A former NFL team general manager recently criticized quarterback’s leadership skills Kyler Murray and wondered if that earned the quarterback a new contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
Michael Lombardi, a former NFL executive with several NFL teams, made his comments on his podcast, “The GM Shuffle†
“I was reminded that when Budda Baker got injured everyone was running out onto the field to see Budda because I think it was a really bad injury. But if you go back and look, Kyler Murray was the only man who didn’t. Lombardi said. “How does that show leadership? How do you rush to give this man all this money when you know he’s never been there, I mean go back to Oklahoma and you can ask anyone. I’m not against Kyler Murray, I think the guy is sensational when he’s on the move. I’m talking about him as a leader and if you give this guy all the money you’ll get more than just good play on the field. You need leadership. You have to get the things that matter most and I don’t know if he will be loved by his teammates.”
Murray and the Cardinals have had a tumultuous offseason as the quarterback has fought for a new contract in Arizona, one that will make him one of the Highest Paid Quarterbacks in the NFL†
Lombardi argued that the Cardinals should not give Murray that new contract on his podcast.
“You know, go back and watch that Budda Baker clip,” he said. “You know, when he’s sitting there staring straight ahead. They’re seduced by the talent. And if you pay this guy and he gets his coin, do you really think you’re going to level up? Is he going to keep spinning and become another leader? You talk to some of his teammates in Oklahoma. You talk to some of his elite eight. You talk to everyone who has been with the Cardinals, the backup quarterbacks in Arizona and they are like, he doesn’t even acknowledge them. He doesn’t even acknowledge their presence. To me, he plays like a baseball player. Baseball players, they worry about their average… But when you’re the quarterback of a team, you’re'” I need to be able to build unity and camaraderie with your teammates. I do not see it. I really don’t. Each his own. I know they’re sitting there saying this is the cancer of the profession. “If we don’t sign him, what are we going to do?” If you draw him, what are you going to do?”
However, some of Murray’s current and former teammates have no questions about the quarterback’s leadership skills.
In an appearance on the Dave Pasch Podcast earlier this month, Ertz defended his quarterback’s leadership abilities.
“Everyone wants finished products,” Ertz said. “Everyone wants completed success. People forget how young Kyler is. People want this man to be ready to lead on the field. But Kyler is better than he was when I came here in October. And he will continue to grow in that regard I never spoke when I was young I would just do my thing Go to work Work my ass out on Sunday and just lead by example If you want to join me great If not then what Also, now I’m in Year 10 and I have a more vocal role per se.
“Kyler is going to find out what’s best for the team and it won’t be in the prototypical way. Kyler can talk one-on-one with guys behind the doors. We’ve talked about football a lot. How do you want certain things” Just because he doesn’t lead on the pitch in a typical way doesn’t mean he isn’t a football team leader. That next step is taking that more vocal role.”
Ertz added: “Kyler is the most talented player I’ve ever been. Period. There’s no doubt. There’s nothing he can’t do on a football field. Be like Lamar Jackson – take off and run for over 100 yards in a game or in my opinion sitting in a pocket and not even worrying about his legs and just think and dunk all the way down the field he’s super super accurate and there’s just nothing he can’t do i can don’t really explain.”
Former Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, recently defended Murray on The Rich Eisen Show†
When Eisen was asked by Eisen about “leadership issues” with Murray, Kirk replied, “I’d say it’s bullshit. People can speculate and read into it as they please. But I consider it passion. The kid is just passionate and people show their passion in different ways He just wants to win so when something goes wrong it’s a little disappointing But it’s good for me, in my eyes, to see someone who cares enough to show passion and turn things around and win the football game, that’s how I see it.”
He continued: “He’s everything you want in a quarterback. I would think the number 1 is an ultimate competitor. You can just see it in his approach and in his attitude, every time we take the field on Sunday he is there to win. He wants to be able to compete at the highest level and take his game and his team to that point. He has a relationship with all the guys on the offensive front and he never backs down from the competition. I think it is. the most important part when you talk about having a franchise quarterback.”
This isn’t the first time someone has questioned Murray’s leadership abilities, and it probably won’t be the last.
For Super Bowl 56, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that there was a “strange atmosphere” between Murray and the Cardinals, citing unnamed sources describing the third-year pro as “selfish, immature and (a) finger-pointer.”
Mortenson went on to write that Murray is “frustrated with the franchise and embarrassed” by the team’s NFC Wild Card loss to the Rams and “thinks he has been framed as the scapegoat.”
Last season, former Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer questioned Murray’s “flaws” in comments that, interestingly, also made the news. Dave Pasch Podcast†
“What worries me are some of the leadership deficiencies I’ve seen,” Palmer said. “Some of the body language I’ve seen from Kyler. When you’re in Detroit, even if you’re pretending, you have to keep a rah-rah face on. There are just certain things you have to do as a quarterback that he is still young, he’s still learning, he’s still working.”
He continued: “I’m really looking at what kind of leader Kyler is moving forward because now it’s really all on him, now it’s really on his shoulders. Now it’s on Kyler, can Kyler lead this team? find a way to shake off that bad body language we’ve been seeing for the past few weeks Can he find a way to lead this group of guys Can he find a way to overcome some adversity they will have to overcome again “They’ve gone down several scores again like they were in Detroit last week, can they overcome it? I definitely think Kyler is capable of doing it. I definitely think Kyler has the ability and God-given athleticism , the arm talent, all that, he’s got it all. Now he has to prove it. Now he is at a very important turning point in his career. Let’s see what he can do. I can’t wait to see him play. I can can’t wait to see this team Sp eel.”
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray’s leadership skills criticized by former NFL GM