Kyler Murray fueled to be 'best to ever play the game'

  • By Grant Gordon
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Throughout his playing days on the gridiron, Kyler Murray has had plenty who doubted him and plenty of motivation to succeed.

Perhaps the biggest quandary as to his draft status and worthiness of being selected No. 1 overall by the Arizona Cardinals was his height (listed as 5-foot-10 on the team website). If not that, perhaps it was the strength of his arm.

"When I left [Texas] A&M [after my freshman] year, nobody thought I could throw," Murray told reporters following practice on Wednesday. "I'm short and I can't throw. It's a bad combination."

Perhaps surprisingly, Murray said it's not those who doubt him who also motivate him. It's just the plain-and-simple desire to be the greatest of all-time.

"What fuels me?" Murray said, repeating a reporter's question to him. "I would like to be the best to ever play the game."

A hefty goal, of course, but why not? Murray's resume already notes a Heisman Trophy and the designation as the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. In his NFL debut against the Lions, he got off to a terrible start, but rebounded to lead the Cardinals to a 27-27 tie despite an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit. Along the way, he had a pair of touchdowns and threw for 308 yards -- becoming the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to eclipse 300 yards in his first start and the first since Andrew Luck in 2012.

"We knew at some point during that game we were going to break through," Murray said. "We just had to keep going."

In the lead-up to the Cardinals' Week 2 matchup against the Ravens, Murray faced plenty of questions comparing him to Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson and how they've similarly shared critics and skillsets.

Jackson threw five touchdowns against the Dolphins in Week 1, at least briefly quieting those who doubted his ability to play quarterback in the NFL.

Murray, who's likewise fleet of feet, realizes those who question his or Jackson's talents are simply part of the process.

"People say things about everybody," Murray said.

There were many who didn't think the Cardinals should spend the top pick on Murray, but they did.

There were plenty who didn't think Murray and the Cardinals had a prayer of a comeback to catch the Lions, but they did.

Murray becoming the best to ever play is certainly hard to fathom, especially as Tom Brady is still penning chapters in his novel of all-time greatness. It's also an achievement that couldn't begin to come to fruition until likely a couple of decades have passed.

Nonetheless, it's fueling Murray and what better hopes to have than the highest ones.