Part of witnessing Kyler Murray’s maturation came this summer when, after the death of George Floyd at the knee of a police officer, he spoke out passionately about societal issues in the United States.
With that, the quarterback volunteered that he planned to take a knee during the national anthem this coming season.
The August police shooting of another Black man, Jacob Blake, reignited the conversations and protests about racial inequality and police brutality. The Cardinals have not yet decided, or not made public, how they want to push for more change after watching the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks protest by not playing a first-round game — that led to other pro sports teams boycotting.
Cardinals players have said they want to act in solidarity with one another. Not playing Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers was a topic discussed, defensive tackle Corey Peters said, but that might be on the extreme end of things.
As franchise face, Murray didn’t reveal anything more on a Zoom call with reporters Tuesday, but he did offer this: More injustices shouldn’t be necessary to keep pushing for change.
“It’s not about doing more. We just need to keep it going,” Murray said. “(The discussion) doesn’t need to stop. Everyone needs to recognize (social injustices) and make it happen. Treating everyone equally is what’s right.”
Asked what NFL teams can do to support their players, Murray only had this to say in addition: “I think it starts at the top. I’m not going to go into the details or call people out, but I think it starts at the top. As far as leaders in the world go, the people at the top that have most of the power — for me that’s where it starts.
“Once people at the top realize that and say something about it, I think we’ll see more progress.”
FAST FOR FAST’S SAKE?
Defensive players for the Cardinals have remarked about the speed at which Arizona has practiced over the past three weeks. It’s fast — faster than last year’s camp.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has promised that is about getting both teams in shape and trying to recreate game speed without all the hitting.
The warp tempo is made possible because it’s Murray’s second year in the system, but Kingsbury maintains the speed of practices is about conditioning and getting in more reps.
“That’s what it comes down to is his comfort level, and I’ve said all along, we’re trying to get guys in shape by overdoing it,” Kingsbury said. “Our defensive staff understands that, the defensive personnel understand that. More than anything, we’re going to overdo it, we’re going to get guys in shape.
“We’ve got a lot of making up in a short time so we’re going to run a lot of plays and try to get a lot of things executed. Kyler’s done a nice job handling it and we’re hoping the game will slow down for both sides because of the tempo.”
Whether we can take more out of the tempo — like wondering if the Cardinals offense will try to go warp against opponents more often in 2020 — remains to be seen.
— Larry Fitzgerald took a second day off from but was present during the open portion of practice, helping fire passes to his receivers on individuals drills. Also out Tuesday: receiver DeAndre Hopkins, running back Kenyan Drake and offensive tackle Josh Jones.
“They’re close, they’re close” to going full go in practices, Kingsbury said of Hopkins and Drake specifically.
— Kingsbury said the Cardinals have not separated their quarterbacks completely to prevent coronavirus from knocking out the entire room. They are, however, keeping them six or more feet apart as much as possible, including on the sideline.
— Offensive guard J.R. Sweezy on how the Arizona offensive linemen took on the “The Wild Hogs” nickname: “Kyler got us the scooters last year for the O-line gift and we decided to bring ’em to camp and use them as transportation.”
— Murray on using visualization to improve himself as a football player: “I’m a big visualizer. Like to see stuff before it happens, have a lot of deja vu moments. I sit back all the time and visualize failures, success, you name it. I’ve seen it all in my head before it happens. So I think that has helped me out throughout my career playing any sports I’ve ever played … life as well.”