Kliff Kingsbury is bringing the “Air Raid” offense to the NFL. Halfway through the preseason, his team is doing its best to ignore the warning sirens.
As explained by Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic, criticism has mounted over the team’s planned attack. The players are insisting that it’s no big deal.
“It gets frustrating when there might not be anything open and we go out there and look how we looked last week and people are talking about you,” quarterback Kyler Murray said recently, in reference to an ugly preseason outing against the Raiders, which may or may not have included specific game-planning from Oakland aimed at shutting down the NFL’s next “generational” talent.
“But you’ve got to understand it’s preseason and we’re running like literally six or seven plays,” Murray added. “There’s nothing to be too negative about because we know what’s really going on.”
What’s really going on is that the offense, for now, is keeping it very simple when performing in plain sight of Arizona’s opponents. The real offense supposedly will be unveiled Week One, against the Lions.
“[W]e know what we’re doing as far as what our approach is for the preseason games,” Cardinals passing-game coordinator Tom Clements said, via McManaman. “What we’re trying to tell the players is we’re going to execute plays that they know so they can show and give their best on those plays. They don’t have to worry about it. They recognize we’re not game-planning and we’re just trying to get better and treat it more like a practice game.”
That said, Murray has promised that Saturday’s practice against the Vikings in Minnesota will entail “a couple new wrinkles” from the offense. The real question is whether the Vikings defense will be throwing many extra wrinkles at Murray, including the kind of blitzing that had Murray asking Raiders receiver Antonio Brown after the most recent preseason game, “Why they gotta bring the house on me, bro?“