As Kliff Kingsbury continues to generate buzz as an NFL coaching candidate, the former Texas Tech coach gained an expected, but valuable endorsement on Wednesday when Chiefs quarterback and MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes advocated that Kingsbury can succeed at the next level.
According to Mahomes, who played collegiately at Texas Tech before the Chiefs traded up to draft him in the first round of last year's draft, Kingsbury's "innovativeness" would translate well from college football to the NFL.
"I haven't talked to him at all about where he's thinking about going or where he's thinking about ending up," Mahomes said, per The Kansas City Star. "But I know if he did come to the NFL, he has the work ethic and he has the mind and he has the innovativeness, I guess you would say -- if that's a word -- to be in this league. Whatever he does, I know he'll have success doing it."
Again, this shouldn't come as a surprise. For one, Mahomes played under Kingsbury at Texas Tech. The two are still close enough that they spoke after
"I talked to Coach Kingsbury and he let me know the news, but at the same time I kind of saw it on Twitter," Mahomes said. "I'm close to Coach Kingsbury. He really helped my game and helped me as a person a lot. He's a genuine good person and at the same time a very smart football coach. I know he'll land back on his feet somewhere else. I'm excited for the future with him."
Two, the general consensus agrees with Mahomes. While Kingsbury had difficulty winning games at Texas Tech (he went 35-40 in six years), he didn't have trouble scoring points. The Red Raiders scored at least 35 points per game in four of his six seasons. Mahomes isn't the only NFL quarterback who has spent time with him. So did Baker Mayfield, Davis Webb, and Case Keenum.
As innovative offenses take over the NFL, it's no surprise that Kingsbury is drawing interest from NFL teams. According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, Kingsbury has already gotten offers.
The phone of former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has been ringing off the hook from NFL teams, including two that have given him firm offers. College offense has infiltrated the NFL and Kingsbury's superb knowledge of it is in high demand.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) November 27, 2018
It's not difficult to draw up a list of teams that could be interested. Any team that has a young quarterback but is missing an innovative offensive-minded coach could be on the list. And right now, there are plenty of teams that fit the criteria, from the Cardinals and Josh Rosen to the Jets and Sam Darnold to the Browns and Mayfield (though Mayfield and Kingsbury's ).
There's no guarantee that Kingsbury winds up in the NFL.
But it's not difficult to understand why he's drawing interest in the NFL. He'll be one of more intriguing names to monitor once jobs begin opening up around the league.