Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was eager to see how would the Cardinals perform without head Kliff Kingsbury. Coach Kingsbury tested positive for COVID-19 so he wasn't on the sidelines for the Cardinals' Week 6 game against the Cleveland Browns.
The Cardinals absolutely had no problems without Kingsbury, dominating the Browns on the road 37-14 to improve to 6-0. "I think once we got the news, it was just an opportunity," Murray said after Sunday's game.
"Kind of exciting to go prove ourselves on the road against a great team. I think you could feel the energy before the game." Assistant wide receivers coach Spencer Whipple was the one who was calling playing against the Browns.
"We made him right," Murray said of Whipple. "Whenever he called it aggressively, we had all the faith. We were behind him, regardless of what he called it we're gonna go out there and execute."
Murray felt a little more freedom at the line of scrimmage
"That may be a product of not having a coach out there, just having a little more leeway," Murray said.
"I guess that did give me a little more freedom, just to whatever I did see, go with it and that's Whipple's saying to me the whole time: 'Whatever you see' And I stick to that same rule, as long as it makes sense.
You got a plan and go with it." Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk admitted it was definitely "odd" not having coach Kingsbury on the sidelines. "It was different in the sense of obviously Kliff not being on the sideline," said Kirk, who had five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.
"For me, when I was looking at the sideline and I did not see Kliff and it was definitely odd. But like I said, there were so many people who stepped up. In regards to how the game was called the game plan is the game plan.
We all have a good feel in certain situations on what play is going to be called, and, obviously Kliff develops that and we practice it all week. So, Spencer did a good job of sticking to it, but also being able to change on the fly."
Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was glad with the way the team delivered against the Browns. "It's been an up and down week, but our team leaders were great all week," Joseph said. "No one wavered, no one blinked.
The staff didn't blink. Every day it was bad news and no one blinked - not one time. Even yesterday. Even Saturday morning at practice when the players knew that Kliff was down for the game, there were no worries. "There was really an excitement to go play a really good football team.
The boys performed. This staff is amazing. It's a great football staff. It's our third year all together and that helps - having continuity like this." '