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#pounditFriday, February 3, 2023

ESPN crew takes aim at Kyler Murray’s leadership

Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) against the Green Bay Packers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kyler Murray did not play in the Arizona Cardinals’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night due to a hamstring injury, but he was still a major topic of conversation during the ESPN broadcast. He probably would have preferred not to be.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” crew spent roughly four minutes prior to kickoff criticizing Murray for his poor leadership ability. First up was former Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who played with Murray for two seasons. Fitzgerald praised backup quarterback Colt McCoy for his leadership ability and seemed to hint that Murray does not have the same qualities.

“The conversations with former teammates were glowing about his leadership — leading meetings, taking the onus,” Fitzgerald said of McCoy. “If he makes a mistake, saying, ‘That was on me, I’m gonna get it fixed.’ That’s a big part of being a leader.”

Robert Griffin III then chimed in and said Murray seems like he is “on his own sheet of music” too often. RG3 suggested the Cardinals should let Murray install the offensive game plan every week so he cannot point the finger at anyone else when things go wrong.

“What I would do, I would go back to what they did in the preseason. They made him call plays just to show him how difficult it was. I would take it a step further. I would make Kyler Murray install the offense every week for the rest of the season because he is the one that is seeing the game at the quarterback position,” Griffin said. “Everyone needs to be on the same page as him, not just the coaching staff. If he installs it, everyone will know what he’s seeing and what he wants to operate. That could be a solution to their problem.”

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young also shared his opinion. He said it is time for Murray to go “back to school.”

“Kyler Murray his whole life has had the answers to every athletic test that he’s ever taken. He’s gotten A+’s through middle school, high school, college, and then even early here in the NFL,” Young said. “The NFL will have its referendum, and I think it’s happening now for Kyler. He’s whip-smart and he knows everything, but there is a part of playing great quarterback that is going back to school. That’s what Patrick Mahomes has done, that’s what Josh Allen (has done), that’s what Dak Prescott has talked about doing.”

You can see the full segment below:

It is unusual for ESPN to spend that much time criticizing a star player, but Murray’s attitude this season has become a big talking point in the NFL. The former first overall pick was seen cursing at head coach Kliff Kingsbury during a heated confrontation last month. Star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has also had some issues with Murray.

The Cardinals got off to a hot start last season and finished 11-6. They lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the playoffs. They have taken a step back this season and fell to 4-7 on Monday night.

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