And in August. And in September, October, November and December. And maybe deep into January, too.
When the Cardinals report for training camp later this month, Murray will begin working in earnest with his new toys for the 2021 season: a set of dynamic, versatile and elite receivers, the likes of which he hasn’t seen during his first two NFL seasons.
“We have a great receiver room,” Murray said. “More weapons than I can ask for.”
That’s even without future first ballot Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald, who is technically an unrestricted free agent but hasn’t announced whether he’ll play again this season or retire after a 17-year career.
Arizona signed veteran A.J. Green, who had spent the first 10 years of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, and drafted Rondale Moore out of Purdue in the second round in April. They’re polar opposites. Green is 6-foot-4 and Moore is 5-foot-7. Green will be 33 when the season begins and Moore 21. Green is an inside tactician, and Moore is an outside speedster. Both have the ability to change the outcome of a game.
For Green, though, the 2021 season may be different than any he’s experienced. Since he was the fourth overall pick in 2011, Green has been the Bengals No. 1 receiving target. He won’t have to shoulder that kind of responsibility in Arizona because of DeAndre Hopkins, Murray’s WR1.
Just by working with him a handful of times this summer, Murray already has a good feeling about Green’s upcoming season.
“I expect A.J. to have a big year,” Murray said. “I know a lot of people sleep on him. I know a lot of things have been said about him — maybe not be able to do it anymore, whatever. We don’t really care about that. I ignore all that. I’m glad he’s on the team.”
Green is coming off the least productive season of his career — 523 yards and two touchdowns. He missed the 2019 season because of torn ligaments in his ankle. Even so, Green has shown coach Kliff Kingsbury that he can still play.
“He’s been really impressive when you see him on the field,” Kingsbury said. “That type of size with that type of movement skills. Very conscientious player. He’s picking it up quickly. Consummate professional. Can’t say enough good things about him. I’m really excited that he’s here. I think he brings a lot to that receiving room.”
Without Fitzgerald in the room, Green will be the receivers’ elder statesman. He’ll be able to mentor the likes of 24-year-olds Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson. He’ll be the one leading by example and answering questions on and off the field.
Then, on the field, Green will be Arizona’s veteran presence in place of Fitzgerald.
“That it’ll be helpful for A.J.,” Murray said, “especially in this offense.”