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How Kliff and Colt “See the Game”

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

On Twitter, hoards of Cardinals’ fans have been campaigning for Kliff Kingsbury to be fired as soon and as quickly as possible. Here is one of the more ruthless memes:

Obviously to @NoContextCards and the 790 lovers of his Tweet, there was no respect for the way in which Kliff Kingsbury had his team balling their tails off with QB3 Trace McSorley getting his first ever NFL start at QB against Tom Brady, Todd Bowles and the Tampa Bay Bucs before a national audience on Christmas night.

To some, it doesn’t matter that Kliff Kingsbury is the hardest, most dedicated staff member in the building.

It doesn’t matter that despite the atrocious and unthinkable number of calamities and setbacks the Cardinals organization has had to endure this season, Kliff Kingsbury has done an utterly phenomenal job of maintaining his composure and his enthusiasm for the team.

Some fans have been insisting that Kliff Kingsbury has lost the team, when in fact week after week, he is doing his utmost best to keep the team playing hard. Because, as he so often puts it to the team, “Playing hard is what we do.”

Kingsbury continues to persevere, despite having been faced with just about every imaginable disadvantage.

Kliff’s 2022 Disadvantages (Moving Parts)

Key Offensive Players Missing for OTAs: (Note: this was the first chance in 3 years for players to practice on the field in OTAs)

  • QB Kyler Murray
  • WR Marquise Brown
  • LT D.J. Humphries
  • LG Justin Pugh
  • C Rodney Hudson
  • RT Kelvin Beachum

Key Offensive Players Missing Multiple Practices at Training Camp:

  • QB Kyler Murray
  • QB Colt McCoy
  • WR Marquise Brown
  • WR Rondale Moore
  • LT D.J. Humphries
  • C Rodney Hudson

Number of starts that Kliff has gotten from his projected starters:

  • QB: Kyler Murray: 11
  • RB James Conner: 12
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins: 9
  • WR Marquise Brown: 10
  • WR Rondale Moore: 8
  • LT D.J. Humphries: 8
  • LG Justin Pugh: 5
  • C Rodney Hudson: 4
  • RG Will Hernandez: 11
  • RT Kelvin Beachum: 15 (only starter to start every game)

Murray, Hopkins and Brown played a total of 50 snaps the entire season.

The Cardinals have had 12 different starting OL combinations thus far in 15 games.

Status of Kingsbury’s GM and offensive coaching staff:

  • GM Steve Keim —- on medical leave of absences
  • OL Coach Sean Kugler —- fired
  • RB Coach James Saxon —- left team
  • Asst. RB Coach Don Shumpert —- released by team in October
  • TE Coach Steve Heiden —- switched to OL coach
  • Co-Passing Game Coordinator Spencer Whipple —- switched to RB coach
  • Offensive Assistant Mike Bercovici —- switched to TEs coach

So, in light of the constant flux that Kliff Kingsbury has been trying to manage his way through, he was supposed to be the offensive genius to put up big numbers, contend for the playoffs and win games anyway?

How can a fair and adequate assessment be made of Kingsbury’s coaching prowess under these circumstances?

Colt McCoy’s Assessment of Kliff Kingsbury

If anyone in the organization is qualified to assess Kliff Kingsbury’s prowess as an offensive coach, it’s Colt McCoy.

During Colt McCoy’s 13 seasons in the NFL, he has played for a veritable “Who’s Who” of offensive savants:

  • Brian Daboll
  • Mark Whipple
  • Brad Childress
  • Greg Roman
  • Jay Gruden
  • Pat Shurmur
  • Jim Harbaugh
  • Sean McVay
  • Matt Cavanaugh
  • Kevin O’Connell
  • Jason Garrett
  • Kliff Kingsbury

Isn’t this an extraordinary list of offensive minds?

Why Colt Signed with Cardinals (whom Sean McVay recommended to Kliff Kingsbury):

“You look at Kliff’s track record of quarterbacks, he has coached so many good ones, Guys have always played well under him. When they called me this offseason and I had the opportunity to come here, I felt really good about it, prayed about it, and man I really feel like I made the right decision.”

The Best Three Wins of Colt McCoy’s Career Per QB Ratings (all with Cardinals):

  • November 7, 2021: —- @ SF —- 31-17 W, —- 22/26, 249 yds., 84.6%, 1-0 TD/int., 119.4 rating
  • November 21, 2021: —- @ SEA —- 23-13 W —- 35/44, 79.6%, 328 yds., 2-0 TD/int., 112.9 rating
  • November 13, 2022: —- @ LAR —- 31-21 W —- 26/37, 70.2%, 238 yds., 1-0 TD/int, 96.5 rating

Colt’s Best Record for a NFL Franchise (CLE, SF, WAS, NYG, ARI):

  • ARIZONA (2021-2022): 3-3

Colt Feeling at Home in Kliff’s Offense:

“I am playing with a lot of confidence and sort of picked my mojo up a little bit. I am in a place that is very quarterback-friendly, there are a lot of targets to throw to. I really like the way Kliff sees the game, he sees the game from a quarterback’s perspective.”

The Point

While some fans keep claiming that Kliff has lost the team, that is patently false.

While some fans may keep claiming that Kliff sucks as an offensive coach and play caller, Colt McCoy, the current player on the Cardinals who would know better than anyone as to how to compare Kliff to the top offensive minds in the game, would ardently disagree.

Message for Quitting on a Person

“When do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learning – because that ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in hisself ‘cause the world done whipped him so! When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.” (Mama Younger from Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun)