The Arizona Cardinals kicked off a new era in franchise history on Thursday, as they formally introduced newly appointed head coach Jonathan Gannon.
One of the main storylines for Gannon’s first year as head coach of the Cardinals will center on just how he will mesh with Kyler Murray. Gannon will not see Murray on the field in the Cardinals’ upcoming offseason programs, as the two-time Pro Bowler is still recovering from last month’s ACL surgery. Murray is at the least expected to return to action sometime in the 2023 season.
Gannon wants to exploit Murray’s true potential as a quarterback, and his first order of business as a head coach will be to bring in an offensive-minded coach who can help in achieving this goal.
“I have a very specific vision of how I want to play on offense, and the person that comes in here to run the offense is going to understand that everything that we do will be structured around the quarterback position to maximize his skill set,” Gannon said during a press conference on Thursday. “And we have an elite one.”
Murray was in attendance for Gannon’s introductory press conference with the Cardinals. The former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator has already touched base with Murray, and he is looking forward to working with the “super competitive” quarterback.
“You can tell that he is super competitive, which you have to be at that spot and, very self-aware, which I thought was really cool,” Gannon said. “The maturity that he shows when we talked, he ultimately, just like me, wants to get started and wants to do great things and win football games. And I think that he knows whatever he needs to do that for the team, that’s what he will do.
“So I was just really excited about him.”
Gannon also made clear that he will have a “great relationship” with Murray.
“We’re going to have a great relationship,” Gannon said. “He’s a direct reflection of me. That position is the player that’s most like a coach on that field.”
A crucial free agency period awaits Gannon and Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort next month.