Troubling report sheds light on Kyler Murray-Kliff Kingsbury relationship
Kyler Murray will not play again this season after he suffered a torn ACL in Week 14, and it sounds like there is a legitimate chance the Arizona Cardinals star has taken his last snap under head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
A report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Josh Weinfuss that was published on Friday says Murray and Kingsbury have grown “increasingly distant” over the course of Arizona’s disappointing season.
One of the main issues between the coach and quarterback is that Murray feels he has not been given enough freedom at the line of scrimmage, particularly with running plays. Kingsbury has reportedly been frustrated at Murray’s inability to get the ball into the hands of the Cardinals’ playmakers “either due to miscommunication, a play breaking down or Murray improvising, and the disjointed attack created unpredictability for some of the team’s pass-catchers.”
The report goes on to say (via Bleacher Report) that the tension became “obvious” in Arizona’s locker room and was felt throughout the organization. Sources described Kingsbury as “extremely frustrated” with Murray prior to the knee injury. Kingsbury reportedly felt that Murray’s negativity was starting to become an issue with the team.
Communication has also been a problem for Murray and Kingsbury. Passing game coordinator Cam Turner had been “forced to serve as a buffer” between the two throughout the season.
There was one particularly tense exchange between Murray and Kingsbury during the Cardinals’ loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 7. Murray was shown shouting at Kingsbury and hurling an F-bomb at the coach on the sideline (video here).
Murray then missed some time with a hamstring injury, and there was talk that he and Kingsbury worked through their differences. That may have been a temporary fix.
The Kingsbury-Murray pairing looked extremely promising for a while, but things have gone downhill fast. Murray has developed a reputation for being a selfish player and recently drew criticism from a former teammate. If the former No. 1 overall pick and Kingsbury can no longer coexist, the Cardinals will have a difficult decision to make this offseason.