Halftime Heat: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Tuesday on Halftime Heat, Ian Beckles doubles down on his Kyler Murray opinion, while Jay Recher introduces you to some players to watch in this year's Australian Open.

Kyler Murray is quite the anomaly, unfortunately I don’t believe his NFL story will have a happy ending. 

Their is no doubt that Kyler has a gang of talent that clearly translated to college football.

Kyler Murray is in his 3rd year as a pro, was named the rookie of the year, and was a pro bowler two of those three years, but does it feel like a successful career to this point? 

Maturing as an NFL quarterback is a process but I don’t know if Kyler's slight physique can endure the initial learning curve.

The Cardinals were 1-5 in the last 6 games of this season. Murray wasn’t the sole reason for the late-season collapse, but greatness doesn’t allow that to happen to their teams.

I’m not sure if it’s head coach Kliff Kingsbury or Murray but the combination of the two hasn’t worked late in seasons to this point. 

Here’s the other issue: Kingsbury is on the last year of his deal and Kyler is nearing the end of his.

Do the Cards re sign the two despite the lack of organizational success? Do you spend money on a sexy young coach without results? And do you re sign a undersized, often-injured QB who has done nothing but sell a bunch of Jerseys? 

I was never a big fan of either and I thought both of them got too much credit for accomplishing absolutely nothing.

And after watching last night's trouncing, we all know that we would have rather gone up against Kingsbury and Murray than McVay and Stafford.

Buckle up Bucs!

One of my favorite tournaments of the year is HERE! The Australian Open!

And I know a lot of the news has surrounded Novak Djokovic and others who AREN’T here, but here’s three men and three women to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.

Let’s start with the men:
Alexander Zverev – the 24 year old German is getting closer and closer to winning his first grand slam. He’s 6’6 and currently ranked 3rdin the world. With Djokovic out and just Nadal remaining of the Big Three as of now, keep your eyes on this kid.

Denis Shapovalov – only one career title for the left-handed Canadian but man is he fun to watch. Only made it to 3rdround last year, but he’s only 22 and you have to think that his best tennis is in front of him.

Andy Murray – after a couple of hip injuries, you had to wonder if the 34 year old was gonna call it quits but he’s back and trying to make one more big push in this tournament. He’s lost in the finals FIVE times….6thtime’s the charm?

And for the women:
Simona Halep – the former world’s #1 has won the French & Wimbledon but only a finalist in Australia once, back in 2018. Is this the year she finally breaks through?

Victoria Azarenka – another former world’s #1. She’s actually won there in 2012 and 2013 but many wondered if she would ever regain that form after sustaining some injuries and also becoming a mom. She plays tonight at 7pm on ESPN+, let’s see if she can make a run.   

Danielle Collins – the 30thranked player in the world from right here in St. Pete won her first two tournaments last year after making it to the semis down under in 2019 and the quarters of the French Open in 2020 and seems to be hitting her peak at 28 years young. We’re all behind you Danielle! This is your year!

Cover Photo: Getty Images

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