Reid: Mike Kafka would ‘challenge’ Kyler Murray, Cardinals to be better

Feb 7, 2023, 6:01 PM
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid answers a question during an NFL football Super Bowl media ...

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid answers a question during an NFL football Super Bowl media availability in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. The Chiefs will play against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 57 on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Mike Kafka may no longer be with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he coached from 2017-2021, but the Arizona Cardinals head-coaching candidate’s name has still made the rounds among his former team as prep for Super Bowl LVII unfolds.

And after getting some high praise from Chiefs quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Chad Henne a night prior, head coach Andy Reid doubled down on the endorsement for Kafka as Arizona’s next leader.

“I actually told (Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill) this, he’s a very intelligent, great human being and your quarterback would love him,” Reid told reporters on Tuesday. “He’d challenge him to be better than what he even is now. He’d do a great job.

“He’d challenge the team and I think the guys would respond. He played in the National Football League. … I think he would be tremendous for the city, for the Bidwill family and for you all.”

Kafka and Reid go further back than just their coaching days together. Coming out of Northwestern in 2010, the then-quarterback was nabbed in the fourth round (122nd overall) of the NFL Draft by the then-Philadelphia Eagles head coach. Kafka was the fifth QB taken in the draft, falling just behind current Cardinals QB and third-round pick (85th overall) Colt McCoy.

And while their time together in Philadelphia was relatively short — just two seasons — Kafka made a lasting impression on Reid, so much so that he brought him on as a Chiefs offensive quality control coach in 2017. During that time, he began working closely with a rookie Mahomes on picking up the playbook and learning the ins and outs of what it took to be an NFL QB.

From there, he quickly moved up the ranks, earning the titles of QBs coach and passing game coordinator by 2020 before accepting the New York Giants’ offensive coordinator job in 2022.

Securing a head-coaching gig is next on Kafka’s NFL trajectory. For now, the only person standing in his way is Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, Arizona’s other finalist in their search for a head coach.

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