Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray Are Running Out of Time to Produce Fireworks - The Ringer

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Former NFL coach Rex Ryan has been an outspoken critic of Kliff Kingsbury and his Air Raid offense since the Arizona Cardinals hired him.

He continued his criticism of the coach and his offensive system in an appearance on ESPN radio's Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin Show on Thursday, slamming Kingsbury's system.

A question from Keyshawn Johnson set Ryan off on the Cardinals coach and his offense in Arizona.

After Johnson said: "I'm not hating on Kyler Murray. I'm hating on the Air Raid system," the former NFL wide receiver asked Ryan if he liked Kingsbury's offense and if he would implement it if he returned to coach in the NFL.

A laughing Rex Ryan replied, "You know Key, when Kliff Kingsbury came into the league, I was like ‘Dude is going to get smoked’," Ryan said on the show. “And quite honestly it has because in college football, you have 100 some kids on your roster. So, you don’t care, you can go as fast as you want, you can do all this type of stuff and you’re going to wear out that defense. Well, you’re wearing out your own damn defense."

Ryan continued: "Yes, let's face it. This Air Raid system like he's implemented from college, you had the greatest player on the planet in Patrick Mahomes and you were .500 as a head coach at Texas Tech. Oh, by the way you had Baker Mayfield, too. So, it's like, are you kidding me? This doesn't win games. It puts up yardage. It puts up all this and I was criticized beyond belief about, ‘Well, see there you go, he’s Neanderthal football.' Well, Neanderthal football still wins. You better be able to do both. When you need to run the football to be able to close out games, you better be able to do it. The same thing is here. Look, this isn't, you know, I mean getting it out basketball on grass. That's the most boring crap of all time. OK, now Kyler Murray is special. DeAndre Hopkins, special. I don't care what offense you are going to do, you're going to be successful with those guys. OK, there is no question. I think Kliff knows it now, it's not about how many snaps you get, it's about winning football games and there is two pieces to it, offense, defense and special teams, three phases of the game and you need to understand how you can protect one side or the other."


Ryan wasn't done: "Quite honestly I think his defense is ready to take a big step forward, but you as a head coach have got to bring back this Air Raid thing and go back to a damn NFL offense where you're balanced, you are able to run the football, you are able to protect the quarterback instead of letting this young super star back there, you know, do his thing. Like he is going to work his magic. I don't know if people realize how special this young quarterback is, but do more of the Russell Wilson type offense than this Air Raid thing and I think you will be more productive."

It wasn't all negative, however.

Ryan did pay Kingsbury a rare compliment during the interview, saying: "We've seen him back off on that and quite honestly he has grown. He's a better coach than when he came into the league."
I think he hit on some solid points

Let's see how much KK has grown when we see the offense finally unleashed

Too many 3 and outs to wear out the D?

Or sustained drives resulting in points and taking time off the clock
 

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I was excited when we were told uptempo/no huddle offense. But I didn’t think it would be 98% of the time.
I think it’s is counter productive. I think it leads to fatigue on the defense when your offense goes 3 and out. I think it leads to fatigue on the offense too. Fatigue leads to mistakes which is evident to the amount of pre-snap penalties we’ve endured.

I also think Kyler needs to be under center much more.

I hope Kliff adjust to all of this. If not we are going to once again see a lot of yards in the middle of the field, penalties and Kyler running for his life… hopefully not 2 yards short of the LOS.
 

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I was excited when we were told uptempo/no huddle offense. But I didn’t think it would be 98% of the time.
I think it’s is counter productive. I think it leads to fatigue on the defense when your offense goes 3 and out. I think it leads to fatigue on the offense too. Fatigue leads to mistakes which is evident to the amount of pre-snap penalties we’ve endured.

I also think Kyler needs to be under center much more.

I hope Kliff adjust to all of this. If not we are going to once again see a lot of yards in the middle of the field, penalties and Kyler running for his life… hopefully not 2 yards short of the LOS.

Its like a boxing match. You can't just keep throwing punches. There are times you need to slow down and pick your punches or you're spent by round 4.
 

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Its like a boxing match. You can't just keep throwing punches. There are times you need to slow down and pick your punches or you're spent by round 4.
We don't do it 98% of the time. Kliff very rarely goes up-tempo unless the offense has already created a first down.
 

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Kliff has work to do, but why would anyone listen to Rex Ryan's takes on offensive football?

Rex is a clown but he's also not really wrong is he?

His offense hasn't really worked. It's been carried by talent rather than enhancing talent. And yes Kliff has grown and has got better but he's still clinging to principles that just don't work well at this level.
 

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We don't do it 98% of the time. Kliff very rarely goes up-tempo unless the offense has already created a first down.
32% of our plays were no huddle last year. Next highest was Giants at 23% then Titans at 13%.

Tampa and KC were 3% and 1%.

We also led the league in shortest time between snaps in neutral situations.
 

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Rex is a clown but he's also not really wrong is he?

His offense hasn't really worked. It's been carried by talent rather than enhancing talent. And yes Kliff has grown and has got better but he's still clinging to principles that just don't work well at this level.
contrarian take:

Kliff isnt perfect and both scheme and execution need to improve in certain areas, but:

the offense scheme overall is fine and will produce as long at K1 is healthy.

for all its problems in 2020: it finished 6th in yards, 13th in points and was 10th in red zone % for scoring TDs. This doesn't happen with an offense that doesn't work well.

as a control for "it was the schedule": the 2020 Rams had a healthy offense and McVay is one of those guys who "enhances talent" -- they finished 23rd in pts per game / 19th in redzone.
 

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contrarian take:

Kliff isnt perfect and both scheme and execution need to improve in certain areas, but:

the offense scheme overall is fine and will produce as long at K1 is healthy.

for all its problems in 2020: it finished 6th in yards, 13th in points and was 10th in red zone % for scoring TDs. This doesn't happen with an offense that doesn't work well.

as a control for "it was the schedule": the 2020 Rams had a healthy offense and McVay is one of those guys who "enhances talent" -- they finished 23rd in pts per game / 19th in redzone.

Several analytical sites and respected analysts disagree. Heck, even the average fan can tell you that running so much no huddle, so much tempo, so little pre snap motion, so little route variation, barely moving players around and doing that every week with little regard for who you are playing is not a recipe for successful football.
 

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Several analytical sites and respected analysts disagree. Heck, even the average fan can tell you that running so much no huddle, so much tempo, so little pre snap motion, so little route variation, barely moving players around and doing that every week with little regard for who you are playing is not a recipe for successful football.
hence the "contrarian take"

i like analytics, but they measure offensive performance overall rather picking on scheme. So we are back to "is it talent, or is it scheme?" I think its mostly talent, with some K1 shoulder issues thrown in.

what is unanswered: the offense used lots of motion in 2019 but far less in 2020. The route trees were more varied in 2019 than 2020. There is likely a football reason for this other than "kliff is dumb".
 

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hence the "contrarian take"

i like analytics, but they measure offensive performance overall rather picking on scheme. So we are back to "is it talent, or is it scheme?" I think its mostly talent, with some K1 shoulder issues thrown in.

what is unanswered: the offense used lots of motion in 2019 but far less in 2020. The route trees were more varied in 2019 than 2020. There is likely a football reason for this other than "kliff is dumb".

I agree but what could the answer possibly be? What coach has ever said "We have a top 3 WR now, better receivers overall, a better O line, our QB has a year under his belt...what we really need to do now is make our scheme simpler".

I just can't think why. I've said something similar before when pointing our Kirk's usage from '19 to '20. Kirks targets dropped from 108 to 79 which was bad enough, I know we had Nuk but we trow a lot of balls to go around. But he stopped using Kirk on runs. Kirk had 10 rushes for 93 yards in '19 at 9.3 YPC. So what did Kliff do? Give him 2 in 2020.
 
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