Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray made a key adjustment to his footwork as he rehabbed from a right torn ACL. Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images
Petzing wanted Murray to change his footwork.
It wasn't a subtle modification either. Petzing wanted Murray to completely change his stance, putting his left foot up instead of his right, which Murray had done, well, his entire football career up to that point.
So, while Murray spent hours in the training and weight rooms trying to get his right knee back to full strength, he started to transition his footwork as well.
"I know I'd be able to do it, but it felt a little goofy initially," Murray said. "That's something I could do in my sleep as far as being right foot up and then now having to switch to left foot up, it's a little different.
"I've had enough reps so far now to where it's becoming first nature."
It took a little while to get there, though.
"For me, I've been doing that for 15-plus years (having my) right foot up and then having to switch, luckily, I'm coordinated enough to get it down and do it, but it's kind of a mind trick in my head and feet with the drops that I've been doing my whole life having to time I'm up now to what they're wanting," Murray said. "It's been good so far."
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Petzing agreed with Murray, but added that when issues arise, it's not because Murray doesn't know how to align his feet. Some of it is the actual pass rush and some of it is the perceived pass rush, Petzing said.
There have been times, though, when Murray has sped up in the pocket and that's affected his progressions, Petzing said.
But progress comes with time.
Petzing prefers the stance for his quarterbacks, although, he said it's not mandatory. He made the same request of the quarterbacks in Cleveland last year when Petzing was the Browns' quarterbacks coach, so he was able to show Murray film of Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs in their new stances.
"We just think it puts the quarterback in better rhythm to go through his progressions and make his decision and get the ball out," Petzing said. A quarterback having their right foot up and left foot back either under center or in the shotgun is also the preferred stance of the West Coast offense, quarterbacks coach Israel Woolfork said. It's a timing step, Woolfork added.
"The punch step under center is with their left foot and a gun from a three-step standpoint, our drop back game simulates that little left foot and then into your drop, but nothing too particular, just matches the under-center footwork back in the West Coast days," Woolfork explained.
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Murray practiced it as much as he could at home during his rehab but admitted it felt "weird" and "awkward" at first.
However, working on it while he was rehabbing likely sped up Murray's transition, Petzing said.
"The awesome thing about his rehab was a lot of things had to get slowed down so it wasn't like full speed when he first got out on the field," Woolfork said. "So, honestly, taking baby steps of taking those punch steps, getting the body figured out how this feels, and you gotta do something slow first before you do it full speed.
"So, I definitely think the rehab part of it and what he was doing with Drew and our trainers and [director of football performance] Shea [Thompson] and [senior reconditioning coordinator] Buddy [Morris], that a lot of that stuff off the field helped to transition on the field."
Four weeks into Murray's return -- and into playing with a new lead foot -- Murray is 2-2, but both he and Petzing said the footwork transition doesn't have anything to do with how well or poorly the offense has performed, or any growing pains Murray is experiencing in a new scheme.
"I don't think that has anything to do with receivers or concepts or anything like that," Murray said. "That's an internal thing that I've had to deal with, but whatever they are asking of me I'll do."
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