Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

It appears the Pittsburgh Steelers are ramping up their offensive coordinator search. The Steelers will speak with former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury about the position, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King, via 93.7 The Fan. 

Kingsbury, 44, was Arizona’s head coach from 2019-22. The Cardinals posted a 28-37-1 record over that span that included a playoff berth in 2021. Kingsbury spent this past football season as USC’s senior offensive analyst. 

The Steelers’ possible interest in Kingsbury may have to do with his experience working with Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who was a rookie when Kingsbury came to Arizona. During their four seasons together, Murray earned two Pro Bowl nods while becoming one of the NFL’s top dual-threat quarterbacks. In 2021, he joined Kordell Stewart and Cam Newton as the only quarterbacks in league history to throw for at least 20 touchdowns and run for at least 10 more scores in the same season. 

Kingsbury’s playing career actually included a year as Tom Brady’s teammate in 2003. While he spent the year on injured reserve, Kingsbury still won a Super Bowl ring that year while getting an up-close look at arguably the greatest quarterback in league history in his prime. 

Prior to coaching in Arizona, Kingsbury was the head coach at his alma mater, Texas Tech, from 2013-18. The Red Raiders went to three bowl games over that span and compiled an overall record of 35-40. 

In college, Kingsbury played under one of the most innovative offensive-minded coaches in modern times in Mike Leach. During his three years as Leach’s starting quarterback, Kingsbury threw 91 touchdowns against just 39 interceptions. In 2002, he threw for 5,017 yards with 45 touchdowns and 13 picks. He won the Sammy Baugh Trophy that year, which is awarded annually to the nation’s most outstanding passer. 

Whoever is hired as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator will be charged with helping develop Kenny Pickett, who followed his promising rookie season with an injury-marred sophomore campaign. Pittsburgh’s offense does have several notable players to build around, including running backs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren, wideouts George Pickens and Diontae Johnson, tight end Pat Freiermuth and offensive tackle and 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones. 

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