Since the Arizona Cardinals drafted Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick over two years ago, the team hasn’t been able to make it back to the postseason. The franchise went 8-8 in 2020, losing five of their last eight games to miss out on a playoff spot.
With Murray entering year three, the Cardinals have high expectations for this upcoming season. The 23-year-old has made steady progress since arriving in the league, but now the team needs him to take a major step forward.
An update from Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk will give the team’s fanbase a reason to be optimistic. He claimed that the young quarterback has continued to get better and should be ready for a big year in 2021.
“[Kyler] going into his third year, you just kind of see him taking that next step every single year. And he just keeps on getting better,” Kirk said in an appearance on Good Morning Football on NFL Network. “When you first come into the NFL, you’re still trying to learn how things go and just be a pro. And I think he’s made that adjustment really fast.
“So I think for Kyler, he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself. But the main thing is he just wants to win so bad and that’s why you see him getting a little fiery on the sideline, and you see that emotion coming out, just because every time we step on the field, he just wants to win. And that’s what you want from your quarterback.”
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) June 30, 2021
Kirk has been one of the biggest beneficiaries from Murray’s progress over the past two years. The 24-year-old Cardinals wideout hauled in 48 catches for 621 yards and a career-high six touchdowns in 2020.
But this upcoming season, Kirk has even bigger expectations for himself and Arizona. If Murray can take another leap forward, the Cardinals should be well-suited to be an NFC contender.
“I think it’s now or never for us,” Kirk said on NFL Network Wednesday. “That’s the attitude in the locker room. We finally feel like we have all the pieces to put it together and really make a push for the playoffs and for a championship. I know guys in the locker aren’t expecting anything less than that. We know what opportunity we have at hand, and then we know we have to be better. . . . Since coach Kingsbury’s been there, we have gotten better every year. Now it’s the year where we’ve got a young group of core guys that have been through a lot, all the ups and downs. We know the opportunity is here, and we have to rise to the occasion, and we have the right guys and the right leadership to do it.”