Kyler Murray had a sloppy second preseason start on Thursday night.
After lighting it up in one series against the Los Angeles Chargers last week, the Arizona Cardinals quarterback looked like a rookie in four drives (if you can call them that) against the Oakland Raiders.
Murray completed 3 of 8 passes for just 12 yards against Oakland and took two sacks, including one evening-ending safety. The dual-threat rookie ran once for four yards. His four drives, totaling 15 plays and resulting in zero true first downs, went for 13, negative-6, negative-10 and negative-10 yards, in order.
"Obviously, from the outside looking in, it looks a little disappointing," Murray told ESPN’s Lisa Salters during the game. "At the same time, we know what’s important and that this is only preseason. Really vanilla right now. We’re not doing everything. Yeah, it is what it is."
Cardinals first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury was more encouraged with Murray’s performance.
"I thought he made really good decisions," Kingsbury said after Arizona’s loss to Oakland. "I thought under some adversity, penalties backed us up, in long-yardage situations, I thought he made good decisions the whole night. We just hurt ourselves with those penalties and couldn’t get things really rolling."
Speaking of those penalties… Arizona committed five offensive penalties during Murray’s drives, including three pre-snap flags and two false starts. Both false starts were called on Murray for his use of a clapping cadence, something he had done through college. Both Murray and Kingsbury were confused as to why the calls were made and Arizona was so badly penalized.
"I don’t know," Murray told Salters. "I think we have a ton of clips showing where guys are doing stuff like that, so hopefully we can get it fixed. But if not, we’ll have to adjust."
Added Kingsbury, "I think it’s the first time for certain officials to see it. … We’ve been in contact with the league and had a great conversation on it. We’re going to work through that and make sure everyone’s on the same page. We want to be on the same page with them and make sure we’re doing things they deem legal."
Murray was bound to have a setback this summer; not even first-overall picks are perfect. How the rookie quarterback and his rookie coach rebound next week for Murray’s likely final tuneup will do a lot to either inspire confidence or increase criticism of Murray’s play in Arizona’s so-far "vanilla" attack.
Kyler Murray threw the ball farther than 10 air yards twice in Week 2 of the preseason. Both were incompletions.
According to @NextGenStats, that brings his preseason counter to:
<10 Air Yards: 12 attempts, 9 completions, 56 yards
10+ Air Yards: 2 attempts, 0 completions
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