The Jets can cross the most swaggerlicous coaching candidate off their list.
A source confirmed Tuesday that USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury will become the next Arizona Cardinals coach, one day after he interviewed with the Jets. Kingsbury would have been a creative offensive innovator for Sam Darnold, whose development is at the heart of Gang Green’s most pivotal coaching search in franchise history.
Instead, Kingsbury will try to cultivate Josh Rosen’s talents for a team that fired Steve Wilks after one 3-13 season.
The Jets knew that Kingsbury to the Cardinals was all but a done deal before they met with him on Monday, according to sources. But they wanted to pick his brain and make their pitch.
Texas Tech fired Kingsbury in November after he went 35-40. Smart NFL insiders looked beyond his record (and inherent recruiting challenges playing for a middling program in the Big 12). Forward-thinking NFL coaches like Andy Reid and Sean McVay spent time with Kingsbury in the past year and a half to poach his ideas and schemes.
Although the 39-year-old Kingsbury will be a fantastic, creative play-caller and quarterback developer, there are fair questions about his ability to put together a quality staff and handle the enormous organizational undertaking of running an entire NFL operation.
They’ve also interviewed re-treads Mike McCarthy and Jim Caldwell. Christopher Johnson and Mike Maccagnan spoke to Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Cowboys defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard as well.
Kingsbury would have electroshocked One Jets Drive and been terrific for Darnold.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
Monken, Rhule and Gase are the top three remaining choices if the Jets are interested in staying ahead of the curve and maximizing Darnold’s talents.