Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury may not fit the mold of what many experts and general managers are looking for but he brings a new attitude and outlook
Many of us were left scratching our heads when the Arizona Cardinals went out on a limb back in January and hired college football coach Kliff Kingsbury to be their head man on the field. After all, he was only a little over month removed from being fired at Texas Tech head coach.
Then he went on to USC, expected to be their offensive coordinator. That didn’t last long when the Arizona Cardinals came calling. It may be a move many will be lauding soon down the road.
The Cardinals, coming off a 3-13 season, tied for their worst since moving to the desert, fired defensive minded head coach Steve Wilks. Wilks was a nice enough guy but his approach was not right for the Cardinals players and organization.
It has already become evident after the first round of OTA’s the culture is different in Arizona. Wilks, who many fans complained about being quiet and unemotional on the sidelines, was apparently quite the yeller in practice.
Fast forward to Kingsbury. Reports from local media are that players seemed to be more relaxed around him. Gone was the yelling.
That doesn’t mean Kingsbury is lax but what he seems to be doing is taking a different approach. If players are spending time worrying being tense in practice, that isn’t going to translate well to the playing field.
Kingsbury must still lay down the law. While he can’t be and shouldn’t be everyone’s buddy, there is a way to control the atmosphere where there is mutual respect and understanding.
He has moved the thought from a defensive first team to a complete team. Kingsbury will take care of the offense, as he has not hired an offensive coordinator, and will allow the defense to be handled by a more than qualified Vance Joseph.
Now you have a coaching staff built to help both sides of the ball and no stone left untouched. It seemed like last season at times Wilks was just playing it by ear, especially when it came to the offense.
In a quarterback/offensive driven league, this is what is needed to survive. It hasn’t always been that way but teams need to adapt.
Bruce Arians started out that way in Arizona and you saw the positive results. It was time once again to right the culture in Arizona. With a good mix of long time veterans and young players, that should help balance what Kingsbury is trying to accomplish in the desert.