CARDINALS

Arizona Cardinals blamed, slammed for handling of Kyler Murray situation: 'Do your job'

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
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As the saga with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray continues to drag on, one national sports personality is assigning blame in the situation.

And he's not pinning it on the quarterback.

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith slammed the Cardinals' organization on First Take on Monday for the way they have handled Murray and his situation in Arizona, blaming the organization, the GM and the head coach.

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“The Arizona Cardinals are full of it and they can kick rocks for all I care," Smith said on his show. "Let me be very, very clear. If a teammate or teammates were saying this about Kyler Murray … If a teammate said this, I’m all ears. That credibility stands big time with me. I don’t want to hear this from the Arizona Cardinals as an organization. This is the number one overall pick you drafted. This is an electrifying talent. We’ve seen what he can do on the football field.”

Smith continued: “You’re Steve Keim, Wilks (Steve Wilks) comes in there for one year and you bounce him out of there and you replace him with a dude, breath smelling like Similac, wet behind the ears, ain’t never done a damn thing in the National Football League. That’s the head coach that you gave Kyler Murray to work with. Maybe, just maybe, if you surrounded him with veterans. Maybe, just maybe you wouldn’t have some of these purported issues. Maybe we'd take it seriously if an experienced coach, who had been around and credibly connected to the National Football League, knows what it takes to win and schools the players under his stewardship accordingly, maybe we'd take these kind of comments about Kyler Murray a little bit more seriously. But why the hell should we here? I want to hear from a reporter in Arizona before I hear from Cardinals management. I want to hear from players before I hear from Cardinals management. You put a novice at the helm to oversee the quarterback. You're obviously going to support that coach because you know you put a novice in there, bypassing qualified white and black candidates in order to do so."

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ESPN's Stephen A. Smith had some strong words for the Arizona Cardinals amid the Kyler Murray saga with the team.

The drama with the Cardinals appeared to start when Murray scrubbed all references to the Cardinals on Instagram, which created all sorts of speculation surrounding the quarterback, including thoughts that he was unhappy with the team and was searching for a new contract in Arizona.

Then, before the Super Bowl, ESPN's Chris Mortensen released a report that the Cardinals quarterback was “self-centered” and “immature” and a “finger pointer."

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Arizona did respond with a statement after that report.

"Nothing has changed regarding our opinion and high regard for Kyler Murray," the Cardinals said. "We as a team and Kyler individually have improved each year he’s been in the league. We are excited to continue that improvement in 2022 and are excited that Kyler Murray is the quarterback leading us."

 Murray responded Monday afternoon with a statement via Twitter and Instagram.

“I play this game for the love of it, my teammates, everyone who has helped me get to this position that believed in me & to win championships,” the Cardinals quarterback wrote. “All of this nonsense is not what I’m about, never has been, never will be. Anyone who has ever stepped between those lines with me knows how hard I go.

“Love me or hate me but I’m going to continue to grow and get better.”

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Murray appears to have Smith in his corner.

The ESPN personality blamed GM Steve Keim and coach Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals for the situation during his rant against the team on First Take.

“Now, that we are here and you all get bounced out of the playoffs and Kyler Murray is going to be looking for some money and support down the line," Smith said. "Suddenly we’re hearing stuff about his attitude and his immaturity and all of this other stuff. Let me look. Kyler Murray is 24-years-old. Maturity is an issue? Wow, stop the presses. Stop the presses. He’s 24-years-old and he might not do everything right and he might not act right all the time or he might be a bit temperamental. So what? So what? You’re a coach. You’re a GM. Do your job.”

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Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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