Kliff Kingsbury says Josh Rosen 'is a much, much better player than I was,' can run Air Raid offense
Kingsbury continues to express confidence in Rosen amid rampant Kyler Murray rumors
Before he became a coach, Kliff Kingsbury was a quarterback. He played for Texas Tech from 1998 through 2003, and finished his collegiate career as the NCAA record holder for single season and career passing attempts and completions, career interception rate, and the most single season and career games of 200 passing yards or more. He ran the Air Raid offense in college, though, and was generally not considered a top-flight prospect. He was drafted in the sixth round and bounced around the league for a few seasons, threw just two passes, spent a couple years in the CFL, and then retired to enter the coaching ranks.
A little more than a decade later, Kingsbury is the coach of the Arizona Cardinals and he's bringing his Air Raid offense to the NFL. And despite swirling rumors that his team will take Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick in this month's NFL draft, he's continuing to profess his confidence in incumbent quarterback Josh Rosen.
"He is a much, much better player than I was," Kingsbury said, per ESPN.com.
Kingsbury also believes that Rosen can run his style of offense.
"I was pretty athletic back in my day," Kingsbury said. "I was a pocket passer. Josh can move. He can extend plays more than people think. He has a great tennis background, very athletic and you don't have to be a 4.3 guy [in the 40-yard dash]. You just have to be able to move off the spot, keep your eyes downfield and extend the play enough for those guys to uncover, and when you watch the tape, he does a good job of that."
Kingsbury also noted that a coach's job is to mold his offense to the players on the team, not the other way around.
"It's our job -- whoever the coordinator is, the coach is -- to build around that guy and make sure you're doing stuff that he can do," Kingsbury said. "If he can run it, [then] do things he's good at running the football. If he's only a dropback passer, you better have concepts to get the ball out of his hand, [that] he knows where his reads are and [can] make quick decisions. The Air Raid, it has that, I guess, give-and-take in it, where you can make adjustments to it and be effective with different styles of play at that position."
We'll have to wait to see if Rosen actually gets a chance to run Kingsbury's offense, being that this is prime smokescreen season, but Kingsbury's been pretty consistent in maintaining that he has confidence the QB can do so. How much that matters to him in making a decision with the No. 1 overall pick remains to be seen.
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