Analysis

Kyler Murray Needs to Learn How an NFL QB Prepares

Kyler Murray Preparation

It has recently been reported that there is an addendum to quarterback Kyler Murray’s extension with the Arizona Cardinals that requires four hours of “independent study” per game week. As a former 17-year NFL QB and former MVP, this clause is a true head-scratcher.

Why does this clause exist?

Well, the Arizona Cardinals clearly do not believe that Murray has done the work that they feel is necessary for an NFL quarterback to play at a Pro Bowl level. This lack of preparation is a strong indicator for why the Cardinals have been one of the worst second-half teams in the NFL in recent years and why they have been very poor with communication during games.

READ MORE: Has Kyler Murray’s Gaming Cost the Cardinals?

Great quarterbacks take care of their business all season long, and something is off in Murray’s preparation. If the Cardinals are indicating that Murray is not the best when it comes to his commitment to the classroom, what does this say about his commitment to the weight room, or to any other piece of his individual preparation?

Any Given Sunday Starts on Monday

I always talk about the five p’s when it comes to great quarterbacks: proper preparation prevents poor performance. NFL quarterbacks should be dedicating around 20 hours a week to preparation on their own in order to have success and play at a high level. A typical week of my preparation in the NFL as a quarterback looked something like this:

Mondays should consist of at least two hours of study to get a jump-start on the opponent.

On Tuesdays, you come in around 7 am and stay until at least 3 pm. After receiving a couple hours of treatment in the morning, you spend the bulk of your day meeting with the OC and watching film to get a firm grasp of what the opponent likes to do defensively. You need to know what the defense has for their base coverages, what they look like on third-down, and what exotic pressures show up.

Quarterbacks are expected to come in early and stay late on Wednesdays and Thursdays. These should be 10-hour work days, and then you go home and continue to review the playbook. I used to have my wife quiz me on formations in the West Coast system.

On Fridays and Saturdays, you should be doing an additional few hours of studying, plus re-writing and reviewing your notes that you have from that week’s preparation.

The NFL is a six-month business. You have to grind during that time as a quarterback and put in the hours because it certainly affects your performance. Then, in the offseason, they pay you to stay in shape, but otherwise, your time is your own. You also have a responsibility to not only yourself, but more importantly to everyone in the entire organization, to put in the time and effort.

Murray is Unique, But He’s Not Special

The great quarterbacks don’t feel pressure, they apply pressure. There is no pressure on gameday if you put in the work starting each Monday. You are never going to get to that level that you want to be at without this preparation.

Some people argue that Murray’s elite athleticism can allow him to overcome his lack of preparation, but that is not a feasible argument in today’s NFL. If you ask any GM, coach, or player in the league they will tell you that preparation is a key to success. The quarterbacks and teams that are the most prepared are the ones still playing in January and February.

Defenses nowadays are so good that this will focus on making Murray stay in the pocket and have to make reads, which is something that he struggles with. A big part of playing the quarterback position is being able to look at the coverage, understand tendencies, and anticipate what the defense is going to do before they do it.

Athleticism is only going to get you so far. At the end of the day, there is going to be a two-minute offense, there’s going to be a situation on third-down, and there’s going to be a late-game situation in the red zone. Can you make that throw in the pocket?

Part of the problem in Arizona is the lack of preparation, and it all starts with the quarterback.

Analysis

Kyler Murray Needs to Learn How an NFL QB Prepares

It has recently been reported that there is an addendum to quarterback Kyler Murray’s extension with the Arizona Cardinals that requires four hours of “independent study” per game week. As a former 17-year NFL QB and former MVP, this clause is a true head-scratcher.

Why does this clause exist?

Well, the Arizona Cardinals clearly do not believe that Murray has done the work that they feel is necessary for an NFL quarterback to play at a Pro Bowl level. This lack of preparation is a strong indicator for why the Cardinals have been one of the worst second-half teams in the NFL in recent years and why they have been very poor with communication during games.

READ MORE: Has Kyler Murray’s Gaming Cost the Cardinals?

Great quarterbacks take care of their business all season long, and something is off in Murray’s preparation. If the Cardinals are indicating that Murray is not the best when it comes to his commitment to the classroom, what does this say about his commitment to the weight room, or to any other piece of his individual preparation?

 

Any Given Sunday Starts on Monday

I always talk about the five p’s when it comes to great quarterbacks: proper preparation prevents poor performance. NFL quarterbacks should be dedicating around 20 hours a week to preparation on their own in order to have success and play at a high level. A typical week of my preparation in the NFL as a quarterback looked something like this:

Mondays should consist of at least two hours of study to get a jump-start on the opponent.

On Tuesdays, you come in around 7am and stay until at least 3pm. After receiving a couple hours of treatment in the morning, you spend the bulk of your day meeting with the OC and watching film to get a firm grasp of what the opponent likes to do defensively. You need to know what the defense has for their base coverages, what they look like on third-down, and what exotic pressures show up.

Quarterbacks are expected to come in early and stay late on Wednesdays and Thursdays. These should be 10-hour work days, and then you go home and continue to review the playbook. I used to have my wife quiz me on formations in the West Coast system.

On Fridays and Saturdays, you should be doing an additional few hours of studying, plus re-writing and reviewing your notes that you have from that week’s preparation.

The NFL is a six-month business. You have to grind during that time as a quarterback and put in the hours, because it certainly affects your performance. Then, in the offseason, they pay you to stay in shape, but otherwise, your time is your own. You also have a responsibility to not only yourself, but more importantly to everyone in the entire organization, to put in the time and effort.

 

Murray is Unique, But He’s Not Special

The great quarterbacks don’t feel pressure, they apply pressure. There is no pressure on gameday if you put in the work starting each Monday. You are never going to get to that level that you want to be at without this preparation.

Some people argue that Murray’s elite athleticism can allow him to overcome his lack of preparation, but that is not a feasible argument in today’s NFL. If you ask any GM, coach, or player in the league they will tell you that preparation is a key to success. The quarterbacks and teams that are the most prepared are the ones still playing in January and February.

Defenses nowadays are so good that this will focus on making Murray stay in the pocket and have to make reads, which is something that he struggles with. A big part of playing the quarterback position is being able to look at the coverage, understand tendencies, and anticipate what the defense is going to do before they do it.

Athleticism is only going to get you so far. At the end of the day, there is going to be a two-minute offense, there’s going to be a situation on third-down, there’s going to be a late-game situation in the red zone. Can you make that throw in the pocket?

Part of the problem in Arizona is the lack of preparation, and it all starts with the quarterback.