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Reports: Kliff Kingsbury Interviewing with NFL Teams, Hasn't Resigned from USC

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2019

FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2018, file photo, Texas Tech Kliff Kingsbury walks off the field during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, in Lubbock, Texas. Former Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury is again on the hot seat as coach of his alma mater. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson, File)
Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

Current USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury is reportedly interviewing with NFL teams, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

Glazer reported that "likely means [Kingsbury] has resigned as USC offensive coordinator" and that "USC was blocking him from interviewing for NFL head coaching openings," though Adam Maya of Rivals noted that Kingsbury hasn't resigned.

ESPN's Adam Schefter added that Kingsbury is expected to begin the interviewing process at the NFL level, and the "Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets wanted to talk to him, and Kingsbury is square in the head coach mix."

Kingsbury met with the Jets on Monday regarding their open position, according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports. 

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported Saturday that Kingsbury might pay the buyout in his contract and resign from the Trojans if they continue to prevent him from interviewing with NFL teams—though it now appears USC has stepped out of the way. Albert Breer of The MMQB noted that there's been "steady buzz over the last three or four days the ex-Texas Tech coach is a very strong possibility" for the Cardinals.

As for the Jets, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Saturday that New York "has real interest in Kingsbury, who they believe is an innovative offensive mind who could unleash Sam Darnold's enormous talent."

The Cardinals, like the Jets, also have a young quarterback in need of development in Josh Rosen. Given that Kingsbury has crossed paths with quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum in his coaching career, it isn't surprising that teams with up-and-coming quarterbacks are showing interest. 

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The 39-year-old served as Houston's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2011 and Texas A&M's offensive coordinator in 2012, working with Johnny Manziel in his Heisman Trophy season. He then became the head coach for Texas Tech (2013-18) before being fired this year. Somewhat surprisingly, he took the offensive coordinator position at USC, though in the aftermath his name has continued to generate buzz in NFL circles.

It's possible that Kingsbury will remain with USC in 2019. But it's appearing more and more likely his future is in the NFL.