The Arizona Cardinals are heading in to next season with Kyler Murray being the starting quarterback as they hope he continues to live up to his status being a former No. 1 overall pick. Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort who was not around when Murray was drafted is standing behind his quarterback showing off his confidence for the star.

Ossenfort on what he has seen from Kyler Murray after his injury

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) talks to running back James Conner (6) during minicamp at Dignity Health Training Center on June 11, 2024.
© Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

There were questions initially when Arizona signed Murray to a contract extension a few years ago as according to NBC Sports, there was a clause that “required him to a certain amount of film study.” Ossenfort was on Arizona Sports 98.7 that while he would not be able to comment on anything where he wasn't there, he had endless praise for Murray.

“I heard some of those stories. It’s hard for me to comment; I wasn’t here,” Ossenfort said. “All I can say is from the second I walked into the building, seeing how he attacked his rehab — that was hard, what Kyler had to do last year. And I’m not talking solely the rehab, but he had to learn, all the transition we had on the roster, all the transition we had on the coaching staff. For him to try to ingrain himself in that while not really being a part of it because most of the time he was off to the side working on his rehab, the way he was able to come back last year and start that process and go full force this offseason where he’s been right in the middle of everything we’re doing: Workouts, practice, meetings, on the field in OTAs.

“That’s enabled him to really see what we’re doing, buy into it, be a part of it, and take that role of what comes with the job description of being a starting quarterback,” Ossenfort continued. “So to see Kyler grow into that, I can’t comment on where he was, all I can know is the growth I’ve seen out of him, physically, mentally, from a leadership standpoint, here in the year and a half that we’ve been here, it’s been great to see.”

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon on Murray's leadership

Another Cardinals figure that was not around when Murray was drafted, but is excited for what is to come is head coach Jonathan Gannon. Besides the immense talent that Murray has, Gannon was elated to see how he leads the team on and off the field according to Sports Illustrated.

“I'm not going to hide my excitement, it's awesome to see him lead the offense. Lead the team, being there with his teammates, asking really good questions, getting held accountable in front of everyone and taking it on the chin just like everybody does, I love that about him,” Gannon told reporters during Arizona's offseason activities.

Last season, Murray only played in eight games as he has been suffering with a serious injury where he was dealt with a strenuous rehab to get back to full strength. In the eight games played, he threw for 1,799 yards, 10 touchdowns, and five interceptions with a quarterback rating of 47.2

“It's because he's competitive as all get out, I coach him – he gets coached just like the rookie receiver getting coached making a mistake,” Gannon continued. He likes that, he welcomes that, he wants that. It's been really cool to see. I've told you guys – it's going to be an interesting year for him. It really is, I'm excited for him.”

Murray on how the league perceives the Cardinals

There is no doubt that the new Cardinals regime is different than before as it is the second year of Ossenfort and Gannon together, but more importantly, it's the first under them with a healthy Murray. Talking about the new look of Arizona, the star quarterback spoke about how the league looks at their team according to the team's website.

“You look around the league and how they talk about the Cardinals,” Murray said, “It flipped from maybe a talented team that doesn't play hard and isn't well-coached or doesn't play smart to, ‘Oh, these guys, they might not be as talented but nobody wants to play them because they play hard as hell.'”

While it has been an injury riddled past few years, Murray is looking to find some consistency like he had in 2020 and 2021 where he showed off his skills through the air and on the ground.

James Conner on his outlook of the Cardinals roster ahead of season

Murray has a brand new weapon on offense as they drafted Marvin Harrison Jr. with the fourth overall pick who is a decorated prospect coming out of Ohio State University. Plus, the Cardinals still have running back James Conner who was on The Rich Eisen show and talked about how the Cardinals have “a talented team.”

“Our message has been maximizing yourself on the field and off the field, trying to put the best product on the field that we've got,” Conner said. “We've got a talented team so if guys can put out their best product on the field we will be in good shape.”

“We cleansed the roster,” Conner continued. “Guys who weren't serious about football, guys who were not in it for the right reasons, guys who didn't put the team first, we were slowly weeding that stuff out. That's what it takes. we cleanse and now we're ready to attack.”

Conner has been a part of the Cardinals for three seasons as he is going into his eighth season in the NFL where he bursted onto the scene with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dealing with his own injury spells from time to time, he rushed for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career last season to go along with seven touchdowns.

In any sense, Arizona will try desperately to improve after last year where they went 4-13 which put them dead last in the NFC West. They will open up the upcoming season on the road as they take on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Sept. 8.