OT: Kliff Kingsbury to the Arizona Cardinals... as HC

Submitted by stephenrjking on January 8th, 2019 at 3:17 PM

There was that fleeting moment when Michigan fans thought he'd be a Harbaugh option.

Turns out he isn't even an option for USC. At least they've got it bad, too. 



January 8th, 2019 at 4:37 PM ^

His big problem at Texas Tech was he couldn't field a defense to save his life.  One assumes he'll have better resources in the NFL to get talented guys on that side of the field, and he definitely has an ability to cultivate good QBs.  A lot of NFL people apparently really respect him and his ability, so I wouldn't be surprised if he worked out in Arizona.


January 8th, 2019 at 5:31 PM ^

Yeah.  I'm not sold he's going to be a great pro coach or anything, but other than Mike Leach and Spike Dykes there hasn't been a particularly consistent winner at that school in it's existence (as evidenced by the fact those are the only two coaches with winning records in the modern era).  Kingsbury had an offensive identity that allowed him to win a lot more games than you'd assume was possible given the talent he brought in (their 5-year average in recruiting was around 40th, which is in the Iowa/Cal/Pitt/Arizona area, and his 2-year was around Oregon State-level).  That probably means he would struggle somewhat as a HC at a bigger program in terms of recruiting, but in the NFL he's got a GM to get him talent and he could just focus on fielding offenses that are seemingly quite popular and effective.


January 8th, 2019 at 6:32 PM ^

Those guys literally cover 25 years of Texas Tech football from roughly 1985-2010. What's the modern era to you? Even the coaches in the 60s and 70s when the program was "transitioning" from the old Border Conference to the SWC were roughly .500.

Of the 12 or so coaches who've coached the team since 1960 he probably ranks in the bottom 1/3.


January 8th, 2019 at 5:36 PM ^

Then why did all these other hotshot coaches from college fail? Guys that actually WON a lot of games in college: Chip Kelly, Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino, Dennis Erickson, Butch Jones, Mike Riley. Most of these guys are within the last 10 years and most of them are offensive coaches.

He went 13-35 in the Big 12 if you don't include I-AA Kansas.


January 8th, 2019 at 5:50 PM ^

Most of those guys had gimmick offenses or took over bad teams.  Butch Jones took over an expansion team.

Saban might still be in the NFL if Miami would've signed Drew Brees instead of Daunte Culpepper.

Oh, and I don't think Mike Riley was ever a hotshot coach. He left for the NFL after going 8-14 at Oregon State.


January 8th, 2019 at 5:52 PM ^

Why do people think he'll be a good head coach? Evidence? Contrary to what the NFL thinks, being a good OC has little to do with being a good Head Coach. #1? Can you lead, do grown men respect you and buy into what you want. Can you make good decisions is #2. Those, by leaps and bounds, are ten times more important than what offense you run.


January 8th, 2019 at 5:28 PM ^

He couldn't field a defense because he didn't give a shit about it. When he finally wizened up after 4 years and put more resources into his defense, lo and behold, his offenses started to go downhill.

This belief that Texas Tech was fucking Rice before Kingsbury got there needs to be put to bed. Spike Dykes went 57-40-1 in conference play before Leach appeared. Leach went 47-33. He went 19-35. Texas Tech has been solid football program since the mid-80s and a .500 one in SWC play from 1960 to 1980. The guy that drove the bus back towards the Jerry Moore era (yes, that Jerry Moore) of the early 80s is Kliff Kingsbury with an assist from Tuberville.


January 8th, 2019 at 6:02 PM ^

Kingsbury's defenses got slightly better recently (where they went from 125th to 88th), but his dip offensively (from 2nd and 5th to top-25) is mostly due to Patrick Mahomes graduating and being replaced by Not Patrick Mahomes.  Hell, it sounds like a lot of their defensive success recently was due to some turnover luck and hitting on some nice JuCos.  He's an offensive-minded coach who has tried to field a defense that can sometimes stop the other team.  At the college level it's on him to get that defensive talent; in the NFL less so.  I also looked at his last couple of years and the trend seems to be that he plays the top teams pretty tough but tends to lose close games to them.  That's definitely an issue, but flip a couple of those 1-score games and maybe he's still at Texas Tech.  

I don't think Kingsbury is some great coach, but he's so young (39) and has a track record of fielding good offenses with solid QB play; there are a ton of guys who get HC gigs on far less.


January 8th, 2019 at 6:44 PM ^

So when Kingsbury has a generational QB playing against bad college defenses, he's a stud. Other than that he's finished 28th, 19th, 25th, and 22nd in S&P+. 

Again, I don't think he'd be a great NFL OC, but I could see going in that direction. But from failed Texas Tech coach to NFL head coach with 0 pro coaching experience? That is pretty uncharted territory.


January 8th, 2019 at 4:02 PM ^

I know the NFL likes to continually re-hire coaches fired from other organizations but how do you hire someone that just failed and was fired in his only head coaching experience in college to be a first time NFL head coach?  


January 8th, 2019 at 4:15 PM ^

If any NFL team were to do something like this, Arizona would be near the top of the list.

With the NFL and their attempts at parity scheduling, there's a reason the Cardinals and Lions (and the Colts & Patriots back in the day) seem to play every single year.  


January 8th, 2019 at 4:57 PM ^

The comment is not totally off-base.  I think a coach can be credited when a player performs better for that coach than other coaches (taken in context of his teammates as well).  And a coach can take the blame when a player performs worse for that coach than he did for other coaches.

With guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, they performed extremely well no matter who their OCs were, so you can reasonably conclude it was the player (and look what happens when any Pats OC goes anywhere else - he's terrible).


January 8th, 2019 at 5:00 PM ^

For starters: Track record of said player before coach and after coach. 

When the player is tearing up the league before said coach comes in and the coach then leads said player's team... chances are the player with the success prior to the coach would still be the same, or at least similar, player without said coach. 


January 8th, 2019 at 3:46 PM ^

19-35 in the Big 12. Without the inevitable Kansas wins, he went 13-35 in the Big 12.

There are no words for this hire. I mean none.

If you want him as an OC to mentor Rosen, I get that. I don't think it's great, but that I understand. But to just hand him the keys to your organization with no NFL coaching experience and an underachieving record (at best) at Texas Tech is just "wow."

"Maybe we should give those two guys who have no experience and no ideas, more money."


Hotel Putingrad

January 8th, 2019 at 6:58 PM ^

Actually, once Urban lands in SC in 2020, he'll take Pep, and thus will begin the great exodus of offensive assistants to work for Meyer. And then OSU and USC will meet for the national championship with 1/2 of their combined staffs being ex-Harbaugh assistants. And then the universe will cease to exist.

Great Cornholio

January 8th, 2019 at 3:34 PM ^

Interesting fantasty fb implications. Ashamed to say I drafted Josh Rosen (late) in last year's rookie draft for a dynasty league. Seemed worth a flyer but he was next-level atrocious this year. I was ready to dump him before next season but now that he's the next Pat Mahomes...


Oh wait, he still runs like a giant 1-year old.