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Sun, Aug. 18

Murray focused on playing well amid rookie hype

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals kick off the preseason Thursday night against the Chargers at State Farm Stadium. (Photo courtesy of Oklahoma Athletics)

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals kick off the preseason Thursday night against the Chargers at State Farm Stadium. (Photo courtesy of Oklahoma Athletics)

GLENDALE (AP) – Kyler Murray doesn’t expect to play much when the Arizona Cardinals open the preseason Thursday night at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.

And much like first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury, the No. 1 overall pick isn’t giving away hints on how the offense will look.

“Whatever we do I know it will be pretty generic, pretty basic, so just get out there and get a feel for the game and let it rip a little bit,” Murray said.

A vanilla offense might not be what fans want to see from Kingsbury, known for his “Air Raid” attack at Texas Tech, and Murray, as much of a threat with his legs as his arm.

But the process of becoming an NFL quarterback continues for Murray.

The Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma sees and hears the hype about his star potential, but scoffs at the idea of already being tabbed as favorite for Rookie of the Year.

“I really don’t feel it, honestly. I see it when we’re at dinner and the TV’s on or whatever. But other than that I don’t really pay much attention to it,” Murray said. “I’m the favorite, to me that’s just something that they have to do. I’ve got to go out and play well. If I don’t play well then people are going to be mad, I’m going to be mad, everybody’s going to be mad.”

Kingsbury said that kind of talk comes with being the No. 1 pick.

“You can’t control that narrative, and I understand that. He’s the first pick and he is a dynamic talent,” Kingsbury said. “As a coach you understand that there’s going to be ups and downs and he’s a young player, and we’re going to deal with some adversity. In today’s society, that’s what you’re going to get.”

The coaching staff is trying to keep Murray’s arm as fresh as possible while preparing him to make the throws required in the offense.

Murray is adjusting to such things as having play calls come through his helmet.

For the moment, Murray hasn’t run much. He’s focused more on where his teammates are on the field.

“I want him to play the game when he’s out there, treat every rep like a game,” Kingsbury said. “But I think he is working through his process. We know he can run, he knows he can run and so he wants to get through some reads and do some different things.”

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