‘This is not sustainable’: How Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure with the Cardinals has gone wrong

  • ESPN staff writer
  • Previously a college football reporter for CBSSports.com
  • University of Florida graduate

  • Covered the Cardinals since 2012
  • Graduate of Indiana University
  • Member of Pro Football Writers of America

TEMPE, Ariz. — Two days before the Arizona Cardinals were eliminated from playoff contention after a lifeless 24-15 loss to the woeful Denver Broncos on Sunday, Kliff Kingsbury was asked a question in a year full of them.

“You’ve been obviously a head coach for a minute now here and at Texas Tech …” the question began before the fourth-year head coach interrupted.

“Ten years,” Kingsbury pointed out, referring to six years in Lubbock and four in Arizona.

“It feels like 100,” he added.

The weight of the past few seasons — especially this one — has taken its toll on the 43-year-old Kingsbury to the point that multiple people close to him have openly wondered whether he would walk away after the season.

There is also a very real possibility that Kingsbury, with a 28-34-1 head-coaching record in the NFL and without a playoff win during his tenure, will be fired by owner Michael Bidwill, though multiple team sources see a path where Bidwill gives Kingsbury another year, due in part to injuries ravaging the roster and a personnel department in flux.

Kingsbury’s future with the Cardinals has long been rooted in his relationships with three key people — quarterback Kyler Murray, general manager Steve Keim and Bidwill. All three of those relationships have soured to varying degrees the past two years.

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