The fact that the new contract signed by Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray contains a mandatory homework clause will create the kind of thing that most football coaches hate.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury will be asked about it, Murray will be asked about it. Other players will be asked about it.
For example, tight end Zach Ertz was asked about it today. He defended, via Darren Urban of the team’s official website, Murray’s knowledge of the team’s system.
“Kyler knows the playbook better than anyone in this team,” Ertz said. He added that Kyler helped Ertz learn the playbook after Ertz was traded to Arizona.
Apart from the usual dynamic that entails those who catch passes saying good things about those who decide where to throw them, Ertrz’s take misses the mark. Of course Murray knows the system. He is the system. It’s the same system he’s been running since college.
The question is whether he’s putting in enough time to learn about each week’s opponent. Film study isn’t about learning your own playbook better. It’s about better understanding the players you’ll be facing. How they do what they do when they do it. Player by player. Any and every little thing that will help the man at the center of the offense make good decisions before and during a play.
Yes, Murray knows the Arizona offense. The Cardinals want him to spend more time on the other team’s defense. Week in, week out.
UPDATE 3:40 p.m. ET: Others are noting that Ertz also defended Murray’s knowledge of each week’s defense. That’s far more relevant to the issue than knowing the Cardinals’ offense. Regardless, the team wanted that clause in his contract for a reason.