Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury a top NFL playcaller, per PFF

Sep 5, 2020, 6:30 AM

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury makes a call during the first half of an NFL football ...

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury makes a call during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals went out and got head coach Kliff Kingsbury for a reason.

He may not have had any NFL coaching experience, but it was his offensive vision and playcalling capabilities that put Kingsbury on the Cardinals’ radar.

Transforming an anemic offense in 2019 to a unit with a lot of potential in Year 2, the Cardinals have been pegged as a team to walk as Kingsbury gets another full season under his belts.

Taking over an offense that was the worst in the league in basically every statistical category, Kingsbury was able to turn the page of the old regime quicker than most expected.

The turnaround has since garnered a lot of attention. So much so that the head coach is already in conversations involving other offensive savants around the league.

Comparing all the top playcallers across the NFL, Pro Football Focus put Kingsbury on the Rushmore of offensive gurus heading into the 2020 season.

Kingsbury gets high marks when looking at “uniqueness” of a scheme, and for good reason; he ran more 10 personnel than anyone else in the league, while only the Saints threw shorter passes on average. Only two quarterbacks had more designed runs than Kyler Murray, but Kingsbury’s usage of pre-snap motion was among the league lows — an increase there could benefit the Cardinals even more in 2020.

PFF noted that while the record and overall offense wasn’t off the charts, it was still evidently better than last year.

Averaging just 4.3 yards per play in 2018, the Cardinals jumped to 5.5 in 2019. Arizona also went shopping midseason, adding Kenyan Drake to a running game that was dismal with David Johnson as the lead back.

Toss in an offensive line that can hold together and the acquisition for All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this offseason — on top of future HOFer Larry Fitzgerald — and Kingsbury has all the tools he needs to continue to build his NFL offense.

With Murray hopefully coming into his own in 2020, in addition to the acquisition of wideout DeAndre Hopkins from Houston and tackle Josh Jones through the draft, there is a lot of hope for Arizona in a tough NFC West, and Kingsbury is one of the biggest reasons why.


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