The Arizona Cardinals’ first game of the Kliff Kingsbury-Kyler Murray era wasn’t exactly a success – at least not right away – ending in a 27-27 tie with the Detroit Lions. Murray in particular didn’t play well for the first three quarters, before turning it on in the fourth, forcing overtime.
Audio captured by Inside the NFL shows Kingsbury talking to Murray about the up-and-down performance. He told Murray that he would call the plays better and Murray would play better.
But he ended his pep talk to Murray by telling him how proud he was.
“I’m proud as f*ck of you. That’s how you fight,” the head coach told his rookie quarterback.
Murray’s first NFL start began about as poorly as you could imagine. He had an interception and could hardly move the ball at all as the Lions built a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.
Detroit’s lead grew to 18 points with a Matthew Stafford touchdown in the fourth quarter to make the score 24-6. That was when Kyler Murray finally turned it on.
A field goal drive was followed by two Murray touchdown passes to David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, and a two-point conversion on the latter score sent the game to overtime.
The two sides exchanged first-drive field goals in overtime before the clock ran out, leading to a tie.
It was a thrilling game, and the Cardinals showed signs that they have the potential to be a very good offense moving forward. Murray ended up with 308 passing yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Murray will remember the game, but maybe he’ll remember Kingsbury’s words of encouragement even more.