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former Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum offered a blunt assessment of Kyler Murray during a recent radio interview, saying that the star quarterback “needs to grow up a little bit” in order to lead the franchise.
Beachum, a free agent after spending the past three seasons protecting Murray as one of Arizona’s offensive linemen, was asked about the leadership abilities of the 2019 first draft on Wednesday. During an interview with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
“Grow up,” Beachum replied when asked what Murray should do. “Be a man and grow up.”
Murray’s maturity and leadership ability became subjects of widespread scrutiny last year when his lucrative contract with the Cardinals included an extension that required the quarterback to study film for four hours per week during the season.
The Cardinals eventually removed the clause from Murray’s contract and said in a statement that the $230.5 million deal “demonstrates our belief in his ability to lead this team.” But according to Beachum, Murray still has work to do as a captain.
“It’s not a complete process,” Beachum said during the interview. “I didn’t say he lacks drive, I just think he needs to grow up a bit. I think if he has the ability and desire to grow, he’ll be fine.
“[The Cardinals] They paid him for a reason – they paid him because of his talent. He has the ability to drive. When you’re in this position, we need you to drive more. You are the face of excellence…you have to lead in every capacity.”
Murray, 25, is recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, and the Cardinals haven’t given a schedule for when they expect the two-time Pro Bowler to return.
Newly hired Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said last month that Murray was “on schedule” for his rehab, and first-year offensive coordinator Drew Petzing said Murray was “very engaged” in their initial talks.
Gannon and Petzing have also emphasized that their offense will be centered around Murray, but Beachum reiterated that he believes the 2018 Heisman winner still needs to grow as a leader.
“Kyler is his own individual, he’s his own person, he’s banging on his own drum, which has made him who he is today,” Beachum said. “But, at the end of the day, you have to be able to lead an entire organization, you have to lead a team.”
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