Three games into the season, the Arizona Cardinals look far from the playoff contender they were a year ago. And even if they did, they still probably wouldn’t scare the Carolina Panthers—who have wins over the redbirds in each of their last six meetings.
Regardless, they still have a boogeyman under center—one who head coach Matt Rhule is all too familiar with.
When speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Rhule was asked of his Week 4 opponent in quarterback Kyler Murray. He’d heap a tremendous amount of praise on the former No. 1 overall pick, and even threw it back to their unforgettable matchup in college.
“I think he’s one of the rare, rare, rare athletic players I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said with a smile. “I saw him do things on the college football field that made me wanna just walk off the field. We sacked him, we knocked the ball out of his hands, it bounced on the ground three times, he picked it up and threw it for an 18-yard first down. He’s one of the most amazing players I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Well, you can’t blame Rhule for thinking that, especially given what else happened in that game. Rhule’s Baylor Bears would be absolutely thrashed by the Oklahoma Sooners and Murray, who threw for 432 yards and six touchdowns off of just 17 completions in a 66-33 win. (Oh, and the future Heisman Trophy winner also rushed for 45 more yards and another score.)
Rhule then went on to give Murray props for everything he does now—at the pro level.
“What I love about him is he runs the whole system, he’s out there checkin’ plays, he’s gettin’ ’em in the right looks, he’s checkin’ the runs,” he added. “I mean, he’s not just, ‘Hey, this guy’s talented.’ He’s skilled. There’s a big difference. Lots of guys are talented. He is skilled.”
Unfortunately for the Panthers, Murray will be (by far) the most talented and skilled quarterback they’ve faced yet in 2022.