almost puts a bounty on your head that you must be hit.
This is what young two year quarterback Kyler Murray is dealing with the last few weeks in regards to running the football or the lack thereof.
Head Coach Pete Carroll may have unintentionally called out a “code red” on Kyler Murray when he said prior to the second match -up in Seattle two weeks ago.
“We erred in not having Norton call for more blitzes of Murray”
In other words Carroll was making it known that Kyler would not be allowed to freely run around without consequences.
During that match-up Murray sustained a shoulder injury after a few Seahawk players landed on him during a sack, that hit made Murray hesitant to run becoming a sitting duck for big pass rusher to get revenge size hits on him.
After Bill Belichick did the exact thing the following week its seems to have given young Kyler Murray the yips to taking off and running, and very reluctant to take the risk of any physical contact. Now that Pete Carroll has perfected the blueprint to containing Murray, it’s obvious the rest of the league will surely take note and force Murray to be a pocket passer and win with only his arm.
In the game this past weekend in a loss to the New England Patriots, Kyler scrambled on a key third down and pulled up short because the defenders were coming at full speed.
Self preservation over the team first down was his choice, and not running has not only been his prerogative, it’s also the thinking of his Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Coach has not had designed play-calls in his offense the last two weeks in an effort to protect his young quarterback, but that approach has also in some ways stunted his growth as a complete pocket passer that can run.
Murray is not only getting hit from running in the last two contest, but he is being hit after releasing the ball on pass attempts as well, which is causing him to make throws fading backwards and while falling down to avoid hits.
The Cardinals offense has been quiet the last two weeks as a result and seems to be playing in safe mode, no big chunk plays, no called Murray run plays, and no element of surprise quick strike plays from this offense.
Kyler’s running makes the Cards offense lethal and potent and opens up so much for all of the weapons they possess, in particular wide receiver De’Andre Hopkins the teams leading pass catcher.
After being injured, how long does it take to get confidence back in what you were doing, or do the Cardinals really need Kyler to run to be successful at all?
There are five games left on the schedule and three of the five are division foe’s, with playoffs on the line, anything less than three wins would put the Cards out of the post season race.
Murray cannot lose confidence in his running ability, cause its the confidence he had in himself that makes him so dangerous and exciting.
The small stature quarterback when he runs with confidence doesn’t even think about himself being only 5’10, that’s when he is at full speed and breaks ankles and makes guys look silly.
So to get the Cardinals back to their high powered offensive ways and into the playoffs, it going to take Kyler remembering what got him this far in his career, belief in himself and having no fear.
When that Kyler shows up in these last five contest, then the Cards have a legit shot at being a contender in the post season and perhaps actually be that team that no one wants to play this time of year.