By holding out Kyler Murray, Cardinals leadership fails 2021 first impression

First impressions matter. They didn’t help Kliff Kingsbury on Friday, where it didn’t take long for the Cardinals head coach to embarrass himself yet again.

After declaring Kyler Murray would definitely play in the Cardinals’ preseason opener Friday at State Farm Stadium, the third-year quarterback never dressed for the occasion.

Did Kingsbury change his mind? Was he toying with Cardinals fans to keep them engaged, to increase profits and in-house attendance? Was he trying to throw off an opponent before a preseason game? Or was he once again left in the dark, oblivious about things beyond his grasp and control?

Maybe Kingsbury finally came to his senses about resting irreplaceable players in meaningless games, following the lead of Rams head coach Sean McVay. Or maybe Kingsbury never had control of this decision in the first place. Either way, the disconnect between Kingsbury and his audience continues to be a huge issue in Arizona, and it was not a convincing way to start a new era of Cardinals football, the first season without the presence of Larry Fitzgerald, the rock of professionalism no longer mooring the franchise.

The Cardinals are under extreme pressure to make the playoffs in 2021. It’s been five years since they’ve posted a winning record. Their entire infrastructure is under a microscope.

They are surfing in the wake of the triumphant Suns, who came within two wins of a NBA championship, proving that nothing is impossible in…

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