Kliff Kingsbury is Living a Semi-Charmed Life
Maybe it was the hang-dog, sort of Ryan Gosling like appearance in this photo. Maybe it was the idea of getting someone who spelled his name differently than the others. Or maybe it is just the current NFL trend of hiring people they think can be the next Sean McVay.
Any way you slice it, the past month or so has been one heck of an adventure for now new Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Kingsbury has gone from being fired at Texas Tech to Offensive Coordinator at USC to the Cardinals in the span of less than 30-days.
A career 35-40 Head Coaching record and a 5-7 2018 season cost him the job in Lubbock but his prowess in leading offenses didn't keep him unemployed long.
After a brief flirtation with multiple teams, he landed at USC with designs on being the guy to help USC Coach Clay Helton lead the Trojans back to success. It didn't last long---despite reports last week USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann wouldn't let Kingsbury interview for other jobs.
Did I mention Kingsbury was Patrick Mahomes's coach in College?
That pedigree as a "Spread" offense guru lead to his meteoric rise in an amazingly short time within the ranks of the NFL braintrusts.
The NFL is known---at least in some circles as a "Trend" league that will sense the potential of something they think might be successful and do whatever it takes to try and be a part of it. Which is contrary to the view of many of "The Shield" being an outdated monolith run by rich, old, white men who were scared to try anything new.
Give the Cardinals credit for this---what do they have to lose? This despite the mystifying firing of 2018 Head Coach Steve Wilks after one season. Wilks inherited one of the NFL's worst rosters and steered it to a 3-13 record. Nobody is really sure why the Cardinals were so quick to fire Wilks the day after the season ended as he had virtually nothing to work with.
And no, Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson are not enough to win games by themselves. Staring the season with horrifically overpaid QB Sam Bradford who got nearly $20 million for a handful of pathetic games didn't help either.
Maybe Kingsbury is the guy to bring a breath of fresh air to a franchise in desperate need of it? It certainly will be vital for him to find an experienced Defensive Coordinator and staff with NFL track records as Kingsbury lacks experience---and success with just his offense alone.
Think about it for a second, yeah, sure, Sean McVay has been a wild success as a coach. He made his reputation as an Offensive genius, a moniker well earned. But you need to remember, McVay has Wade Philips as his Defensive Coordinator. That means something. That means a lot.
It will be interesting to see if Kingsbury is just a guy with a good offensive mind/philosophy who is in over his head as a Head Coach. It happens more than you'd think. Not everyone is cut out to handle everything that comes with leading not one---but both sides of the ball and in this case, Kingsbury is going to have to learn to do that while managing highly paid professionals.
I don't wish the Cardinals any ill will. It would be nice to see them be successful. Outside a nice run with Bruce Arians at Head Coach and a Super Bowl run in 2008, the Cardinals have been blatantly mediocre for a very long time.
I'm not sure Kingsbury is the guy to change it. Maybe I'm old school, maybe I'm cynical---but he doesn't have the experience nor the run of success as a Head Coach to indicate at least on the surface he's anything more than a very good Offensive Coordinator.
I could be wrong--then again, he did help create Patrick Mahomes. And that counts for something.....