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Patriots Rumors: Kliff Kingsbury Considered by Bill Belichick for OC Role

Erin WalshJanuary 11, 2023

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during the second quarter of the game against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

It's no secret the New England Patriots are in desperate need of an offensive coordinator, and recently fired Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kinsbury appears to be on Bill Belichick's radar, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

"I can say Belichick's at least turned over rocks on this one," Breer wrote.

The Patriots suffered in the absence of former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is now head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

New England's Matt Patricia- and Joe Judge-led offense went on to be one of the worst in the NFL in 2022. It averaged 314.6 yards per game—208.0 passing yards and 106.6 rushing yards—which ranked toward the bottom of the league. It also averaged just 21.4 points per game.

Additionally, second-year quarterback Mac Jones took a step backward in his development without a true offensive coordinator. He completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 2,997 yards and 14 touchdowns against 11 interceptions in 2022.

During his 2021 rookie season, Jones finished second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting after completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns against 13 interceptions.

After the Patriots were eliminated from postseason contention following a Week 18 loss to the Buffalo Bills, team owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft wrote a letter to the team's season ticket holders promising "critical" offseason evaluations.

The Krafts wrote:

"Unfortunately, our season ended sooner than we hoped (Sunday) afternoon in Buffalo. While we always want to be playing games with playoff implications in Week 18, our expectation was to perform better throughout the season and to advance through the playoffs. We can assure you that no one in our organization is satisfied with the results from this past season.
"In the weeks ahead, we will be making critical evaluations of all elements of our football operation as we strive to improve and return to the playoffs next year." 

Those evaluations appear to be underway as Robert Kraft has already met with Belichick to discuss the team's 2022 shortcomings and to address the 2023 season, according to NBC Sports Boston's Patriots insider Tom E. Curran.

Curran wrote that his "understanding is offensive coaching reassignments are going to happen and several offensive coaches are under consideration for the Patriots' 2023 staff," hence the Kingsbury rumors.

Breer reported Jan. 8 that the Patriots have "done their research" on Kingsbury.

Kingsbury, a former quarterback, began his NFL career in 2003 when the Patriots selected him in the sixth round of the NFL draft out of Texas Tech. He entered coaching in 2008 as an offensive quality control coach for the Houston Texans.

Although the Patriots appear to be considering Kingsbury, Breer wrote that Kingsbury might take a year off before returning to coaching, which would mean Belichick would have to look elsewhere for a new OC.

Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, Cleveland Browns passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea and Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley have also been mentioned as possible offensive coordinator candidates.