Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury (12.15.19)

Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury


On if it was a victory roar in the locker room:

“It was it was. We’ve been waiting a while, six weeks, to get to say that. Excited for those guys. They played hard. We talked about (how) it’s our last stand at home, we needed to make a statement. Practiced well all week and really started fast and found a way to get it done.”


On the 226 rushing yards:

“We felt like we had an opportunity to run the football, whether it was Kyler (Murray) or ‘KD’ (Kenyan Drake) or ‘DJ’ (David Johnson). Something we’d seen on tape, we felt like we could come downhill and get that rolling. O-line did a great job of getting us started fast and we just leaned on them the entire game.”


On how QB Kyler Murray handled the week leading up to the matchup against Browns QB Baker Mayfield:

“He’s been great. He knew the previous weeks we took a lot of negative plays and coming off that bye weren’t playing as in rhythm as we had been previously and needed to get our rhythm back. He had his best week of practice and I had a feeling he was going to play really well and be efficient, and he was for most of the game.”


On what it meant for Murray to defeat Mayfield:

“It’s just about winning games for him. Those guys are good friends and they compete at everything. They’ll compete the rest of their careers. He wanted to get a win for his teammates.”


On RB Kenyan Drake’s performance today:

“He got it rolling early and did a nice job making plays, protecting the football and finding the end zone. We like what he can do in all phases and just have to keep giving him opportunities and putting him in positions to be successful because when you do he can make plays.”


On if Drake’s workload in practice increased this past week and if it contributed to his performance:

“I just got to give credit to the offensive line there. I think they did a great job with the schemes. Coach (Sean) Kugler and Coach (Steve) Heiden had a really good plan, and Coach (James) Saxon, and ‘KD’ executed. We wanted to get in a rhythm, we felt like we hadn’t had him in a rhythm. The drives had just been erratic the first two games back from the bye. This one we got to keep him on the field and keep feeding him and he got in a rhythm and played well.”


On the importance of ending the home schedule with improvements:

“It was important. We’ve wanted to play better than we have and win more games. One thing that I’ve said all along is the guys have played hard, they’ve showed up to work and they practice hard. Execution wasn’t always there on Sundays like we needed it to beat some of those good teams, but today they put in together and continued to play hard. There’s a lot of pride in that locker room.”


On CB Patrick Peterson and if he expected him to have performance well today:

“I did. He had a different look in his eye in practice. He wanted to cover their top receiver and he asked for that. I thought he competed his tail off and it was good to see.”


On if he thought Peterson was more engaged today than in recent weeks:

“I’m not sure about engaged, but just he’s been trying to play his was back. When you miss half the season it’s not easy just to step back in, it takes time. I felt even in practice he’s gotten more and more comfortable and you saw it out there today. He was definitely excited to play against those guys, went to the same school and all those things, so that played into it I’m sure. He’s practiced really well and played at a high level today.”


On if he thought this was one of Murray’s better games as a leader:

“It’s been a work in progress. I’ve said it all along, he’s a young player. Every game is a new experience. He understands we need to close this thing out with him putting his stamp on it and being a leader and building momentum going into next year. It’s something he’s worked on and I can tell that he’s doing it more.”


On Drake and TE Dan Arnold’s touchdowns and the difficulty in acquiring new players and getting them settled into a role:

“Dan did a tremendous job. Coach Heiden got him caught up. They’ve been working around the clock to make him comfortable. He’s a threat in the passing game, there’s no doubt, and went up and made a great play. We had some other things that I didn’t get to in the game plan, but hopefully he can continue to feel comfortable there and we can use him more. And then, ‘KD’ has just worked hard and practiced hard. He hasn’t missed a beat. He hasn’t missed anything since he’s been here and that paid off today.”


On if he thought this was Murray’s best week of practice all season:

“I’d say all year. When you’re talking about leadership, command, and pushing internal communication, it was sharp out there all week.”


On if he has had discussions with Murray about being a demonstrative leader:

“It’s a unique experience. I don’t think anybody can be in his shoes when you’re 22 and you’re handed the keys to the franchise and you’re told to direct all these grown men, with Hall of fame players on offense and defense, and when you’re asked to be the guy it takes time. I think he’s starting to feel comfortable with the staff, the organization and his teammates. It takes time and we’ll continue to build.”




On WR Damiere Byrd’s performance:

“He played well. He’s been open a lot. We haven’t found him as much as I’d like, but he’s another guy that takes the coaching and every week he’s doing it exactly how we ask, and it shows up on film. Even when we haven’t gotten him the ball, he’s been open a lot. It was good to see him get some touches today.”


On if he expects to use RB David Johnson more on returns:

“We’re going to take a look at it and see where that goes, but he’s a guy that’s done it before and he can definitely have an impact there.”


On if he felt his play calling was more in sync:

“I always like my play calling. I just think we were, as an offense, more in rhythm. We were able to extend drives and we weren’t moving backwards. That’s been a killer the last couple of weeks, lots of negative plays. When we’re on schedule we play pretty well.”


On acquiring Drake and how quickly he knew he could be a productive player:

“We had followed him through his career. I remember at Alabama and then at Miami I have some friends there that spoke very highly of him. I liked his skill set, the quick twitch, being able to catch the ball out of the backfield, making people miss in space. I liked all those things for our offense. When you see his practice habits and the competitiveness, we knew that we needed to get him in and get him rolling.”


On LBs Haason Reddick and Tanner Vallejo’s injury status:

“I haven’t checked yet. I’m about to go back there and check on them.”


On if the last third-and-goal was drawn up for Fitzgerald:

Yeah, they zoned it off. We weren’t able to give him the ball, but any time we’re down there, Fitz is a big target. He’s caught a bunch of them, so he’s a good guy to go to.


On if he liked Murray throwing the ball away on that play:

“Loved it. Probably my favorite play of the game because it’s growing up. With a bunch of those throwaways, we weren’t moving backward and we were staying on schedule.”


On how big challenging the pass interference call was:

“It looked obvious to us. (Christian) Kirk did a great job of going up for the ball and it was worth it at that point to take that risk.”


On the process of challenging a play:

“When it’s that blatant, there’s like eight people in my ear. But yeah, we have a system of a trusted person that makes sure we’ve had all the angles and good looks at it.”