Earlier this week, Kliff Kingsbury turned heads with some comments about having some “brutally honest” conversations with Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim about his coaching staff.
"With Michael (Bidwill) and Steve (Keim), (we'll) sit down in a room and talk about each position group and be brutally honest with ourselves and each other and come to a good place."— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) December 24, 2019
Kliff Kingsbury to evaluate @AZCardinals coaching staff after season.https://t.co/PBurfGcF0p
As noted by Cards beat writer Bob McManaman, the language used by Kingsbury was unusual if all was quiet on the coaching staff front:
Cardinals' Kliff Kingsbury, when asked if he plans to keep his full staff together for 2020, said he will sit down with Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim before making any of those decisions.— Bob McManaman (@azbobbymac) December 24, 2019
He could have said, "Yeah, I don't plan on making any changes."
Interesting. Stay tuned
As of December 26th, there’s now a report that will only further speculation, given by NFL Insider Benjamin Allbright:
We have new information from both @TonyPauline and @AllbrightNFL regarding the New York Giants and the status of Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman.— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) December 26, 2019
Also, are there coordinator changes coming? At least four teams are considering a change.https://t.co/Sl9W8tBiWb
Allbright notably had the Kyler Murray to Arizona information several months before it was a thing and also, more importantly, has a lot of ties to Denver information which would include those familiar with Joseph from his time there as head coach.
Does it mean that Vance is gone?
Not necessarily. A solid showing vs. the Rams despite the status of Kyler Murray being unknown might go a long way.
But after coming into the league without a lot of connections and being at the whim of Steve Keim’s connections. After a season that saw the Cardinals giving up:
- the 5th most total points in the NFL
- Ranked 31st in total defense, including 31st against the pass and 25th against the run
- surrendering 27.1 points per game (compared to the offense averaging only 22.5 points per game)
All these factors on the defensive side were part of what limited the Cardinals in 2019 to a disappointing 5-9-1 record. Kingsbury’s offensive improvement and the development of the run game in addition to Murray certainly might have given him the traction to push for a coordinator who he feels is more in sync with him, rather than one who was a stranger to him and performed well short of expectations in 2019.
And Black Monday comes all the same. Could it mean a suboptimal 4th defensive coordinator in 4 years for the Cards?