Getting the plays together is collaborative, coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
“Different position coaches have different thoughts and different assignments as far as what area they specialize in,” Kingsbury said. “Then we talk through it with the quarterbacks, see what they like, what they don’t like and try to come to a good place with it.”
“As a unit,” Murray said, “we have an idea what is coming up.”
But then also has to come the execution. The Cardinals script – which worked fine most of last season – has not paid off in three games. The team has yet to score in the first quarter.
Following the pass to Ertz, James Conner got a handoff out of the pistol formation and gained a yard. Then, on third-and-2, with wide receiver A.J. Green looking at one-on-one coverage – albeit against All-Pro Jalen Ramsey – the Cardinals tried a back-shoulder throw that was broken up.
Even TV analyst Mark Sanchez noted the one-on-one opportunity before the play, although he also noted the room pass catchers Ertz and Hollywood Brown were given on the other side of the field in first-down territory.
“(If) you get a first down, when you are in a rut or it feels the way it feels, you get that first down, not necessarily for me but for everyone, it’s like a sigh of relief in a sense,” Murray said. “Against the Raiders we got a first down (early) and then we stalled out the next set of plays, so …
“It’s about putting the ball in the end zone. It’s not about getting one first down, it’s not about getting two first downs. Done that plenty of times and still haven’t put the ball in the end zone.”
Could more successful plays breed more confidence, however? Williams shook his head. The Cardinals already are playing with confidence, he said. It’s the execution that is lacking, and the offense will find itself early in games.
“Could we have played better?” Williams said. “Sure. It’s no time to panic. It’s Week 4 of the NFL. There is a whole lot of football left to be played.”
It’ll start with the script at the beginning of Sunday’s game in Carolina. Whatever is on the list, the Cardinals need to make work.
“I don’t worry about plays,” guard Will Hernandez said. “I literally just run what they call. I don’t even think about that stuff.”