Ex-Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury joining Commanders as OC

Feb 4, 2024, 6:56 PM | Updated: Feb 5, 2024, 9:20 am

USC Trojans Senior Offensive Analyst Kliff Kingsbury watches from the sideline during the NCAA Coll...

USC Trojans Senior Offensive Analyst Kliff Kingsbury watches from the sideline during the NCAA College Football game between the USC Trojans and Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at Mountain America Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With a second try in a week, ex-Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is returning to the NFL.

After his offensive coordinator position with the Las Vegas Raiders reportedly fell through, Kingsbury is taking an OC job with the Washington Commanders, the team announced Monday morning.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport were the first to report the hire.

Kingsbury took over as USC’s offensive analyst this past year after the Cardinals fired him following the 2022 regular season. Kingsbury went 4-13 in his final season following a six-year extension ahead of the regular season.

He takes over as OC in Washington for the Commanders that fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner, a post Turner held for the last three seasons. Kingsbury was a hot name for the NFL’s offensive coordinator openings, garnering interest from Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles as well.

Washington owns the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, so Kingsbury’s hiring will fuel speculation that his new organization is interested in selecting USC quarterback prospect Caleb Williams. The Commanders would likely have to trade up with the Chicago Bears, as Williams is a heavy favorite on sports betting sites to go first overall. Washington lacks a long-term answer at quarterback and is expected to select one regardless of if Williams becomes an option or not, with North Carolina’s Drake Maye rated as the second-best signal caller behind Williams.

That would fall right in line with Kingsbury’s rep for developing young quarterbacks at both the college and NFL levels.

Kingsbury went 28-37-1 during his tenure in the desert. He got his coaching start as a quality control coach with the Houston Cougars in 2008. He was promoted to co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before signing on as Texas A&M’s offensive coordinator in 2011.

Two years later, Kingsbury would make his head-coaching debut for his alma mater in Texas Tech. He would hold that position until 2018 when he was fired by the Red Raiders.

Kingsbury then agreed to become USC’s OC but resigned a month later for the chance at landing a head-coaching job in the NFL. He interviewed with both the New York Jets and Cardinals before signing with the latter.

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