The inevitable has happened: The Arizona Cardinals fired their head coach of four seasons, Kliff Kingsbury, and this fanbase couldn’t be happier.
When I first heard of Kliff Kingsbury’s firing, the first thing that popped into my mind was the song Celebrate by the popular K-pop band, Twice. And it’s been playing on my phone at least three times over the past hour.
Why? Because Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill finally righted what was arguably the worst head coaching hire in franchise history.
Why do I say that? For one, Kliff found a way to get himself fired as the head coach of Texas Tech University after compiling a 35-40 record at the school, one season before the Cardinals brought the former NFL quarterback on board.
And when the Redbirds first hired him, I couldn’t help but laugh and ask myself, “Who in their right mind would hire this guy?” Even as some fans gave him the benefit of a doubt thanks to his steady improvements between 2019 and 2021, I knew better.
Arizona Cardinals make the right move in firing Kliff Kingsbury
I knew owner Michael Bidwill should have moved on in 2020 when I penned an article on this very site following the Cardinals collapse from 6-3 to 8-8. Yet Kliff survived to coach another two seasons. By the end of 2022, however, Bidwill had an ultimatum: Either fire Kliff or watch your fanbase, already one of the league’s smallest, erode.
Bidwill made the right call, because Kliff, since his 7-0 start in 2021, skidded to an 8-20-1 finish. His 2022 season was further marred thanks to deteriorating relationships, and we saw this firsthand with quarterback Kyler Murray.
And while I pinned as much blame onto Murray as I did to Kliff, I’ve shifted gears a bit. Kliff came across as the my way or the highway type of coach. If he wasn’t, then he would have hired an offensive coordinator. He would have given Murray more leeway in the offense.
I recently wrote an article regarding the much-maligned former Arizona Cardinals coach and that he set himself up to fail. Even if Steve Keim built a roster with little depth and a few holes, Kliff was ultimately the one calling plays, managing the game, and making porous decisions.
He couldn’t discipline his players, because if he could, then the Cardinals wouldn’t have been near at the top of the league in penalties. Overall, this was an ill-fated relationship from the beginning, and it is long past its due date.
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