Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon has confirmed Kyler Murray as the Cardinals starter in week 10 and seems pleased to have his franchise QB back.
“Honestly, I’m excited for the guy,” Gannon said. “I’ve seen what he’s had to go through the last eight months or so — however long I’ve been here — and what he’s put into it and how bad he wants to be out there and the competitor that he is.”
“He wants to be out there with the guys and help his team win. So that’s what I’m most excited to see. I think that’s what they’re excited about. They’re excited about to get the guy in the huddle too, you know what I mean? They like the guy. We all love the guy, so that’s probably why they’re smiling a little bit.”
JONATHAN GANNON EVALUATING DRAFT NEEDS
While Jonathan Gannon is almost certainly excited to see what Murray can do, it may not be an entirely obvious reason why. As a rookie head coach, Gannon will be evaluating the position in terms of what he can do in the draft as well as how well Murray plays.
Even if Murray plays lights out, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll remain a Cardinal. In all likelihood it does, but if Murray is great and Gannon would like to move on, that becomes easier the better Murray plays. Many teams in the NFL would jump at the chance to trade for Murray rather than taking a risk on a rookie QB.
The reason this is the least likely outcome is twofold. First, Murray’s contract is much more onerous than a rookie deal. The second reason is that if Murray is good, the Cardinals won’t have as good a draft pick with which to work for drafting one of the top quarterbacks.
Clearly Jonathan Gannon is looking at Murray through the lens of improving the roster as a whole. Anyone who has watched Arizona the last few seasons knows that Murray is a great QB, and building around him would be a shorter task than ripping everything up and starting again with a rookie.
And that is why Jonathan Gannon is most excited. He might find that his job is that much safer if Kyler Murray is back to his best.