Last season, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's contract -- and specifically the stipulation that he study game film for a certain number of hours per week -- became a big flashpoint. The film study clause was later removed from the contract, but its existence in the first place led to some questioning of Murray's work ethic and maturity. His relationship with former Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury both on the field and off also drew attention, and not necessarily in a good way.
Now, one of Murray's teammates has the prescription for Murray to take the next step in his career. In an interview with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday, tackle Kelvin Beachum laid it out clearly. "Grow up. Be a man and grow up," Beachum said.
He was careful to point out that he was not criticizing Murray's leadership, but simply stating something that needs to happen for Murray and the Cardinals to improve.
"It's not a completed process," Beachum said. "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. They 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."
Obviously, Murray has already accomplished a lot. He was the No. 1 pick in the draft, as well as a highly sought-after baseball player. He played well enough early in his career to earn a significant contract extension, and to be considered one of the game's bright young stars. But there is still room to grow, Beachum said.
"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."