Is Kingsbury the Real Deal

Harry

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It’s a toss up whether Murray or KK is the biggest consideration going forward. Addressing the latter, the obvious KK question is how was year one? My review is fairly mixed.

The year started poorly for KK. His decision to keep his offense under wraps during the preseason was no doubt the dumbest decision of the year. His attempt to surprise other teams crashed when his offense sputtered likely due in part to no game condition seasoning. This was also a warning about ego size.

There is no question there were some creative plays but sadly they were more than offset by the failure of the offense to produce in common situations. The red zone package (if there was one) was almost laughable, though it improved somewhat as the year continued. On the other hand, the 2-minute drill was universally hideous. Closely related was the absence of a package for handling blitzes. I keep getting asked how someone could design an offense missing these elements. Perhaps the answer is ego again. Maybe he thought they’d just score from long range consistently. Then again maybe he thought that Murray was elusive enough to ad-lib scoring plays and elude blitzes. This offense looked more like a set of disjointed plays than a systemic attack. Again for some of this you have to again turn to the preseason. Running the offense sooner would have highlighted the deficiencies and provided more time to fix them.

Game management was another major concern. Aside from no idea how to work the clock, he seemed to let his ego tell him to go for it in totally inappropriate situations. Evening games where the defense was playing well KK did not seem to grasp the importance of field position. Add in calling “trick plays” when the standard offense was moving the ball fine and his ego continually showed an “I’m the smartest guy in the stadium” attitude. I know he spoke humbly but his game management didn’t manifest respect for the opponent.

Basic play selection also seemed odd. KK told us Murray had an extremely strong, accurate arm. Yet the Cards rarely threw deep or rolled out Murray to give his receivers time for double moves. They continually threw shorter than the sticks on third down, even when it was third and short. The season seemed to be nearly two-thirds old before they called QB runs.

All was not lost. As I mentioned before there were some cleverly imagined new plays. If properly integrated into the offense they could help sustain drives. KK seemed to be flexible about his offense. When TEs showed the ability to catch, KK made good use of them. When he got a RB that hit the hole quicker, KK changed the running patterns to use that skill. You had to admire KK’s media availability. He was sometimes political, but always available. He was also generally aggressive. I think fortune does favor the bold in the NFL.

Going forward Kingsbury seemed to grow some with the job. He’s not a sure thing to be a major asset, but he has a chance to be very good. He needs another offensive weapon or two. A better defense would considerably relieve the pressure on the offense. Next year should answer most of the concerns I have and give us a far more accurate estimate of his future.
 

bankybruce

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My two cents.

Kingsbury knew this was a throw away season and also knew he lacked certain personnel, so he brought the offense along slowly and tried new things to experiment with a bit.

I also love that he wasn't afraid to try new things and adjust from game to game. I remember with Whiz, everyone knew what his scripted plays were to start a game by season 3. He never adapted. KK seems very adaptable.
 

TheCardFan

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I don't get the ego comments. He went for it due to analytics and changing your offense constantly to adapt/get better is not ego either.

I do agree that the 2 minute offense was awful and there are definitely areas that need to improve. Next year will tell us whether we have something in KK as a HC
 

football karma

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so the Cards go from a historically bad offense to a better than average NFL offense in one year --

the changes: K1 in for Rosen . Kingsbury's offense

so: either K1 is the next greatest thing at QB, or, maybe KK knows what he is doing

that doesnt mean he is perfect, or, that he doesnt have lots to learn, but reading HArry's take, you would think he was terrible. I didnt see terrible
 

Syracusecards

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I think LACK of ego is going to get him in trouble. He doesn’t seem like he will hold his assistants (VJ) accountable because he is new to the NFL.

Being the cool boss never works. Players end up not working as hard and coaches feel like they can keep making mistakes and have job security.

It bugs me that he barely even watches the defense play because he is going over plays with Kyler Murray.
 

Jetstream Green

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I think LACK of ego is going to get him in trouble. He doesn’t seem like he will hold his assistants (VJ) accountable because he is new to the NFL.

Being the cool boss never works. Players end up not working as hard and coaches feel like they can keep making mistakes and have job security.

It bugs me that he barely even watches the defense play because he is going over plays with Kyler Murray.

I am pretty sure he has an ego, you ask David Johnson not seeing the field if you have any doubt. Kingbury is not the greatest game manager at times and he had that problem at Texas Tech but I do not think it's to such an extent that it will cause him to fail as a pro coach while he has shown a capacity to learn. We must remember what a coach says in a presser is totally different than what he tells his players unless you are one those rare characters like Arians who likes to get attention in the media for being blunt. The fact this team did not just go "screw this" after the bye loss to the Rams tells me Kingsbury has the respect of his players, and ears of his coaches directing the defense
 

Solar7

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I really like your take, @Harry. It seems spot on.

The red zone and game management were extremely poor. As a person, Kliff seems awesome. He takes ownership of things. His availability is important, and he seems to care about players.

I feel he'll end up developing into a pretty good OC in the league over time, but he's not ready to be the head honcho. Others will disagree, but I don't think his abilities extend to managing a full team. He's going to work out a lot of things on our dime, and probably go kick ass as an OC somewhere else, while still continuing his losing ways here.

so the Cards go from a historically bad offense to a better than average NFL offense in one year --
We were literally 16th in like, every major category. We're not "better than average." It's also a game where we also have to play defense, which we were the worst team in the league at doing.

...I have a feeling I'll probably end up playing the role of the antagonist again in this thread.
 

Solar7

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well that changes everything

they were 13 in DVOA, 7th when weighted for later in the season
https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/nfl/team-offense/2019
I refuse to use DVOA as a real metric. I'm not going to take qualitative metrics and count them as a win, when in reality, we weren't up to snuff.

I'm not anti-advanced analytics, but I use analytics in my day to day job, and I can't go to my boss and say "well look at how efficient we were right here" when we sold less product than the competitor and made less money despite having the same opportunity.
 

slanidrac16

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He was learning the way of the NFL. Everything was new to him. He had a rookie Qb and an entire offense learning a new system.


I remember many saying we’d take a big step backwards after teams got some tape on our offense. Actually is was quite the opposite. All that is behind him . He is starting miles ahead of where he was last year.

I think he did a better job than what was expected.
 

Buckybird

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Good post Harry! Excellent take.

I said from day one Kliff is an average HC at best, but could be a very good NFL OC in time. It’s one thing being in charge of 1 side of the ball & another being in charge of a team.

I’ve seen plenty of Tech football over the years considering my better half & kids are Tech fans. It was a big running joke watching them on Saturdays with me & them that he never really coached a winner, then the Cards hired him lol.

I’ve never liked his game management (said so day 1) & his inability to win in the Big 12 despite a great offense & the best QB on the planet in Mahommes. Add those things together with a HC that basically ignores the defensive side of the ball & it spells trouble in the long run. Those 3 things really bother me.

I’m with Solar & others on this. I just can’t see it working big time in the W/L column & the goal is to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. I will say Kliff surprised me by running the ball more in the last 8 games & adapting his offense to less 4 wides in the same time frame.

I still say in 2 more years the way to go is put the full out blitz on Lincoln Riley. :mrgreen:
 

BritCard

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He was poor for about half the season. Some dubious play calling. Too conservative when behind etc etc. Pretty much what you said.

Got better as the year went on. Still plenty to improve on.

My main concern is he needs to be a HEAD coach. Not just an OC.

Any HC that hears Vance call zero blitz on 3rd down inside your own 30 in the 4th Q vs Niners and doesn't say "Whoa WTF you doing Vance?" needs to get more of a grip.

A lot of the Pro Kliff guys here seem to be confusing good play designer with good HC.
 

Phrazbit

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Kingsbury impressed me more than I thought. The only area where I thought he flat out sucked for much of the year was clock and situational management. Wasting timeouts and taking far too long to get play calls in pressure situations.

But... those were also massive warts for Andy Reid for like 20 years, so if Reid can overcome them so can KK... I just hope it takes him a year or 2 instead of 20.
 

DVontel

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Good post Harry! Excellent take.

I said from day one Kliff is an average HC at best, but could be a very good NFL OC in time. It’s one thing being in charge of 1 side of the ball & another being in charge of a team.

I’ve seen plenty of Tech football over the years considering my better half & kids are Tech fans. It was a big running joke watching them on Saturdays with me & them that he never really coached a winner, then the Cards hired him lol.

I’ve never liked his game management (said so day 1) & his inability to win in the Big 12 despite a great offense & the best QB on the planet in Mahommes. Add those things together with a HC that basically ignores the defensive side of the ball & it spells trouble in the long run. Those 3 things really bother me.

I’m with Solar & others on this. I just can’t see it working big time in the W/L column & the goal is to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. I will say Kliff surprised me by running the ball more in the last 8 games & adapting his offense to less 4 wides in the same time frame.

I still say in 2 more years the way to go is put the full out blitz on Lincoln Riley. :mrgreen:
Lincoln Riley has yet to win a playoff game. In fact, his teams have pretty much been blown out in all of them. This is also a school where, outside of Texas, will get the best talent in the B12 no matter what.

Why are we acting like he’s God?
 

Cardsfaninlouky

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He has flaws for sure, just about every coach does. I like the way he adapted this yr to his personnel. Ran the ball & used 11 & 12 personnel sets a whole lot more. He does need to fix the 2 minute offense & his clock management. He calls good plays on his 2 PT conversions, I think they were perfect on all of them this season. He let VJ do his job because that's his thing, defense, KK's thing is offense. With KK being new to the NFL he stayed out of the way of the defense. That may change this coming season? If we get better talent on defense & the VJ defense still sucks..........? Then I'm fairly certain he will tell management to move on from him, if at that point management hasn't already decided to? Imo he kept his mouth shut about the defense because he knew nothing about an NFL defense. I think a lot of stuff changes next season. He now has a yr under his belt & will be hell bent on fixing the things that went wrong this yr, offense & defense. With better personnel on defense & the system simplified, hopefully it will be better in 2020? I have more faith in KK than some do on this board, I think the man has a vision & is smart enough to make it work. He needs the FO to get the right players in order for that vision to work. That's where I'm not as optimistic. Hope I'm wrong but with SK drafting & signing players you just never know.
 
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