Although most San Francisco 49ers fans may be upset over the Arizona Cardinals hiring Kliff Kingsbury as head coach, Niner Noise breaks down how this move might benefit the Niners very soon.
The Arizona Cardinals’ hiring of Kliff Kingsbury as head coach was a shocker for many, including San Francisco 49ers fans. The former coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders was fired after last season, before being hired as USC’s offensive coordinator for all of a month or so before taking the Cardinals job.
Now Kingsbury, as a coach, brings a lot of questions. For starters, he had a losing record at Texas Tech. Now, you could counter that with his offensive wizardry, which led to interest in him. He had no relevant NFL experience, but he also is a master of spread concepts, which the NFL is chock-full of.
The biggest value with Kingsbury is his quarterback work. This man worked with the Denver Broncos’ Case Keenum, the Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield and the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, among others. For a Cardinals team, which had 2018 rookie Josh Rosen struggle, that is a must.
But, we are a 49ers site. So I’m not gonna spend all my time deciphering how Kingsbury will affect the Cardinals. There is a very tangible impact his hiring could have for the 49ers this offseason, though.
Kingsbury is an offensive coach. Cardinals president Steve Bidwell said specifically that (h/t NFL.com) “we [Arizona Cardinals] felt it was important to get an offensive play-caller, somebody who had tremendous success and experience doing that, and having the head coaching experience.”
Now, the Arizona offense was not good at all last year, and the offense isn’t stocked with untapped potential like the Los Angeles Rams were. Running back David Johnson and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald are the key offensive pillars of that team, with wide receiver Christian Kirk as an up and comer. Rosen was not good, but he’ll be set as the franchise QB, or is he?
This tweet states how Kingsbury would take Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, which the Cardinals do have. Now, obviously, there isn’t much to take away from this, but there’s something to extract.
The Cardinals will, most likely, stay with Rosen. But Kingsbury’s comments are probably an indication of the Cardinals’ plans. You don’t hire an offensive play caller as your head coach to then not focus on the offense.
The Cardinals have a glaring discrepancy on the offensive line, one that no play caller could be able to work with. It was ranked 32nd by Pro Football Focus for the entire year. In the draft, you have offensive tackles Greg Little from Ole Miss and Jonah Williams from Alabama.
Williams would be a completely defensible pick given the circumstances surrounding the team. That could come either with the No. 1 overall pick, or with a trade.
So why does that matter?
Well, I’m trying to map out how the 49ers might almost be guaranteed Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa. Does that make a difference? Well, although Bosa hasn’t played for most of the year, he is considered a surefire Pro Bowler by most draft pundits, and he’s widely viewed as the consensus top player in this year’s draft class. Some 49ers fans might want Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen, but the most important thing is choice. You want to have the choice.
But if Bosa is such a value, then there should be no reason why the Cardinals should not take him. Well, Kingsbury’s signing has an impact there, too.
Kingsbury did mention how he would want the Cardinals to have a 3-4 scheme, given their current defensive talent. Well, Pro Football Weekly broke down how “Nick Bosa is a natural 4-3 defensive end.” Now, it did say that Bosa had the talent to be a 3-4 linebacker, but drafting out of scheme can hurt.
With the hiring of Kingsbury, the 49ers’ path to Bosa got much easier. His selection justifies an offensive selection, or someone like Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams over Bosa.
Or, the Cardinals do take Bosa. What do you think the Cardinals could do, and what would the 49ers do in response?
Chime in on the comments section and speak your mind!