Tagged in: kliff kingsbury

Cardinals, Rams meet Sunday for 4th time in calendar year

There aren’t many secrets between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams, teams that will face each other Sunday for the fourth time in the past calendar year.

There’s also no secret the Rams have had a huge advantage of late.

The defending Super Bowl champions have won 10 of 11 games in the series dating to 2017, including a dominant 34-11 playoff triumph in the NFC wild-card round.

“They’ve obviously had our number here for a long time and that’s not lost upon us, but we’re just trying to improve,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “The last two weeks, we have started so slow, and we had 12 penalties last week. There’s a lot that we have to focus on.

“We know they’re a talented team and defending champs, so it’s really been about us improving this week.” The Cardinals (1-1) are in a good mood after last week’s stunning come-from-behind win. Arizona trailed Las Vegas 20-0 at halftime, but rallied for a 29-23 victory when Byron Murphy Jr. returned Hunter Renfrow’s fumble 59 yards for a touchdown with 3:51 left in overtime.

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The Rams (1-1) bounced back from a rough loss to Buffalo in Week 1 by defeating Atlanta 31-27 last week.

“I think they know us. We know them,” Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said of the rivalry. “Every year is a little bit different, players are different, schemes a little bit different, how those players fit into that scheme, all of it. But they’re a really talented football team.”

The Cardinals did beat the Rams once last season, 37-20 in Inglewood.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray said facing the Rams — including seven-time All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald — is something he enjoys, no matter how difficult it can be.

“I’ve learned to embrace and love the opportunity to be able to play against (Donald) just because he’s not going to be here forever and playing the game forever,” Murray said.

“To be able to step on the field with him is an honor and to be able to go to battle against him. Like I said, he’s one of the best ever do it, so that’s how I see it.”

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Arizona Cardinals sign ex-Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner

The Arizona Cardinals added much-needed depth in the backfield on Tuesday when they agreed to terms on a one-year deal with former Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner.

Conner, 25, will be paired with Chase Edmonds to form the Cardinals’ 2021 backfield. It’s expected that they’ll share reps and responsibilities in coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense that asks running backs to be both rushers and receivers.

Conner will reunite with Cardinals running backs coach James Saxon, who was his position coach in Pittsburgh in 2017 and 2018. He received a one-year, $1.75 million contract, including a $500,000 signing bonus and $1.25 million salary fully guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

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Connor went to the Pro Bowl in 2018 under Saxon’s guidance after rushing for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns, tied for the third most in the NFL that season, and while catching 55 passes for 497 yards and a touchdown in 13 matches.

Arizona was in need of another running back after letting Kenyan Drake go in free agency. He signed with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Conner, 25, joins the Cardinals after spending the past four campaigns with the Steelers. In 50 career games (33 starts), he rushed for 2,302 yards and 22 touchdowns on 532 carries (4.3-yard average) and caught 124 passes for 963 yards and four touchdowns.

A third-round pick out of the University of Pittsburgh who was named to the Pro Bowl in 2018, Conner becomes the latest well-known veteran to join the Cardinals.

The team previously signed edge rusher J.J. Watt, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, wide receiver A.J. Green, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, cornerback Malcolm Butler, a two-time Super Bowl champion, along with kicker Matt Prater, guard Brian Winters and safety Shawn Williams.

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Colt McCoy signs 1-year deal with Arizona Cardinals, will back up Kyler Murray

The Red River Rivalry is coming to Arizona Cardinals’ quarterbacks room.

Colt McCoy, the former Texas standout, signed a one-year deal with Arizona, where he will back up former Oklahoma star Kyler Murray, the team revealed Tuesday night.

The Cardinals let quarterback Brett Hundley, who backed up Murray in 2019 and was the team’s third-string quarterback in 2020, walk in free agency, leaving the team with former CFL quarterback Chris Streveler as Murray’s backup.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury, a former standout quarterback at Texas Tech before becoming the Red Raiders’ head coach from 2013 to 2018, had thrown his support behind Streveler as his selection to be Murray’s back-up multiple times last season.

McCoy could fill Hundley’s role as the veteran presence in the Cardinals’ quarterbacks room while being inactive all season.

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McCoy has played for four teams in his 11-year NFL career, most recently spending the 2020 season with the New York Giants.

He played in four matches with two starts last season, while throwing for 375 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

McCoy also played for the Washington Football Team from 2014 to 2019, the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and the Cleveland Browns from 2010 to 2012.

A third-round pick of the Browns in 2010, McCoy has been a backup for the majority of his career. He started 21 games in his first two seasons, including 13 in 2011 with the Browns but has started just nine games while playing in 23 in the last nine seasons.

In his career, McCoy has played in 44 games (with 30 starts) and thrown for 6,455 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing 600-of-989 pass attempts (60.7%). He has rushed for 509 yards and two touchdowns on 139 carries.

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