Word surfaced Monday that USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury was meeting with Gang Green’s brass after USC had blocked all interview requests last week. The Jets and Cardinals were poised to interview the former Texas Tech head coach before USC intervened.
Those restrictions were lifted to pave the way for a meet-and-greet with Christopher Johnson and Mike Maccagnan. Kingsbury, who played one nondescript season with the Jets in 2005, has been coveted in NFL circles for his innovation and ability to work with quarterbacks.
His ouster from Texas Tech in November after a 35-40 record in six seasons hasn’t dissuaded teams from making a run at him.
Kingsbury has worked with a litany of star college quarterbacks, including Johnny Manziel, Case Keenum, Baker Mayfield, Davis Webb and Patrick Mahomes for explosive, innovative offenses. Andy Reid and Sean McVay have consulted him and cherry-picked ideas.
The 39-year-old Kingsbury would be a slam-dunk offensive coordinator to help cultivate Darnold’s talents, but it’s fair to wonder whether he’s ready to be an NFL head coach without any prior coaching experience in the league. There’s also a legitimate concern about what kind of staff he’d be able to put together.
“I’m just happy that my guy gets an opportunity, that’s all!” Adams tweeted. “I support him no matter what! LUV”
The Jets have also interviewed former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who comes with his own set of risks and question marks, former Dolphins coach Adam Gase, Cowboys defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard and Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Creative Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken is on deck.
Kingsbury would be an outside-the-box choice for a team that should be looking to hire a forward thinker.