TEMPE, Ariz. — When new Arizona Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon walked to his car around 9 pm on Tuesday night, he noticed a nice car parked next to his. Not sure who it belonged to, Gannon walked back inside to find quarterback Kyler Murray still rehabbing his right knee.
“He’s been very eager to attack his rehab the way he needs to attack it to get back and being him,” Gannon said Thursday afternoon.
Murray is “right on schedule” with his rehabilitation, which has moved from Dallas, where he had surgery on Jan. 3, to the Cardinals’ facility in Tempe, Gannon said.
“He’s doing what he needs to do,” Gannon said.
However, Gannon didn’t want to set a timeline on when Murray could possibly return. Before he was fired in January, former Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said Murray “probably” won’t be ready for Week 1.
“I’m not going to put a timetable on that right now,” Gannon said. “Whenever Kyler is fully healthy to play, that’s when he’ll play.”
With Murray’s status for the start of the season uncertain, the Cardinals will head into the offseason preparing Murray for a new offense in the classroom and through walk-throughs, Arizona’s new offensive coordinator, Drew Petzing, said. Petzing was officially introduced by the Cardinals on Thursday.
Another potential complication to the Cardinals’ offseason plans at quarterback could be the “minor” procedure that Gannon said backup Colt McCoy had after the season. McCoy “looks good” and will be ready to go, Gannon added. Not having Murray on the field at full strength as Petzing installs a new offense will present “some unique challenges,” the offensive coordinator said.
“But I think that’s the nature of this league,” Petzing said. “I think no matter what year you’re going into, there’s going to be something that you have to handle and deal with, so it’s something we’re going to work through together as a staff, and we’re going to put our guys in the best position to go out there and win when the fall comes.”
Petzing wouldn’t reveal any details about what kind of offense he’s planning on running with Murray, who has run various versions of the Air Raid since the eighth grade.
“That’s a secret that, I mean, if I gave away right now, we’d really be in trouble,” Petzing said jokingly. “But, no, I think a lot of that is going to be pieced together this spring and this offseason as we move towards September. It’s part of the process we talked about dealing with, figuring out the roster and how these guys fit and what they do well, and that certainly starts with the quarterback, as it will in every building in this league.
“But I think that’s going to be an ever-evolving process that we need to work through. Certainly have an idea of what I want to do and what I think these players want to do well and will do well, and I think that’s going to be the big challenge this offseason to put that together.”
Gannon then cut in to say that questions about the offense “poked the bear” after he said earlier in the week that Murray will play more under center compared to in shotgun. Of Murray’s 2,483 offensive plays since entering the league in 2019, he’s been under center for 143 of them — or 5.8% of the time.
“[Petzing] already said, he goes, ‘Why would you tell people we’re gonna play under center? You just gave it [away]. Don’t you know how to handle the media?'” Gannon said. “Yeah, I know I’m sorry. I got it. Sorry, Drew.”
Gannon then explained why he prefers Murray to go under center more than he has.
“Conflict … that it puts on a defense,” Gannon said.