Kyler Murray impresses in first NFL practice

The Arizona Cardinals’ rookies took the practice field for the first time Friday, and all eyes were on quarterback Kyler Murray.

Murray, the A’s 2018 first-round draft pick who was the top overall pick in last month’s NFL draft, sported a white tie-on headband as he threw over the outstretched arms of coach Kliff Kingsbury and looped on-target fade-route passes to receivers during the 25-minute window in which practice was open to media.

Murray has familiarity with Kingsbury’s wide-open offense, which plays to his athleticism and the systems in which he’s played in high school and college. Murray said that showed right away.

“Obviously it’s only Day 1, but I can already feel the rhythm going. Hopefully we can keep this thing going and do something great,” Murray said.

Kingsbury said Murray “can really throw it” and has “got a presence about himself, so I liked how he operated.”

Arizona signed the 21-year-old Heisman Trophy winner to a four-year contract Thursday worth about $35 million, with a team option for a fifth year.

• The New England Patriots signed tight end Ben Watson, who returns to the team he spent six years with after being drafted in the first round out of Georgia in 2004. He also has spent time with the Browns, Saints and Ravens during his 15 NFL seasons.

ELSEWHERE

Kang’s 61 good for Byron Nelson lead

Sung Kang matched the Trinity Forest course record with a 10-under-par 61 to take the second-round lead in the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson in Dallas.

Kang, at 16-under 126, had a four-stroke lead over playing partner Matt Every (65) and Tyler Duncan (66).

Brooks Koepka, the world’s No. 3-ranked player who goes to next week’s PGA Championship as defending champion, was fourth at 11 under after a 66.

Jordan Spieth shot 67 to get to 7 under. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was 8 over after a 74. He missed the cut, but didn’t finish last.

• Steve Stricker completed a 4-under 68 in the delayed first round and shot a season-best 64 in the second to take a two-stroke lead over David Toms (67) in the Regions Tradition, the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors, in Birmingham, Ala.

• Matt Wallace shot a 5-under 67 to improve to move to 12 under and take the lead at the European Tour’s British Masters in Southport, England.

Tennis: Roger Federer squandered two match points in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open against Dominic Thiem, losing 3-6, 7-6 (11), 6-4. It ended his first appearance at a clay-court tournament in three years.

Hockey: Matus Sukel scored early in the first period and Slovakia went on to beat the U.S. 4-1 on home ice in Kosice on the opening day of the world hockey championship.

Motor sports: Kevin Harvick scored his third pole of the season and his Stewart-Haas Racing team swept the top four spots in qualifying for Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup race at Kansas Speedway.

• Felix Rosenqvist won the pole for Saturday’s IndyCar Grand Prix in Indianapolis by edging teammate Scott Dixon in qualifying.

College baseball: Duke Kinamon had four hits and he and Andrew Daschbach had three RBIs apiece as No. 3 Stanford (36-8, 18-4 Pac-12) won 10-7 in the opener of a weekend series at Cal. Quentin Selma homered twice for the Bears (28-16, 13-9).

College water polo: At the NCAA championships at Stanford, Madison Berggren scored four goals and the No. 1 Cardinal (21-2) defeated Pacific 18-9 to advance to the NCAA semifinals, where they will face UCLA. … No. 3 Cal (17-8) also advanced to the semifinals with a 17-13 win over Hawaii. The Bears will play USC in the semifinals.

College softball: Oklahoma (49-2) set a single-season Division I record with its 39th consecutive win by defeating Texas Tech 8-0 in six innings in the Big 12 tournament.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Kyler-Murray-impresses-in-first-NFL-practice-13837473.php.

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