Texas Tech football alum Kliff Kingsbury deserves another shot in the NFL

After a year in college football obscurity, former Texas Tech and Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury deserves another shot at success in the NFL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

One of the brightest football minds there is may be on the way back to the NFL. That would be great for the entire sport, even if it means he winds up at a location that many Texas Tech fans might not be thrilled about.

It is being reported the former Texas Tech and Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury could wind up back in the NFL for the 2024 season. In fact, many sources, including Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, are reporting that Kingsbury interviewed for the vacant Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator job on Tuesday. That comes days after Kingsbury reportedly also interviewed for the same position with the Chicago Bears.

While many Texas Tech fans who are also fans of the Dallas Cowboys may not like the idea of seeing Kingsbury coaching for the Eagles, the fact remains, Kingsbury belongs in the NFL. What's more, he should get another shot to prove what he can do if he actually has a competent organization supporting him.

There are many who treat Kingsbury like a joke. Referring to him mockingly as "Coach Bro", they belittle what is a fantastic football mind.

That's why Kingsbury was essentially wasted in 2023 as an analyst at Southern Cal. Not being able to be in an on-field role, he was in the same role as another former Texas Tech head coach, Matt Wells (who was an analyst at Oklahoma) and the difference in the football IQ between those two men is only to be measured in lightyears.

Of course, Kingsbury did have a chance to work with and mentor USC star QB Caleb Williams, the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. In fact, Chicago holds the first overall pick and could have been interested in speaking to Kingsbury because of his connection to Williams. Regardless, Kingsbury belongs in the NFL.

A master at designing offensive schemes and calling plays, he needs to be in a situation where he can focus only on the Xs and Os and not on personnel decisions or motivating players. Those aren't his strengths. That's why his career ceiling might be as an offensive coordinator, which is still a great way to make a living.

In 2018, a year before hiring Kingsbury, Arizona had the lowest-ranked offense in the NFL averaging only 241.6 yards per game. In 2019, with a rookie QB in Kyler Murray, Kingsbury took the Arizona offense to No. 21 in the league increasing the Cardinals' yards per game by 100.

2020 saw Arizona rise to sixth in the NFL in yards per game at 384.6. A year later, Arizona ranked eighth at 373.6 yards per game. Last season, the Cardinals fell back to 22nd in the NFL but much of that was due to massive injuries that crippled their team, including a knee injury that limited Murray to eleven games played.

Still, there is no denying that Kingsbury can coach offense and that he can mentor young QBs as he did with Murray in Arizona and Patrick Mahomes II while at Texas Tech. Now, the question is whether or not he can land in the right place in the NFL.

Part of why Kingsbury failed as a head coach was the culture surrounding the Arizona franchise, one of the most poorly run organizations in professional sports. Sure, Kingsbury bears some responsibility for his failings as well as it seemed that he wasn't able to motivate and lead his teams as effectively as other NFL coaches can. However, few men in the history of the Arizona franchise have had success as head coach as they have had five different head coaches since just the start of the 2012 season.

That's why Chicago might not have been Kingsbury's best landing spot. That is another destination with constant coaching turmoil and next year, head coach Matt Eberflus will enter the season squarely on the hot seat.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, might be a better option. With Jalen Hurts at QB and a bevy of talented weapons around him, not to mention one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, Kingsbury would have all the tools necessary to create a high-powered offense. Of course, all is not roses in Philly either with head coach Nick Sirianni also hanging onto his job by just a thread after a one-and-done playoff exit this season. Still, he might not find a better opportunity then he would with the Eagles.

Kliff Kingsbury is a brilliant tactician. That's why he belongs in the NFL where his ability to create an offensive game plan could be best utilized and where he won't have to recruit players or be responsible for developing the culture of a team. It appears that many in NFL circles appreciate what Kingsbury could bring to their franchises and hopefully next season, he'll get a shot to return to doing what he does best.