Kyler Murray against the Falcons. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) smiles as the team celebrates their 25-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons at State Farm Stadium on Nov. 12, 2023, in Glendale.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray said Wednesday’s there’s a “different energy” surrounding his leadership since returning to action.

Murray made his 2023 debut Sunday, and it was a good one. The former No. 1 overall pick passed for 249 yards and scrambled for 33 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cards to a 25-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

In his first appearance since tearing his ACL almost a year ago, Murray showed there are no questions about his physical health. Yet plenty of other questions remain. Murray had been under fire before his injury last year. Saddled with huge expectations from a huge contract extension ($231 million) signed in July 2022, he had been inconsistent at best prior to his season-ending injury.

Even more troubling were the ongoing questions about his leadership. There were disputes with teammates and coaches on the sideline, testy post-game media sessions, and even teammates had spoken out on the topic.

Murray says things feel different since his return to action.

“A lot of people keep saying, ‘Oh he’s a better leader now’ this and that, I just think people. … I don’t want to get too much into it,” Murray said (via “But the light’s different right now. People around me, teammates, everybody, it’s just a different energy.”

It’s only one game, and it’s easy to be in good spirits, and have people say nice things about you, after a victory. The Cardinals are 2-8, and there will be plenty more losses, which are sure to fuel speculation. Should the Cardinals look to trade Murray? Could they move that enormous contract to someone else even if they wanted to?

For now, the Cardinals seem committed to Murray. He said he felt great against the Falcons.

It didn’t feel rusty,” Murray told “I felt good. I felt confident.”

Hopefully that “different energy” Murray feels in terms of his leadership lasts more than one game.

[Pro Football Talk]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.