ShakeThatMonkey

Cardinals Hire Kliff Kingsbury (Former College Coach for Mahomes)

Recommended Posts

 

It'll be interesting to see what he can do. His track record does seem appealing to teams and I can see why he was sought after.

At the college level, Kingsbury had a hand in developing Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Case Keenum, Johnny Manziel, and Davis Webb. In November, Mahomes said that Kingsbury "has the work ethic and he has the mind and he has the innovativeness, I guess you would say -- if that's a word -- to be in this league."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The NFL is now trying to follow the McVay model...getting a young coach and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.  That's probably going to backfire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ShakeThatMonkey said:

It'll be interesting to see what he can do. His track record does seem appealing to teams and I can see why he was sought after.

At the college level, Kingsbury had a hand in developing Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Case Keenum, Johnny Manziel, and Davis Webb. In November, Mahomes said that Kingsbury "has the work ethic and he has the mind and he has the innovativeness, I guess you would say -- if that's a word -- to be in this league."

Kingsbury was much better than his record would indicate.  He has to compete in the Big 12 with Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, etc. and those schools all have much better players.  He made the most with what he had.

Just remember, Steve Mariucci was hired as 49ers HC off a 6-5 season at California years ago and he did fine in the NFL. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Wallyhorse said:

Kingsbury was much better than his record would indicate.  He has to compete in the Big 12 with Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, etc. and those schools all have much better players.  He made the most with what he had.

Just remember, Steve Mariucci was hired as 49ers HC off a 6-5 season at California years ago and he did fine in the NFL. 

It's a valid point, however Kingsbury doesn't have the NFL history that Mariucci had prior to Cal. Additionally Kingsbury may have the offensive flair that the NFL is driving towards, but he's going into an aging team. Chip Kelly had the luxury of going into an explosive team with a young Nick Foles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guy had a losing record in college with Patrick Mahomes as his QB.  I don't like the hire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CaliEagle said:

The NFL is now trying to follow the McVay model...getting a young coach and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.  That's probably going to backfire.

This cycle has happened before.  Last time it came to an abrupt end after Dave Shula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CaliEagle said:

The NFL is now trying to follow the McVay model...getting a young coach and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.  That's probably going to backfire.

I think it's more than just a "McVay model".  The McVay model is a quarterback-minded model.  I think you can also include coaches like Pederson, Reich, and maybe Nagy or Shanahan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ShakeThatMonkey said:

It's a valid point, however Kingsbury doesn't have the NFL history that Mariucci had prior to Cal. Additionally Kingsbury may have the offensive flair that the NFL is driving towards, but he's going into an aging team. Chip Kelly had the luxury of going into an explosive team with a young Nick Foles.

They are going to be cleaning house in Arizona:

Larry Fitzgerald is going to retire in all likelihood unless he decides to go elsewhere next year.

They will need to hit on their draft picks.  I'd not be surprised if they trade the overall #1 pick to a club desperate for a QB and get a king's ransom for it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A thought to ponder...

 

Let's not act like Texas Tech is some small school in a big pond... Mike Leach had this school in bowl games every year. He's now having success at Washington State, he brought that team out of obscurity. So what's the deal with Kingsbury? Is he raw? Maybe he can develop QBs, but not as good as advertised as a head coach? Is it recruiting, will he be a better coach in the pros?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This guy has questionable credentials to be an NFL OC, much less a HC.  Qb coaches are important and kudos to the Cards for finding a way to hire a great one to the desert to work on Josh Rosen.  I like this hire a little bit more than LeFleur but not by much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that Cleveland didn't give him a look as OC or potentially even HC. I figured that link to Mayfield would tempt them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma disgruntled because Kingsbury wouldn't name him the starting QB, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, toolg said:

A thought to ponder...

 

Let's not act like Texas Tech is some small school in a big pond... Mike Leach had this school in bowl games every year. He's now having success at Washington State, he brought that team out of obscurity. So what's the deal with Kingsbury? Is he raw? Maybe he can develop QBs, but not as good as advertised as a head coach? Is it recruiting, will he be a better coach in the pros?

Texas Tech is NOT a small school, but they have to compete with Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, TCU, etc. in the Big 12.  He didn't have the talent at Texas Tech.

As said above, Steve Mariucci was 6-5 at Cal the year before he went to the 49ers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, toolg said:

Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma disgruntled because Kingsbury wouldn't name him the starting QB, right?

Ahh good point. I think that may have played a part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/8/2019 at 8:12 PM, Wallyhorse said:

Kingsbury was much better than his record would indicate.  He has to compete in the Big 12 with Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, etc. and those schools all have much better players.  He made the most with what he had.

Just remember, Steve Mariucci was hired as 49ers HC off a 6-5 season at California years ago and he did fine in the NFL. 

yeah, a coaching hire from 22 years ago came to mind when I saw this,  too.

I'm not seeing any other justification for this hire, besides this wholly irrelevant barely

tangential point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last time I saw the media convince the masses to hate HC hiring more was... when the Eagles hired Doug Pederson.

Can Kingsbury relate to players? There is no doubt in my mind that his offense will be successful. He just needs the right defensive coordinator.

Also, Coach Handsome is already scoring big in the desert: https://nypost.com/2019/01/09/fox-sports-holly-sonders-reveals-kliff-kingsbury-relationship/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/9/2019 at 8:30 AM, toolg said:

A thought to ponder...

 

Let's not act like Texas Tech is some small school in a big pond... Mike Leach had this school in bowl games every year. He's now having success at Washington State, he brought that team out of obscurity. So what's the deal with Kingsbury? Is he raw? Maybe he can develop QBs, but not as good as advertised as a head coach? Is it recruiting, will he be a better coach in the pros?

Exactly.  And leaving all of that aside, does anyone honestly believe that veteran pro football players will take this guy seriously?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 5:33 PM, Procus said:

Guy had a losing record in college with Patrick Mahomes as his QB.  I don't like the hire.

Well considering that in one of those losses, Mahomes passed for 734 yards..... not sure his offensive mind is the problem, that's for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PhillyMG said:

Well considering that in one of those losses, Mahomes passed for 734 yards..... not sure his offensive mind is the problem, that's for sure.

Last I checked, a team must play defense in addition to offense.  And for the record, Texas Tech LOST that game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, this is what we should be talking about:

https://mobile.twitter.com/SInow/status/1083205578724438016?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^tweet

 

A. That’s kinda eery.

B. They obviously hired him to mold their QB of the future as he did with a handful of guys in college, but if he’s not a Rosen guy, what are the realistic options? I don’t think anyone’s giving up a 1 for Rosen. Maybe Miami?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Havenless said:

B. They obviously hired him to mold their QB of the future as he did with a handful of guys in college, but if he’s not a Rosen guy, what are the realistic options? I don’t think anyone’s giving up a 1 for Rosen. Maybe Miami?

I mean... I guess at this point if he really wants Kyler and he feels that's his guy then maybe go get him? Ultimately Kingsbury is going to be tied to whoever their QB is. Now I know they took Rosen last year but if he's not the guy for the new HC then you're in a pretty difficult situation. You could definitely get a little something back for Rosen... Maybe a second as he flashed potential? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

I mean... I guess at this point if he really wants Kyler and he feels that's his guy then maybe go get him? Ultimately Kingsbury is going to be tied to whoever their QB is. Now I know they took Rosen last year but if he's not the guy for the new HC then you're in a pretty difficult situation. You could definitely get a little something back for Rosen... Maybe a second as he flashed potential? 

I’m a ‘locker room presence’ guy myself, and Rosen is a D and a half. We’re lucky to have 2 of the most respected QB personalities in the NFL.

Rosen was a mistake and I don’t care how good he can throw the football. Get what you can and move on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Havenless said:

I’m a ‘locker room presence’ guy myself, and Rosen is a D and a half. We’re lucky to have 2 of the most respected QB personalities in the NFL.

Rosen was a mistake and I don’t care how good he can throw the football. Get what you can and move on.

Yeah see I'm a believer in... Admit your mistake and move on. And in this case if they think Rosen was a mistake or the new HC doesn't think he's his guy then move on. They have the #1 pick so they can look to get their guy this year. Don't try and limp on with a mistake and try to make it work if it can't. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gone on record as saying that this is a bad hire by the Cards (as I also did after they hired Steve Wilks after serving one year as Carolina's DC), but damn it, why does race need to be inserted into everything these days.  It's football damnit!

http://theundefeated.com/features/all-the-reasons-the-cardinals-decision-to-hire-kliff-kingsbury-is-troubling/

Quote

All the reasons the Cardinals’ decision to hire Kliff Kingsbury is troubling

Arizona prematurely fired a black coach, then hired an unqualified white one

Foxworth calls Kingsbury hiring ’embarrassing’
 
 
January 10, 2019

But, why?

There is no good reason for an NFL team to hire Kliff Kingsbury as its head coach. There is not even a plausible bad reason to hire Kliff Kingsbury. Kliff Kingsbury himself had to be shocked when his agent called to let him know that an NFL team had interest in interviewing him. Had he thought it was a possibility, he wouldn’t have signed on to become the offensive coordinator at USC.

Let me be clear: I don’t begrudge Kingsbury this ultimate finesse. Honestly, I am impressed and admire his ingenuity. Thanks to the success of Sean McVay, we are in a young, handsome, offensive genius bubble, the perfect market for Kingsbury to sell himself. And as the saying goes: You only need one sucker.

But I can’t understand how the Arizona Cardinals arrived at this decision.

While I think the logic that underpins the conventional way the league goes about hiring head coaches is deeply flawed, and I have written in great detail about it, I understand how teams can convince themselves that they’ve found the right guy. The justifications for most head coach hires are as follows:

  • Retread: The candidate had some success doing this job elsewhere. With the proper support and the value of previous experience, he can reproduce and improve on that level of success.
  • Accomplished coordinator: This candidate was great at strategy, play design and playcalling for one side of the ball. While those skills are not directly applicable to the requirements of a head coach, being good on one side of the ball or the other is obviously valuable.
  • Championship proximity: This candidate was on the staff of a winner. And presumably he knows how to duplicate the culture and conditions that facilitate success.
  • Step up: This candidate has succeeded as a head coach in college or in a different pro football league, so he should be able to do it in the NFL.
GettyImages-1079803746.jpg?w=700

Arizona Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill (left) and general manager Steve Keim (right) introduce new head coach Kliff Kingsbury (center).

Norm Hall/Getty Images

None of these reasons applies to Kingsbury, who was fired from Texas Tech after a 5-7 campaign in 2018. For those who would excuse Kingsbury’s losing by pointing out how difficult it is to win at Texas Tech, that’s true, but since when is failing at a place like Lubbock a springboard to one of the 32 most coveted jobs in coaching? Oh, and Kingsbury’s two predecessors were also more successful than he was at Texas Tech. Mike Leach had a .661 win percentage from 2000-09, followed by Tommy Tuberville’s three seasons with a .541 win percentage, so it’s not impossible to win at Texas Tech. Kingsbury is actually the only Texas Tech head coach since Jerry Moore (1982-85) to end his tenure in Lubbock with a losing record.

And if, as we all suspect, the Cardinals are trying to copy their division rival, the Los Angeles Rams, and find their own Sean McVay, they are focusing on the wrong attributes.

McVay’s unit was sixth in expected points added (EPA) in the NFL when he was offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins in 2016. This past season, the offensive EPA for Kingsbury’s Red Raiders was good for 34th in all of college football and fifth out of 10 teams in their own conference. So, contrary to what you may have heard, he is not an offensive guru. The pass-happy, air-raid offense he runs could certainly work in the NFL, but it is not new; many of the principles that once made it special when it was first innovated by Mike Leach in the early ’90s at Iowa Wesleyan have long since been adopted by NFL teams. He brings nothing new to the NFL and hasn’t had a track record of offensive innovation.

But maybe that’s not what the Cardinals want from Kingsbury. Maybe they want him to perform some McVay-esque magic on second-year quarterback Josh Rosen. McVay earned his title as a quarterback whisperer by transforming Jared Goff from the worst quarterback in NFL history to a legitimate franchise quarterback in just one season. Although Kingsbury has been around a lot of good quarterbacks, there is no evidence that his influence has improved them.

He certainly seems to have a good eye for spotting talent. He picked Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes when few other programs thought they were good enough. But Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma after an injury-plagued freshman season, won the Heisman Trophy as a senior, was selected No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL draft and is currently the best quarterback in his draft class. Mayfield has gotten progressively better every season he moves farther away from Kingsbury. Which isn’t necessarily Kingsbury’s fault, but a quarterback whisperer it does not make him.

Mahomes, on the other hand, put up monster numbers in his three seasons under Kingsbury. So Kingsbury deserves some credit for "whispering” to Mahomes. But how much of that translated to Mahomes putting up monster numbers in his first season in the NFL? Maybe Mahomes is just a monster. Had Mahomes come to the NFL and become a bust, maybe we’d wonder what Kingsbury was whispering at Texas Tech to get so much out of him. Instead, I am wondering why they won only five games in Mahomes’ final and best season at Texas Tech.

Mahomes_Kingsbury.jpg?w=700

Kliff Kingsbury (right) coached Patrick Mahomes (left) at Texas Tech.

Michael C. Johnson/USA TODAY Sports

Kingsbury is also credited as a quarterback whisperer for what he did with Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M and Case Keenum at Houston. Manziel was a talented player, but he never conformed to the Kingsbury offense. Manziel did not become an NFL-ready passer under Kingsbury. In my view, Keenum is the one shining example of Kingsbury’s ability to get the most out of a quarterback. With Kingsbury as his coordinator, Keenum was a Heisman candidate. As a senior he threw for 5,631 yards, 48 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Granted this was against Conference USA talent, but impressive nonetheless. Still, with those numbers, NFL teams didn’t deem Keenum talented enough to draft. Which tells me that NFL scouts determined it wasn’t Keenum’s talent carrying that offense.

Stay undefeated with our culture newsletter

But even if I give Kingsbury 100 percent of the credit for Keenum’s 2011 college success, that has never been enough to get an NFL head-coaching job. It couldn’t even get him a college head-coaching job. Kingsbury was set to be USC’s offensive coordinator if the thirsty Cardinals didn’t swoop in. Although Kingsbury’s not in Conference USA anymore, there is sparse evidence he can get the most out of Rosen.

There is still another big problem: He has never been the head coach of a team with a good defense. Not even a decent defense. His teams’ cumulative defensive EPA over his five years in Texas Tech is good for a No. 127 ranking.

I know he is not being hired for his defensive prowess, but he is also not being hired as a quarterback coach or offensive coordinator. As head coach, the performance of the defense is kind of important. Hiring a head coach is like marriage, in that you are not just marrying a person, you’re marrying a family — or, in this case, a staff.

Possibly the most important staff member for McVay and the Rams was a 71-year-old defensive coordinator with head-coaching experience, Wade Phillips. One would assume Kingsbury would be well-served to add a keen defensive mind to his staff. But, based on his teams’ track record, I am pretty sure he doesn’t know any.

For his sake, I hope he meets some good defensive coaches and turns out to be the second coming of Bill Belichick. I will celebrate him. But even if the result is good, it doesn’t mean the decision-making process was sound.

It certainly wasn’t fair.

Steve_Wilks.jpg?w=700

Steve Wilks (center) was fired after one season as head coach in Arizona.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

In the shadow of the Blackest Monday, and renewed inspection of the impact of the Rooney Rule, Arizona has made itself a poster child for what not to do. The Cardinals fired Steve Wilks, their black head coach, after just one season, which no sane person would believe is enough time to fairly evaluate a coach. Meanwhile, they retained their white general manager, Steve Keim, who put together the underachieving team and was arrested over the summer for suspicion of DUI.

And instead of hiring one of the dozens of coaches, black or white, whose résumé outshines Wilks’ fairly weak résumé (before becoming Cardinals head coach, he was an NFL defensive coordinator for just one season), they went and found a white coach who is less qualified.

To be completely fair to Keim and Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, I have spent no time in the Cardinals’ building this season. So maybe whatever Wilks was doing was so terrible that another season would have been untenable. And maybe the poor judgment that landed Keim in jail for suspicion of DUI is completely independent from the judgment needed to build a championship team. But, even if all of that is true, that doesn’t change the facts. In a league that has identified the hiring practices of its teams as a problem, the Cardinals prematurely fired a black coach and replaced him with an unqualified white coach.

They are free to make those decisions, of course. And we are obligated to bring their inconsistencies and apparent biases to light. But this story won’t end here. Firing Wilks after one season and keeping Keim suggests the Cardinals believe Wilks grossly mismanaged the talent acquired by Keim and well undershot their win expectations. Now, all eyes will be watching how the Cardinals treat Kingsbury at the end of next season should they underachieve again.

Domonique Foxworth is a writer at The Undefeated. He is a recovering pro athlete and superficial intellectual.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now