NFL teams have not given up their pursuit of new USC football offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, according to FOX NFL’s Jay Glazer.
It may be time for USC football fans to start holding their breath. The NFL may be coming after Kliff Kingsbury.
The new Trojan offensive coordinator represents arguably the biggest victory of the year for USC, as head coach Clay Helton tapped him to replace Tee Martin. Widely considered the best name on the market, Kingsbury is expected to transform USC’s offense by utilizing the Air Raid with the Trojans’ plentiful talent.
Back when Kingsbury’s name first popped up as a candidate for the Trojans’ opening, shortly after he was fired as Texas Tech head coach, rumors of NFL interest swirled. In the end, it appeared Kingsbury chose to stay at the college level rather than taking the opportunity to jump to the pros. And it seemed that was that.
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However, on Sunday morning, the NFL rumor mill returned. According to FOX NFL’s Jay Glazer, Kingsbury is still a target for NFL teams looking to replace not an offensive coordinator, but a head coach.
“Everybody’s looking for one of these passing guys…they’re just not out, there so teams are starting to go a little off the board here,” Glazer said.
Specifically, teams are considering a move for Kingsbury: “Teams are actually looking at his contract to see if we could really lure him before he starts at USC.”
The desire to land Kingsbury makes sense in an era when the Rams’ Sean McVay, 49ers’ Kyle Shannahan and Bears’ Matt Nagy are deploying high-powered offensive attacks. However, NFL teams who are seriously looking at him as a head coach may be too far swept up in passing mania.
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McVay, Shannahan and Nagy were all successful offensive coordinators at the NFL level before being elevated to head coach status. Kingsbury shares their youth, but his resume is far more lacking.
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For one, he has only coached in college whether as an offensive coordinator or a head coach. And his head coaching career was far from spectacular. He never won more than eight games at Texas Tech and never finished better than fifth in the Big-12.
Kingsbury wouldn’t be a suitable candidate for the head coaching position at USC, let alone in the NFL.
Still, NFL teams are beholden to trends, and young offensive gurus are the hot commodity of the day. If one took a chance on Kingsbury, and he decided it was worth taking the risk to take that job, the positive feelings around USC’s offseason moves would crumble.
The head coaching possibility isn’t the only threat to the Trojans’ hold on Kingsbury, who could still be drawn away by interest in an offensive coordinator position when the NFL coaching carousel really gets going in 2019.
Things only figure to get more interesting in the new year.