Kingsbury: Cardinals offense holding back in preseason


Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals offense looked discombobulated in their second preseason game. The constricted offense Kliff Kingsbury is running this preseason is by design.

The first-time NFL coach told Peter King for his Football Morning in America column that the Cardinals are deliberately keeping their actual offense under wraps during the preseason.

"The games, we're trying to keep it close to the vest, obviously," Kingsbury said. "We're trying to get our players used to playing with each other. But it's interesting for me, because this is the NFL, and I've never called a game in my life where I wasn't in straight attack mode. Kyler and I are adjusting to that."

The statement helps explain Murray's bevy of underneath throws that displayed his quick trigger but rarely attacked the field vertically in two appearances (0-2 on passes of 10-plus air-yards).

The Cards keeping their offense behind closed doors is par for the course during NFL preseason. Most teams don't showcase their actual plans until the games matter. Famously, Mike and Kyle Shanahan kept their plans for Robert Griffin III's zone-read devastation as a rookie in 2012 a secret until the regular season got underway.

Kingsbury would like to see similar results with Murray.

"For us, it's operations. Getting guys lined up. Proper footwork. Things like that." Kingsbury said of his preseason goals if it's not to work on the actual offense. "It's a challenge for Kyler. He wants to play. He wants to have success right away. He wants to light up every field he gets on. He's been trying to get more put in to these game plans. 'Are we game-planning this week? Are we game-planning? Can we do what we do?' That's been fun to see. He wants to go out and shine. He always has been the best, wherever he's played. He expects to be the best. That's what drives him."

The entire NFL world anticipates a different type of offense from Kingsbury than we've seen through two preseason games. When the Cards kick off the season against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 8 we'll finally see what the Air Raid alumnus has in store.