What’s Wrong with Murray?

Harry

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I watched the game with my focus on Murray’s mechanics. They’re scary. I went back and watched the tape for the second time. Most passers step into throws. Stroud has such a strong arm he can even throw 30-40 yards flatfooted. Their followthrough is mostly with the arm and shoulder. Murray is more of a full body slingshot. I went back and watched the 2021 highlights to look for changes. Murray has always had weird mechanics. He plants he left foot, lifts his right foot off the ground and pivots his body around that left foot to get the force of his entire body to throw deep. It looks like he’s throwing a Hail Mary. His best throws are when the right foot stays low or is planted. Sunday was a ballet. On long throws, the right foot was high in air as he threw his whole body in a spiral. It’s long been a belief in sports that the more body movement, the less accuracy. Simplify is usually the teaching point. Murray’s action is unique. To be fair he’s done it for a long time. The layoff may have impacted his strength and he may need more body thrust to get the desired distance. Frankly it’s amazing he has as much accuracy as he has. When they asked Murray post game he mentioned footwork, but it’s so much more. However I think erratic footwork did contribute to the odd short throws. That part should clear up soon.

He can throw flatfooted, though he rarely does, and his arm strength looks fine. He may get more accurate as his stamina builds. I’m just not sure how a coach can help him. He actually benefits from throwing on the run with all this movement because when he throws that way it feels normal. He rarely can set his feet, but he’s use to doing it all with his arm and body. He is normally fairly accurate on rollouts. He’s also typically accurate on short pocket throws where he doesn’t have to contort his body. He can thread a needle.

In watching the 2021 highlights there was one other obvious difference; the receivers. On throws of 20 yards or more Murray does not hit a tiny window He’s not a precision passer. If the receiver isn’t open, many passes become 50/50 balls. For Hopkins this was no problem. He dominated 50/50 opportunities. Even Green was still decent on them (watch those 2021 highlights). When you’re looking at a receiver like Brown or Moore, their strength is getting behind receivers. That means the route is deeper and the QB must have time to wait. The best throws for them are like the one to Moore at the start of the game. When the get behind the coverage throw it long and let them use their burst to get the ball. They are not strong on 50/50 pass receivers. The question is has Murray reacquired the power to make that throw? A little better pocket would help as well.

Frankly this has major implications for going forward if Murray is the QB. I’ve noted that it seems unlikely the Cards will get a shot at Harrison. He’s fine at 50/50 balls. Of course you take him if he’s there. That said either Coleman or Ordunze would likely fit very well with Murray. They are versatile and solid on 50/50 balls, though neither is Hopkins. They would need to top the Cards big board after Harrison. His lead receiver must have this quality. It would help if he has 2. So a pure speed receiver is not as valuable to him. In college Brown’s speed could most often get enough separation so that slight under-throws were not problems. Against NFL CBs, those throws can be turnovers; like the one Sunday. I know Murray has faith in Brown, but after close analysis Brown is not a major NFL asset for Murray’s skillset. Murray can throw deep but not with high precision. If he doesn’t have enough time he can’t lead the receiver. It’s easier the get the right receiver than it is to build an entire line.

Can Murray be a franchise QB in this offense? I believe so, but he’ll have to have the right surrounding cast.
 

MadCardDisease

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The rest of this season is all about Murray. I'm holding back final judgement on him till the end of the season.

What I want to see from Murray is him under center more. Against the Texans they started with Murray under center with a play action pass to McBride that was fantastic. Then for some reason the Cardinals went away from Murray under center. I realize that Murray isn't comfortable taking snaps under center but the Cardinals need to find out if he can become comfortable doing so. If I'm the offensive coaching staff I'm putting Murray under center every 1st and 2nd down play during the first 3 quarters. It is imperative that the Cardinals find out if Murray can adapt to this style of offense.

If the Cardinals can't land MHJr with there first pick I would be very happy with possibly trading out of that first pick and moving back a few spots to select Rome Odunze while adding additional picks. Odunze has great size and strong hands with solid speed.
 

Morty

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It appears that Murray's skillset is similar to Wilson and Breese. It would be a likely conclusion that they need to improve their line before any NFL quarterback could be successful running this offence.
 

az jam

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Excellent analysis, Harry. You certainly are a pro and know your stuff!! Bottom line if Murray is to be successful here, we needs some big WRs like we had with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. I wonder if WR Michael Wilson can develop at least into a #2 WR.
 
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football karma

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he is often a slinger of the ball -- on certain long throws he generates power by pivoting his entire body around his planted right leg. its also the leg with a rebuilt ACL.

if you watch his 2021 season, he had many, many many "sling" throws where he puts it on a dime.
 

kerouac9

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Murray's mechanics have always been a nightmare, but it's not going to be "fixed" at this point. Maybe you can hope to get him to fix his footwork in a dropback. There's just too much muscle memory there.

I think the sample size is too small to really draw any conclusions. 64 pass attempts this year. His completion percentage is down vs. his career numbers, but his YPA is way up. Very noisy data set.
 

BirdGangThing

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Mechanics semantics

All I know is Kyler better start hitting that deep ball again consistently or Monti gone find someone who can
 

SoonerLou

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There's a real argument to be made that Kyler needs to work with a QB coach outside of his father. Does he have a pregame warmup like Dak, CJ Stroud, etc where they are constantly trying to work their hips, throwing motion, etc to be as fluid as possible.


Having said that Kyler was very precise on deep throws in 2021, 2020 and 2019. So I dont know what Harry is talking about. We need receipts with talking points.
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Kyler was very pinpoint accurate on 20+ throws. And it wasnt just 50/50. He'd put it where only the WR could get it.

Whats happened in 2022 and a little of 2023? Idk.
 

slanidrac16

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When you watch video of Kyler in weekly practices you can see a world of difference in his motion than in a game.
He smooth. He’s relaxed.
In a game it’s happy feet.
Again I don’t care if he throws the ball while standing on his head as long as he’s accurate.
I’ve also been screaming for more intermediate crossing patterns where Kyler rolls a little to one side or the other. Brown, Moore and Dortch can easily outrun their coverage for easy gains and YAC.
 

Big Deal

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What happened between the ATL game and the HOU game that made such a big difference with the eye test. In the ATL game he looked poised and looked like he was making the correct reads and getting the ball out quickly. In the HOU game it looked like he was never comfortable in the pocket and had happy feet. Was the pressure from HOU coming from different places? Was the ATL game plan scripted with 1-2 reads then out and the HOU game they opened up the playbook forcing Murray to read the defense more? Did he have more time in the pocket against ATL that he didn't have in HOU? The other thing I noticed was the ball seemed to come out of his hand with more confidence against ATL, but the HOU game seemed more tentative and the ball didn't seem to have the same spiral out of his hand.

The Rams game will be interesting because McVay has really had the Cardinals number when game planning by taking away what works and forcing the team away from their comfort zone. I don't have a good feeling about this game, but am interested to see if we get happy feet or confidence.
 

Snakester

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If Murray proves himself to be the man this year, it would help our draft out immensely. I personally think both offense and defense should be adjusted to players strengths. If Murray feels more comfortable working out of the shotgun than so be it. With him being so short he probably prefers it, giving him that split second of better visibility.
 

Phrazbit

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I think we’re better off moving on, I think the front office will move on unless Kyler really wows them… however, the wild swing of opinions between 2 games cracks me up.

A lot of people were very impressed by our last second victory over a bad ATL team, but are now out on him after we narrowly lost to a, surprisingly, good Houston team.

I didn’t think his play in the 2 games was that far apart. He struggled with getting the offense set in both games, he had some good and some bad downfield throws. At least he is trying them, last season it seemed like we never aired it out.
 

oaken1

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What I get from this is we need great OTs and good IOL for KM to thrive.
you have a few guys being nice to their QB and saying they like blocking for a QB with mobility...but its just them being PC.
Offensive tackles are taught to protect a spot. a spot that they cant see because it is behind them. As long as the QB stays on that spot the movement of the pass rushers is somewhat predictable and it helps the OT run the arc... the arc is a path about 1 yard out from the tackles set, bowed around to a point about 1 yard directly behind the QB when he is high in the pocket. when the QB moves, it changes the reactions of the rusher and catches the tackle off guard...it often results in holding calls because as far as the tackle knows...the rusher made that sudden move because the QB is RIGHT there.
IOL is more important with a short QB, especially one who is predisposed to bale on the pocket...having a couple 320 pound dudes pushed backwards into your face closes passing lanes and limits the ability to work the pocket, not to mention it often causes the QB to drop his eyes from his progressions...which he has to try and pick up again when he looks back up...so smaller QB's will want to bale as soon as they see the OC or OG moving backwards. whereas we often saw guys like Arod stand tall in a collapsing pocket and complete the pass with his linemen pressed against him...the shorter guys cant see over the helmets.
Bookend OTs who can handle edge rushers 1 on 1 are important...but IOL who can at least hold their position are important as well, and moreso when you have a vertically challenged QB.
 

Cheesebeef

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The issue was mechanics, and both are somewhat unorthodox.
Yes… except one’s unorthodox mechanics are successful in a way we’ve never really seen/exceptional leading to results already making him one of the greatest QBs of all time. He regularly can make the unbelievable play routine, AND can make the routine routine, even with a bad offensive line and fewer and fewer weapons, while winning multiple MVPs and and multiple Super Bowl winner.

The other has shown… none of that and his unorthodox mechanics continue to be why he’s not reaching his potential as a passer is likely holding him back. And even if you argue otherwise, it sure as hell hasn’t pushed him forward at anywhere NEAR the level of his counterpart.
 

akg102

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At the end of the day, I think he's too small to throw to a cast of 5'8 receivers with no ball skills. That experiment is dead.
If you're not going to get him big bodies at receiver, just draft someone else and save us the perpetual 6-8 win seasons.
 
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