Vance Joseph: Byron Murphy can be “special” in Arizona defense

NFL: JUN 02 Cardinals OTA
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Byron Murphy has largely been a slot cornerback for the Cardinals over his first two seasons as a pro.

But his defensive coordinator apparently has high goals for the 2019 second-round pick entering 2021.

“You can see his growth,” Vance Joseph said, via Kyle Odegard of the team’s website. “He’s so much more comfortable. He’s grown into his body. He’s working. He knows the system. He can be a special player for us. He can be one of our better players on defense.”

Arizona’s 2020 starting corners Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick signed elsewhere in free agency, with the Cardinals bringing in Malcolm Butler, Robert Alford, and Darqueze Dennard. Murphy also has a chance to play a larger role within the scheme, whether that’s in the slot or outside. He said he’s comfortable playing either role.

In two seasons, Murphy has 18 passes defensed, a pair of fumble recoveries, 2.0 sacks, six tackles for loss, and an interception. He’s appeared in 31 games with 23 starts.