New Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is planning to put a lot of wide receivers on the field with his new quarterback Kyler Murray.
Kingsbury told Peter King in Football Morning in America that he sees the offense he’ll run in Arizona as “very similar” to the one Murray ran at Oklahoma with coach Lincoln Riley. And Kingsbury said that will include more five-receiver sets than the NFL is accustomed to seeing.
“His ability to escape the pocket, escape those D-lineman when they can’t get off blocks—it’s just unique. And to still be able to drop back and survey the field and still be able to get the ball out on time, get through his progressions . . . When you spread people out he’s a weapon in a bunch of different ways. That’s tough on defenses because if you want to rush him upfield and he takes off, good luck catching him. And if you sit back, he can still pick you apart. The way we spread people out, the tempo in which we play, he’s the guy who can really thrive in system. We’re going to play the game at times wider than probably most people do in the league. We’re going to use the entire field and make them cover five wides and the quarterback and that’s tough on defenses.”
The Cardinals return Larry Fitzgerald, a veteran who isn’t the elite player he used to be but will be a great mentor to the younger receivers. Those younger receivers include second-round pick Andy Isabella, fourth-round pick Hakeem Butler and sixth-round pick KeeSean Johnson, plus last year’s second-round pick Christian Kirk, 2017 third-round pick Chad Williams, and new arrival Kevin White, who was a bust with the Bears but has the talent that made him a Top 10 pick. If Kingsbury can get the most out of his young receivers, and Fitzgerald can prove he has something left, Murray is going to have a lot of good options, and opposing defenses are going to struggle to match up with the Cardinals’ offense.