Its been an emotional week for the Arizona Cardinals with JJ Watt announcing his retirement, and the season not headed in the direction that the Cardinals wanted it to go. Needless to say after a 4-13 finish the Cardinals are hitting the restart button.
Less than 24 hours removed from their 38-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Cardinals have parted ways with both head coach Kliff Kingsbury and General Manager Steve Keim.
Under the helm of Kingsbury, the Arizona Cardinals have made the playoffs once. That playoff berth came last year, and although it resulted in a wildcard loss, things were looking promising. That outlook fell flat and went the entirely opposite direction from 11-6 and making the playoffs to going 4-13 and mathematically being eliminated from the playoffs weeks before the season’s end. Granted, Kyler Murray may have been hurt this season but the Cardinals didn’t do much better with him playing. With the primary signal caller under center, the red and white faithful saw their team go 3-8 verses 1-5 without Murray.
Kingsbury struggled as a head coach at Texas Tech. After being fired there, he went to USC to be the offensive coordinator. While he was in that position both the New York Jets and Cardinals came calling. Kingsbury was one of the most unique coaching hires the NFL has seen. Imagine another coach getting fired for four straight losing seasons in college and immediately being hired as an NFL head coach. It turns out, it’s really hard to win in the NFL if you can’t win in the Big 12.
In two of the four seasons that Kingsbury has been the head coach of the Cardinals, they were off to promising starts. Those starts turned into late-season collapses. Kingsbury had a 28-37-1 record with the Cardinals, with one playoff trip in four seasons.
In addition, Steve Keim is stepping away as the Cardinals’ general manager to focus on his health according to the Cardinals. Kingsbury and Keim signed contract extensions last March.
Arizona Cardinals start search for new coach
The Cardinals’ opening isn’t a great one.
They have a good young quarterback in Murray, though he has a $230 million contract and will be coming off a late-season ACL tear. The rest of the roster doesn’t feature much young talent. There’s not a rich history.
What the incoming coach will inherit is Murray and a top pick, projected to be in the top five. The young QB has shown some promise in his first four years, pair that with a good offense, and the Cardinals could be solid in a few years.
The Cardinals have the longest championship drought in the NFL. In fact, their last title came in 1947 when the franchise was in Chicago. They tried something unconventional to break that drought by hiring Kingsbury. It didn’t work, and now they have to regroup.
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