Kliff Kingsbury not trying to prove anyone wrong as Commanders OC

Feb 15, 2024, 4:35 PM | Updated: 7:03 pm

Trojans senior offensive analyst Kliff Kingsbury looks on during a game between the San Jose State ...

Trojans senior offensive analyst Kliff Kingsbury looks on during a game between the San Jose State Spartans and the USC Trojans on August 26, 2023, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury was introduced as the Washington Commanders’ new offensive coordinator on Thursday and didn’t speak much on his time in the Valley.

Does he feel like he has something to prove with his second chance in the NFL after how everything ended with the Cardinals?

“That’s not how I approach it,” he said. “I do this because I enjoy the game, I enjoy the players and the mentorship and the Sundays, that type of competitive situation. I never got into proving anyone wrong or right or anything like that.”

Kingsbury expanded on what he learned from his tenure in Arizona.

“Consistency and approach, and then the standard’s gotta be the standard no matter what,” he said. “No matter who you bring in, what it looks like, how the season is going — you can’t let that dictate how you approach the team and how you coach.”

Kingsbury’s first crack as a National Football League coach in general was with the top job for the Cardinals from 2019-22 across four seasons. A 5-10-1 opening season saw the next year inspire optimism with an improvement to 8-8. While the next 11-6 season crashed and burned at the end, that trajectory earned him a six-year contract extension after the 2021 campaign.

Arizona’s red flags from the regression at the end of that season, though, came to fruition in a big way for 2022, resulting in a 4-13 record and Kingsbury getting fired. He was replaced by Jonathan Gannon.

Kingsbury then went on to spend one year back at the collegiate ranks with USC, where as a senior offensive analyst he worked with projected No. 1 draft pick Caleb Williams. The coach didn’t want to speak too much on Williams, who the Commanders could be interested in given their need for a quarterback and their possession of the second overall selection.

“He’s a great kid, there’s no doubt,” Kingsbury said of Williams.

Kingsbury will no longer hold the big-time responsibilities that come with being a head coach, ones in Washington that are left to Dan Quinn. He is pleased about that.

“Being able to just focus on the offense will be great,” Kingsbury said. “Dan has a bunch on his plate. I’ve sat in that seat and so you’re dealing with the entire picture. With me now, it’s focused on that group and trying to maximize who we are personnel-wise, coaching-wise and be the best we can just in that area. To be able to back up and do that again is exciting, to put all that focus just into that and ready to get to work.”

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