CARDINALS CORNER

Kliff Kingsbury not considering stepping down amid ESPN article

Dec 23, 2022, 1:05 PM | Updated: 1:08 pm

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — The off-the-field distractions continued for the Arizona Cardinals in the form of an ESPN article filled with unnamed sources centered around head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s reported “miserable” state and the possibility he could even go as far as to resign.

Kingsbury refuted the claims in the story on Friday, though only answered one question on the matter before the press conference was ended just over three minutes in without the chance for additional follow-up questions.

“No, I hadn’t seen (the ESPN article), but no,” the head coach said when asked if he was miserable and considering stepping down.

The article, published by Josh Weinfuss and Jeremy Fowler, covered a myriad of topics from Kingsbury’s relationships with quarterback Kyler Murray, GM Steve Keim and owner Michael Bidwill to former players questioning his coaching methods and how he holds others accountable.

The article included sources close to Kingsbury, Murray, the Cardinals organization and opposing players.

One source close to the head coach went as far as to say the Cardinals front office “won’t let him be great.”

Another spoke on Kingsbury being “extremely frustrated” with Murray at some point this season and added the head coach believed the signal caller’s attitude was rubbing his teammates the wrong way. There’s also the notion that the head coach feels like he has been given enough resources to really succeed in his role.

The article is the latest bit of outside noise the Cardinals have had to endure really over the course of this season and especially of late, coming just over a week after the team announced Keim was taking a health-related leave of absence.

Additionally, fired run game coordinator and offensive line coach Sean Kugler filed a request for arbitration over his dismissal from the team the same day as Keim’s leave of absence was confirmed by the team, stating he wanted to clear his name from any miscommunication or mistaken identity that may have taken place.

Arizona responded to Kugler’s claim saying it feels “confident the process will result in a much different set of facts than those presented … and that it had good cause to terminate Mr. Kugler’s employment.”

Since the article was published, sides appear to be taken, with ESPN’s Mina Kimes among those laying out the facts that Arizona has invested a lot in adding weapons to Kingsbury’s offense since he took over in 2019, highlighting the team’s additions of Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Hollywood Brown and the abundance of offensive skill players drafted in the last four years. That’s not even mentioning the acquisitions of both Rodney Hudson and Zach Ertz just a season ago.

Then there’s the other side of the argument, one where injuries and a lack of depth should be to blame for stunting any kind of potential Kingsbury and the rest of the offense brought into the season.

But regardless of where anyone sides in the debate of Kingsbury losing his head-coaching job in the desert, the Cardinals organization is once again left combatting image issues from multiple levels of the franchise.

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