PHOENIX — Ignore the gossip and rumors. That's the approach new coach Kliff Kingsbury is taking with his Arizona Cardinals up first in next month's draft.
Kingsbury, considered a passing offense guru in college, though he was fired after last season at Texas Tech, already has a first-round quarterback on his roster.
The Cardinals took Josh Rosen of UCLA last year and he is the incumbent. With rampant speculation that Arizona will select Heisman Trophy-winning QB Kyler Murray with the top overall pick, Kingsbury is covering his ears.
"With the first pick there is tons of chatter," he said. "As a coach and a player, you have to have thick skin. You have to understand what goes on and the circus that comes with this position."
Kingsbury scoffed at suggestions that Rosen doesn't fit his system.
"People have said a lot of things that are misconceptions, if you will," he noted. "Josh is a tremendous player. I watched him at UCLA. He played his best football in a spread system. Had some similarities to what we do. He's a tremendous thinker, very cerebral, can throw it with anybody. We take a lot of pride in building a system around the quarterback. To say he doesn't fit our system doesn't make sense."
As for the evaluations of the exciting Murray, who led Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff, Kingsbury said: "I've known him for a long time, so I don't think anything new was revealed to me. It was good for Steve (Keim, Arizona's general manager) and Michael (Bidwill, the team's president) to have a feel for who he is as a person, get to talk to his coaches."
"He can run it. He can throw it. He's a competitor," Kingsbury added. "He was one of the better Texas high school players to ever come through our state. He's one of the better dual-threat players that has ever played."
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