Kliff Kingsbury Might Still be NFL Bound in 2019, But Is It a Good Idea?
After Kliff Kingsbury inked his contract with USC his NFL dreams seemed to be pushed to at least 2020 but this post "Black Monday" week has Kingsbury reportedly interviewing with both the Jets and the Cardinals. Yes, Kingsbury is under contract with USC but buyouts are easy enough when the NFL comes calling.
You might be wondering why any NFL team would take a chance on a sub .500 collegiate head coach mere months after he was fired for not succeeding at being a head coach. The most obvious reason is that in the NFL, you don't have to keep recruiting. If you find a great quarterback, you just get to keep him. You don't have to keep finding them.
That's what makes the Cardinals and Jets interested in Kingsbury. They have their Quarterbacks already. Sam Darnold looked more than capable at times for the Jets in his rookie season, but he obviously needs some help. Josh Rosen and the Cardinals looked completely lost on offense most of the year, but that is why they are so desperate to get an offensive minded head coach.
It's not just front offices that like Kliff Kingsbury though. Jets Safety Jamal Adams let his feelings be known who he wants on twitter:
Teams look at Sean McVay in Los Angeles and see a team that went from being mediocre to being a Super Bowl Favorite overnight. It's not a process that is easily replicated but that is what teams are trying to do with Kliff Kingsbury and other young offensive hotshots.
The key to McVay's success, as much as the inherited roster, was the compliment of Wade Phillips as his defensive coordinator. If the Jets or Cardinals hire Kliff Kingsbury, they must accompany him with a defensive coordinator that has head coaching experience that is well respected and capable. Wade Phillips is one of the best in the industry with a proven track record as a coordinator, who can be that guy for Kingsbury?
Vance Joseph had his Denver defenses competitive in his two seasons as the head coach, but John Elway decided to move on. Gregg Williams is with the Browns now, but he fits the profile. Marvin Lewis has a wealth of knowledge and is out of work. Leslie Frazier is with the Bills now, but he also has head coaching experience.
If I'm throwing my opinion into the ring, if the Jets offered Kingsbury a job, he should take it. Sam Darnold has major potential. Davis Webb is in the quarterback room. Kliff Kingsbury completed his only career pass in the NFL as a Jet.
Is it the best hire the Jets could make? Probably not. Is the Jets job better than the USC gig that Kingsbury currently holds? It's certainly arguable that an NFL head coaching job is objectively better than a collegiate OC job, but whether it's a better "fit" is impossible know for sure.
What I do know is that Kliff Kingsbury would improve the USC offense and would have zero pressure to win games. His only pressure would be to score points. The Jets haven't won a Division Championship since 2002 and that means there's a whole lot of pressure to not only score points with Darnold and company but to win games.