Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury wants quarterback Kyler Murray to understand one thing about calling plays: "This s*** ain't easy."
Kingsbury gave Murray a chance to call plays in practice and gave an evaluation of Murray as a play caller. The verdict: Kingsbury wouldn't want to play for Murray.
As Kingsbury explained, he let Murray call plays for the backup quarterbacks Saturday. Kingsbury made the decision so Murray could experience what it was like to call plays during a game. Kingsbury then joked he wouldn't want to play for Murray, because Murray kept talking to the quarterbacks right up until they threw the ball.
Those quotes can be read maliciously, but Kingsbury was smiling and joking will relaying his thoughts, according to Cardinals writer Darren Urban. Kingsbury said Murray did a good job, but that he probably wouldn't call plays again during practice.
Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury facing critical season together
It's important Kingsbury and Murray get on the same page before the 2022 NFL season. Both men are facing a critical season together. Though Murray signed a mega-deal with the Cardinals, he's facing pressure to deliver after another second-half fade and a disappointing playoff performance.
Kingsbury also bears some responsibility in the team's second-half struggles. The Cardinals opened the 2021 NFL season 7-0 before going 4-6 the rest of the way. Another poor showing late in the season, or in the playoffs, could push Kingsbury out of a job.
The team should be tested immediately. The Cardinals open the season against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1. Arizona also plays in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, and will take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3.
Those aren't must-win games, but could provide insight into whether Murray and the Cardinals will take a step forward in 2022.