Former Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum offered a pointed assessment of Kyler Murray during a recent radio interview, saying 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 starting offensive linemen, was asked about the 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick’s leadership abilities Wednesday during an interview with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
“Grow up,” Beachum responded when asked what Murray needs to do. “Be a man and grow up.”
Murray’s maturity and leadership ability became topics of widespread scrutiny last year when his lucrative contract with the Cardinals included an addendum that required the quarterback to study film for four hours per week during the season.
The Cardinals ultimately 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 do as a leader.
“It’s not a completed process,” Beachum said during the interview. “I didn’t say he lacks leadership, I just think he needs to grow up a little bit. I think if he has the ability and willingness to grow up, he’s going to be just fine.
“[The Cardinals] paid him for a reason — they paid him because of his talent. He has the ability to lead. When you’re in that position, we need you to lead more. You’re the face of the franchise … you have to lead in every single capacity.”
Murray, 25, is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, and the Cardinals have not offered a timeline for when they expect the two-time Pro Bowler to return.
Newly hired Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon said last month that Murray is “right on schedule” with his rehabilitation, and first-year offensive coordinator Drew Petzing said Murray was “extremely engaged” in their initial conversations.
Gannon and Petzing also have both emphasized that their offense will be structured around Murray, but Beachum reiterated that he thinks the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner still needs to grow as a leader.
“Kyler is his own individual, he’s his own person, he beats to his own drum, which has made him what he is today,” Beachum said. “But, at the end of the day, you have to be able to lead an entire organization, you’ve got to lead a team.”
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