Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury admits he’s a thief but not a plagiarist

Sep 13, 2019, 3:04 PM

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks to the media ahead of the team’s Red and White...

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks to the media ahead of the team’s Red and White Practice Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, at State Farm Stadium. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE, Ariz. — For all the heat Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury has taken for only having college coaching experience prior to this season, it appears that he took something from the stronger bookworm culture at a university.

He’s sure to give credit to his source material.

Earlier in the week, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale told reporters that pro play-callers had “for years” been stealing Kingsbury’s plays he ran as Texas Tech’s head coach.

Asked Friday how that felt, Kingsbury brushed any compliments toward his offensive creativeness aside with some self-deprecation.

“I take a ton from everybody. I’m probably the biggest thief of concepts and gadgetry and everything,” he said. “I usually at least cite where I got it from in the postgame if it works, though.”

Kingsbury’s background in the spread Air Raid offense of course borrowed concepts from its inventors, Hal Mumme and Mike Leach, but with a twist. High schools across the country adopted that offense, among others, and that seeped its way from the youth level up to college.

Obviously, it’s taken the NFL the longest to adopt Air Raid principles, but they have been there long before Kingsbury arrived in Arizona before this season.

As Martindale put it before the Cardinals visited the Ravens on Sunday for a Week 2 matchup, Kingsbury is just bringing “The Full Monty” to Baltimore.

Since he’s an admitted thief, Kingsbury of course doesn’t mind others stealing concepts from him.

“That’s the sport. Imitation is the finest form of flattery, right?” he said.

“Everybody shares plays, everybody uses each others’ concepts, and that’s to me one of the more fun challenges is how you can take somebody else’s kind of brilliant football concept and fit it in your offense and still make it make sense to your team. Certain guys are really good at it.”

Presented By
Western Governors University

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Nolan Cooney...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals release P Nolan Cooney, sign 2 to active roster

The Arizona Cardinals released punter Nolan Cooney and added Blake Gillikin on Tuesday afternoon, the team announced.

3 hours ago

Dante Stills...

Tyler Drake

New era notes: Cardinals’ Dante Stills impressing as snaps pile up

Rookie Dante Stills is flying under the radar as he slowly but surely gets the chance to prove himself along the defensive line.

22 hours ago

Christian Matthew at training camp...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals release CB Christian Matthew, 2 others from 53-man roster

The Arizona Cardinals released cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Christian Matthew and offensive lineman Ilm Manning on Monday.

1 day ago

Presented By...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Why Arizona fans should be optimistic after weekend of Cardinals, Diamondbacks losses

It was a weekend of losses for sports teams across the Valley, including Team U.S.A. in the Ryder Cup, but Dan Bickley explains why Arizona sports fans should be optimistic heading into a new week. Video: Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports Presented By

1 day ago

Michael Wilson celebrates...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals still show progress despite lopsided loss to 49ers

The scoreboard read in favor of the 49ers, but there were still positives to take away from the Cardinals' third loss of 2023.

2 days ago

Joshua Dobbs attempts a pass...

Arizona Sports

Rapid Reactions: Plenty for Cardinals to build off of after Week 4 loss to 49ers

Arizona Sports’ hosts, reporters and editors share their main takeaways from the Cardinals’ Week 4 loss to the 49ers.

2 days ago

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury admits he’s a thief but not a plagiarist