The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly been cleared to speak with Sean Payton about their open head coaching position, although it looks like Arizona will have competition for the sought-after coach, the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos also being allowed to speak to the former New Orleans Saints coach.
Arizona might have something that separates it from the competition, though… Payton’s reported affinity for Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero tweeted on Wednesday that Payton is a Kyler Murray ‘fan’.
His tweet read: “Mentioned in the story with @RapSheet last weekend about the impending changes with the #Cardinals that Sean Payton had done his homework on the job in Arizona. He’s a Kyler Murray fan, and without GM in place, it would be a possibility to set up the whole operation.
Link:Arizona Cardinals coach search: Sean Payton has history with team, Bidwill family
Follow every game: Latest NFL Scores and Schedules
Odds:Sean Payton heavy favorite to replace Kliff Kingsbury in upcoming Arizona Cardinals coaching odds
Interestingly, Payton, currently an analyst for Fox Sports, explained how he would use Murray during an appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” in October, saying the solution for the QB was to find “a package that suits his talents, but also takes some pressure off him.”
“What would I like to see?” Payton added. “I would like to see him have a better running game under the center. I would like to see him get the ball to another very good player and take a deep breath. I want to see him have a few more layups and when I have need these games (scrambling) that they will spontaneously cross the red zone or the third down.
“But I think if we rely on them every week, it’s a stressful job.”
Arizona Cardinals Coach Candidates:Who could replace Kliff Kingsbury as head coach?
Payton praised Murray during the 2019 NFL combine, when he was still the New Orleans Saints coach and Murray was an outgoing prospect from Oklahoma.
The Cardinals ended up selecting Murray with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
“Man, he’s explosive,” Payton said. “He’s one of those players, like you know, used to say Madden, he never was. It’s so hard to rush him because he can flush right, do a game, left. You feel a balance that he’s playing with. … His film is too good. Finally, when I say, it’s too good. And I like it.
Following:Kyler Murray’s NFL career will be defined by his ‘reset’ and how he responds to new coach
Does Payton love Murray enough to make a deal to be his next head coach?
Following:Arizona Cardinals’ Michael Bidwill under review for Kyler Murray coach’s comment
Follow Jeremy Cluff on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.