Christian Kirk: Kliff Kingsbury lets players stay loose, be themselves

Apr 29, 2020, 2:10 PM
(Getty Images)...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In case you missed it (and you probably didn’t), a picture of Kliff Kingsbury’s house went viral during the NFL Draft.

But outside of the meme, there’s a man. He’s relatively young and hip compared to his NFL coaching peers, and his hire with the Arizona Cardinals was preceded by chaos and followed by criticism. A Big 12 coach at Texas Tech was fired and became the successor to Steve Wilks, while Kyler Murray took over the quarterback duties for first-round pick Josh Rosen.

That was the context for Christian Kirk entering the NFL. The wide receiver was a rookie under Wilks and catching passes from Rosen and Sam Bradford. Then, there was a sudden shift to a new era. The hosts of the Tiki and Tierney Show on CBS Sports asked Kirk about that very shift in an interview on Tuesday.

“I think the biggest shift in the organization and just the building itself was just the attitude and mentality,” Kirk said. “Kliff is all business, 100%. That’s number one. But I like how when he came in, we were all business when we were in the doors and our number one goal is to win and get ourselves better, especially when we’re on the field. But everything outside of that is being loose and being yourself and not being so wound up and having football consume your life.

“He respects our time and being able to get time away. I think there always needs to be a good balance of that because if you consume your whole life on it, you stretch yourself out too much on it, it can kind of burn you out a little bit.”

Kirk, entering his third year in the league, sounded pleased with the work-life balance of playing for the Cardinals.

“I think that’s the best thing,” Kirk said. “It’s a fun, loose atmosphere. Everybody is very respectful of one another. We like to have fun. We like to have fun while we’re doing it. But at the end of the day we all know we’re working towards one cause.”

As for the house?

“He definitely deserves it because he probably works harder than anybody else in our building. He’s always first one in, last one to leave. I would like somewhere like that to come home to, putting in all those hours and dealing with the stuff he’s got to deal with.”

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Christian Kirk: Kliff Kingsbury lets players stay loose, be themselves