Ravens coach John Harbaugh on Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray: "He is a unique talent. He's very creative as a football players."
For the first three quarters of the Arizona Cardinals’ season opener, Kyler Murray looked a lot like a rookie quarterback, and not a very good one.
Over the first 45 minutes of his NFL debut, the No. 1 overall draft pick was 9-for-25 for 70 yards and threw an interception against the Detroit Lions. Entering the fourth quarter, the Cardinals trailed at home 17-6.
Then things started to click. As Arizona rallied back, forcing overtime and settling for a 27-27 tie, Murray went 20-for-29 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Sunday’s challenge will be even tougher: Keep the Cardinals competitive against the Ravens in Baltimore.
“For a young quarterback on the road in his first start, that’s a tough task,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday. “Where they bring people from, how adept they are at disguising looks and hitting the pressures on time, it’s going to be a real challenge for us.”
More often than not, it’s a losing proposition for rookie quarterbacks: They’re just 1-10 on the road against the Ravens since coach John Harbaugh took over in 2008. Mitchell Trubisky’s 2017 win with the Chicago Bears is the lone blemish, and former Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler is the only starter to have completed more than 60% of his passes.
Murray, a former top baseball prospect, is a unique talent. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews called the reigning Heisman Trophy winner an “all-around playmaker.”
“He’s been there before,” said Andrews, who played with Murray in 2017 at Oklahoma. “He’s been in big games, and he’s done all that. So he’s going to be very composed in those types of situations, and I think you saw that to come back and tie [the Lions]. It was pretty impressive.”
The Ravens' introduced Greg Davis their new public address announcer.
But he did his work at the microphone. Ahead of Sunday’s home opener against the Cardinals, Greg Davis introduced the Ravens players as they made their way to the podium for news conferences at the team facility.
Davis, whose hiring was announced Tuesday, replaces Bruce Cunningham, the team’s PA announcer since 1999. A Baltimore native and Annapolis High School graduate, Davis got his start at WNAV (1430 AM) in the late 1990s, working on-air weekend shifts. In 2000, he took over as the PA announcer for Navy athletics.
When the Ravens’ position became open, Davis said he knew there were “big, big shoes” to fill. But his reputation at Navy opened doors for him in Baltimore.
“It was between that exposure and that exchange that we got to know each other a little bit,” he said Wednesday. “Fortunately, there was an opportunity there that they extended me to do an audition. So that’s how I was afforded this opportunity.”
As for whether Davis will have a signature call? He laughed. “We’ll have to find out Sunday, won’t we?”
>> Ravens practice squad wide receiver Antoine Wesley, who played for Kingsbury at Texas Tech, said it’s “definitely awesome to see him achieve his goals. I’m happy to see him at the same level.”
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After the Red Raiders announced last year that Kingsbury would not be retained for the 2019 season, Southern California hired him as its offensive coordinator. But as NFL interest in his offensive schemes grew, he interviewed for head coaching jobs and accepted the Cardinals’ offer in early January.
What makes him such a unique coach? “Really, kind of like the same thing here,” Wesley said. “He really emphasized on the work ethic, so it got us prepared for the NFL.”
>> Former Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett was arrested Tuesday night in Northwest Arkansas for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Springdale police Lt. Jeff Taylor said Mallett, 31, was arrested after a two-vehicle collision.
Mallett spent his final two-plus NFL seasons in Baltimore. In eight games with the Ravens from 2015 to 2017, including two starts, he had 1,835 passing yards, nine touchdowns, 10 interceptions and completed 55.1% of his attempts. The former third-round pick started his career with the New England Patriots in 2011 before playing for the Houston Texans and the Ravens.
>> Ravens cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (knee), Marlon Humphrey (back) and Brandon Carr (day off) missed practice Wednesday. Wide receivers Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (hip) and Chris Moore (illness) and running back Mark Ingram II (shoulder) were limited. Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser (groin) was a full participant.