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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Cardinals prefer Colt McCoy to Kyler Murray right now?

Kyler Murray in shoulder pads

Oct 24, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) against the Houston Texans in the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals have been a big disappointment on offense this season, and quarterback Kyler Murray’s play has been part of that. The issues have been significant enough that the team may feel better about Colt McCoy being under center right now.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 appeared on the station’s “Wolf & Luke” show Monday and was asked (at roughly 3:00) if the Cardinals prefer McCoy to Murray at quarterback right now. Gambadoro said that was true, and went into detail about how many people he has spoken with believe Murray has regressed this season.

“I’ve spoken with a lot of people about this — former quarterbacks and former coaches and current players — and the thing with Kyler really is just that pre-snap, getting up to the huddle and not really understanding what he’s seeing,” Gambadoro said. “He’s got his first read, and if he likes it he’s going to be really, really good. If that first read is open and he hits it, he’s very dynamic. The problem with Kyler comes if that first read is not open. He doesn’t go through those progressions like other quarterbacks do. He bails a little bit. He tries to run. He tries to move backwards or go to the side and buy time. He’s a great athlete and he’s a dynamic player but he’s really, really having a hard time reading defenses right now.”

Murray missed the Cardinals’ Week 10 game against the Rams with a hamstring injury, and McCoy started in his place. The veteran backup went 26/37 for 238 yards and a touchdown in a 27-17 win, and the Arizona offense looked a bit more like many expected it to this season.

The criticism of Murray here is actually quite similar to what one former NFL star said about him earlier in the season. Nobody doubts Murray’s physical ability, but questions continue to be raised about his decision-making and ability to read coverages. That is not great for a quarterback the Cardinals just committed $230 million to before the season, though it might add some more context to that controversial clause that was initially inserted into the contract.

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