The Arizona Cardinals off-season has a different vibe from its usual, after the horrific way their season ended there is much the team will have to address.
This marks the second straight year the team ended its season with a colossal collapse down the stretch.
“Improvement” could be the word that describes this team the last three years, after improving their win totals three years straight. But after this season’s bad finish that word “Improvement” is left with some mystery behind it.
Seems it may be hiding behind the numbers and not giving any validity to the eye test.
Numbers can be made to tell a good story and usually numbers don’t lie, but how can a team record a 10-2 mark with numbers that would suggest that record, flip so fast to a team hanging around the middle of the pack in most categories.
Injuries can be said to be the issue as to why any team could lose its edge, But even the last team standing deals with injuries.
So besides injuries, what was the reason for the Cardinals melt-down the last two seasons.
Let’s see, here are two main reasons.
Development of Kyler Murray:
It is clear that something is lacking in this department when it comes to finishing games and ultimately seasons.
Murray has not developed into a leader of men as of yet.
His body language and facial demeanor resemble a pouting child rather than an angry leader.
The dropping of his head after every wrong thing suggests he is still very immature.
His latest stunt of washing his social media accounts clear from the team’s name and logo proves he is far away from the next level.
The first sign of great immaturity is what one does with the blame when things go bad, and so far Murray has pointed his finger at the Cardinals organization and not on himself.
“This nonsense is not me” he said via social media post, but what nonsense?
The nonsense of throwing the league’s shortest and dumbest pic six? Couldn’t be that, right Kyler?
Going about a contract dispute when you are not performing up-to-par seems like the wrong way to do things, instead what’s wrong with proving yourself first.
Murray is a good player, but not a great player yet, and great players get the big payoff after a consistent showing of growth thru big-time situations.
The Cardinals under Kyler have failed in every game that mattered to get them over the hump of being a true championship contender.
This has to point to Murray and his lack of development, and that is clearly not all his fault.
Teaching from Coach Kingsbury:
The question is, Has coach Kingsbury gone as far as he could to develop his quarterback?
How can one learn from someone that is in the process of learning the same thing he is being asked to teach.
In other words, if you’re a teacher learning the NFL level, how are you going to teach someone else the level of the NFL you’ve never seen yourself.
Much like the saying “The blind leading the blind” that is the order of things the way this season ended.
Kingsbury may be holding Murray back from achieving greatness, or at least getting to the next level in his development.
His coaching style is that of a passive friend that won’t tell a person the truth about themselves or what they are lacking, yet he will keep telling them what they like to hear so it doesn’t cause a rift between them.
This style of teaching will never penetrate the strong ego of one who believes he is not the problem, it only helps make him worse.
The Cardinals season made its dramatic turn to failure down the stretch after the loss of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
This is true because after that big injury, Kingsbury failed to make his team believe they could still win without the star player and they played like it.
This played out on the field as the offense just wasn’t the same, and Kyler Murray’s confidence was not the same as well.
The pairing of these two looked like a great idea in the beginning, but the reality of the matter, for a young quarterback to develop at the NFL level, he needs NFL level teaching and grooming.
NFL teaching is not passive, it does not apologize for being tough, nor does it bow to the ego of an immature child.
Kyler Murray needs tough love teaching from a veteran that is well respected in his profession and needs to know he is not as good as he thinks he is yet.
The off-season now will be a tough one, and the team doesn’t look like it’s moving away from its coach soon.
So look for the Arizona Cardinals to remain a pretending team going forward, because they continue to make the moves that put them in that category year in and year out.