Heading into the playoff run, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury addressed what it would take for him to give up calling plays. The response was ironic at best.
The 2020 season was of Jekyll and Hyde-caliber for the Arizona Cardinals. We all know how it finished, and fans are searching for the answer as to where it all went wrong. Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ official website published a recent article where there was podcast with Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury during the team’s high point of the season. When asked about if he’d give up playcalling duties, Kingsbury responded by saying:
“I would retire,” Kingsbury said. “It’s part of the game, I couldn’t just sit there and watch it. A lot of people are great at that, managing games, and that’s not my strong suit. My strong suit is calling it and interacting with the quarterback. I’ve got to play to my strengths.”
That’s right, Kliff Kingsbury admitted that game management isn’t his strong suit. It all makes sense now! I’m all for recognizing your weaknesses and working to improve them. However, wouldn’t there have been some work done in-season to improve it?
Most teams regardless of level practice game scenarios and sudden changes. We don’t know for sure if they ever officially tried this leading up to each game, and the results are what they are.
What is also kind of funny is Kingsbury’s interacting with the quarterback remark. I can’t remember many times we saw in broadcasts that he was over there with Kyler Murray talking about what was going on.
As I’ve wrote before, we saw Murray often by himself on the bench, and not inspiring his team. Also if this is true, shouldn’t Kingsbury just become an offensive coordinator than a head coach? Because that’s what it sounds like he wants to happen.
What needs to happen to fix the Arizona Cardinals head coach’s playcalling
The only comparison is to look to the team the Cardinals gifted their playoff spot to in the Chicago Bears and their head coach Matt Nagy. There was the point where Nagy gave up playcalling, and with the help of some lesser opponents, Chicago’s offense shined over the latter half of the season.
However rumors surfaced that Nagy went rogue and commandeered his duties back, costing them the game against Green Bay in the regular season finale. It was evident by the short and conservative offense, featuring a lot of lateral plays. See the resemblance?
The Cardinals would benefit from making Kingsbury give up his duties and helping the team be managed. The only problem is the team doesn’t have a true offensive coordinator, and they’d have to hire someone to take the reigns.
For the team to be successful, one of these two options must be carried out. Otherwise the team has a high chance of wasting both Murray’s rookie contract and DeAndre Hopkins’ skills as they continue their climb out of the bottom half of the division.