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Belichick: Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury went above and beyond as a rookie

Kliff Kingsbury, New England Patriots, during Reebok NFL Players Rookie Premiere Presented by 989 Sports at LA Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by R. Diamond/WireImage)

By now, we all have a pretty good idea of what Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury did during his time in New England as a Patriots rookie quarterback.

If you need a refresher, pretty much everything the coaches were doing.

Kingsbury has spoken highly of his one-year tenure with mastermind Bill Belichick, where he learned about the game at the NFL level with offensive-minded coaches like Josh McDaniels (former defensive assistant and current offensive coordinator) and Charlie Weis (former OC).

He may not have been cut out to be the Patriots’ next up-and-coming signal caller, but Kingsbury did leave a lasting impression on Belichick for his the effort he exuded day in and day out.

“We drafted Kliff in 2003 and you could see right away that Kliff was very intelligent had a passion for football, worked hard, was a great teammate,” the New England head coach told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Wednesday. “The year that he was with us, part of his learning how to become an NFL player. … He broke down film, he understood what our offense was doing. He learned about NFL defenses and did special projects and things like that.

“He was always alert, did a good job, understood concepts. You tell him one time what you wanted and he would not only give it to you but usually give you back something else that you didn’t ask for that was related that he observed. He added on what you asked him to do.”

For a man with a reputation of giving short responses, Belichick’s Kingsbury rookie summary was lengthy and insightful, showing the respect he has the second-year Cardinals coach.

Kingsbury reciprocated that during his Zoom call this week, knowing full well the extent of how Belichick and Co. prepare out East.

“He’s forgotten more football than I can even try to comprehend,” Kingsbury said Monday. “He’s probably the one person in the NFL that probably could coach every position at an elite level. That’s not an exaggeration, that’s just how much he knows about the game.

“I’m honored to share the field with him and it’s going to be one heck of a challenge to go up there and try to get a win.”


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