Keyshawn: Kliff Kingsbury sticks with Cardinals but ‘needs to figure it out’
Jan 19, 2022, 12:01 PM
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Keyshawn Johnson was among the many critical of Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the way his team’s season ended.
The former wide receiver didn’t mince his words while on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill & Max on Wednesday when discussing Kingsbury’s issues, but believes the head coach will be back at the helm for Year 4 in the desert.
For Johnson, the decision is heavily influenced by quarterback Kyler Murray.
“If I’m moving on from Kliff Kingsbury, how do I know my next head coach wants that type of quarterback and play him? Now, I got to go and find somebody specifically willing to work with Kyler Murray.”
To Johnson’s point, the pair entered the league as a package deal, with Kingsbury getting his first crack as an NFL head coach and the Cardinals handpicking a quarterback to fit his style with the No. 1 overall pick in 2019.
But while Johnson believes Kingsbury will be back in 2022, there’s obviously a glaring issue that must be corrected in the head coach’s inability to close out a season strong, whether it be with the Cardinals or during his time at Texas Tech.
“I would say he needs to figure it out,” Johnson said. “He figured out how to show his house during the draft, he needs to figure out what their problems are let in the seasons. He needs to figure it out. That’s what you have scouts, that’s why you have advanced scouting. You do self-checking, self-evaluations in the offseason.”
Dating back to his first year as head coach of Texas Tech in 2013, Kingsbury is posting a 17-45 record from the eighth game on, with the latest defeat coming in lopsided 34-11 Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night.
But through the first seven games, the head coach is 42-20-1.
In a league where teams have to close out seasons strong and build necessary momentum heading into the postseason, Kingsbury has a lot to address this offseason.
“The last couple for whatever reason we haven’t been as sharp and that’s something I gotta continue to evaluate and figure out what we need to do, whether it’s practice structure or different things of that nature, because we gotta be better,” Kingsbury told reporters Tuesday.