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How the connection between Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray is helping the Arizona Cardinals take off

After arriving in Arizona in 2019, the Texas natives are taking the Cardinals to the next level in 2021.
Credit: AP
Inactive Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray greets fans after the Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers in an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

GLENDALE, Ariz — Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury often gets compared to Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds. But it’s the dynamic between the actor and the director that Kingsbury relates to most when it comes to working with quarterback Kyler Murray.

“I’m not talking down to him we’re talking on the same level,” Kingsbury said Wednesday. “I want to hear his thoughts I want to get it from him because we’re in this thing together.”

Murray, who has been nursing an ankle injury since Week 8, said that Kingsbury’s confidence in him helped tremendously in his transition from the University of Oklahoma to the NFL.

“He’s always felt that way about my game,” Murray said. ”Ever since high school he came and visited me, always hit me up on Twitter just recruiting me and stuff like that so I always knew how he felt about my game even when I was at Oklahoma and he was at [Texas] Tech watching me talking to my pops and stuff like that.”

Kingsbury established a line of communication with Murray when he was recruiting in college. The Texas natives arrived in Arizona in 2019 to begin their NFL careers and Kingsbury isn’t shying away from the idea that his experience as a coach at this level is tied to Murray’s performance on the field.

“I’d rather have it tied to his than about 99% of the quarterbacks in the NFL,” Kingsbury said. “I just have always thought his upside is as good as anybody I’ve ever seen so it’s been fun to work with and then try to figure this thing out.”

The Cardinals finished with a 5-10-1 record in Kingsbury’s first season while Murray won Offensive Rookie of the Year. Cut to 2021, the Cardinals are 8-2 with Murray in the NFL MVP conversation. Football fans in the valley are grabbing their popcorn to see how this cinematic season directed by Kliff Kingsbury and starring Kyler Murray plays out as they continue making magic happen as a tandem.

“At the end of the day he knows I’m tied to him he knows we’re tied together and we just gotta find a way to get it done and we both approach it from that aspect,” Kingsbury said.

Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on Twitter: @LWashingtonTV. If you have a sports story idea, e-mail Lina at LWashington@12News.com.

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