The Arizona Cardinals are going to be making some major regime changes this off-season. After committing to the duo of head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim just 10 months ago, they have decided to move on.
Kingsbury was fired on Monday after the Cardinals finished up a disastrous 4-13 season. This is a somewhat shocking move given the fact that he signed an extension through 2027 in March of 2022. That came after the Cardinals improved their win total for a third consecutive season, going 11-6 before losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round.
That would end up being the peak of Kingsbury’s time as head coach in the desert as this season was a difficult one. Arizona’s roster was missing key pieces throughout the season. Star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins missed the first six games because of a suspension while quarterback Kyler Murray missed the last five because of an ACL tear. Tight end Zach Ertz missed the final seven games and the offensive line was without four of their five starters for stretches.
Alas, that didn’t give Kingsbury any leeway when it came to the decision to move on. The trouble trending of his teams falling off in the second half of the season continued, which likely played a part in the Cardinals deciding to go in a different direction.
Through 2021, Kingsbury-led teams found success early on, going 42-20-1 in the first seven games of the season but 17-44 after that. 2022 was no different as the Cardinals went 3-4 out of the gate before finishing 1-9.
Murray, who signed a massive extension of his own during the 2022 offseason, would routinely take shots at the Cardinals’ schemes during press conferences. He and Kingsbury were shown getting into it on the sidelines on a few occasions and that isn’t a power struggle that any head coach, especially one with Kingsbury’s resume, is going to win.
His hiring raised a lot of eyebrows as Kingsbury didn’t find a ton of success at Texas Tech other than having a high-octane offense. But, that offense didn’t always translate to the NFL level as he went 28-37-1 as the team’s head coach.
While Kingsbury was fired, Keim was not. He is stepping away from his position so that he can focus on his health. Keim has been on health-related leave since mid-December and will now be able to focus solely on improving his well-being. That ends a very long tenure with the team, as he began as a college scout in 1999 before becoming general manager in 2013.