Kliff Kingsbury was essentially announced as the new offensive coordinator for the Las Vegas Raiders according to ESPN, NFL.com and other major reputable media outlets.
Now suddenly, the former Arizona Cardinals head coach — who spent time with USC as an offensive assistant last season — has withdrawn his name from the Raiders search.
Kingsbury wasn’t great as a NFL head coach, but he’s regarded as a brilliant offensive mind and should thrive as an offensive coordinator.
One other major notable fact about a team at the top of the NFL Draft bringing in Kingsbury?
Last year, Kingsbury worked with Caleb Williams at USC as a senior offensive analyst and quarterbacks coach. Williams is widely regarded as a can’t-miss generational talent, and there’s been chatter he would prefer to reunite with Kliff Kingsbury vs. getting thrown into a situation with the Chicago Bears he is uncomfortable with.
There has also been plenty of reporting about how close Williams and his family are with Kingsbury, who has coached Johnny Manziel, Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray at various points during his collegiate and NFL coaching career.
Kingsbury compared Caleb Williams to Mahomes, who he coached at Texas Tech before Mahomes was drafted by Kansas City and Kingsbury left for Arizona.
“His joy for the game. His competitive spirit. The talent level is unbelievable,” Kingsbury said on “Conversations with Coach” with Bob Stoops. “Obviously, I’ve been around Patrick and he’s eerily similar in some ways: the ability to extend plays, off-platform throws, and just the way they both play the game is pretty scary.”
It’s not just Williams that has enjoyed working with Kingsbury. His dad, Carl Williams, reportedly is also a fan of Kingsbury, according to Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, who theorized back in January that the Bears and Raiders could get into a bidding war over Kingsbury as offensive coordinator in the hopes of securing Williams’ favor.
“Caleb and his dad, really into Kingsbury, so the Bears, this is not just like a new story, the Raiders want him, the Bears need him,” Cowherd said. “The Bears may pay him a college coach salary. This is a real thing. To get Caleb and make his dad happy, Kingsbury is the guy.”
Kliff Kingsbury Rumored To Land OC Position With Washington Commanders, Could They Land Caleb Williams?
Saturday’s development leads to even further questions about where Williams will land once the NFL Draft rolls around in April
There has been speculation made in the past that Williams does not want to be drafted by the Bears, fueled particularly in December when he liked a tweet by a fan saying that the Bears should draft Marvin Harrison Jr. and keep Fields as the quarterback. If Chicago decided to go the route of keeping Fields, the Raiders could make a lot of sense as a team to trade up considering they are outside the range of landing a top quarterback prospect like Williams, Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) February 3, 2024
Now that Kliff Kingsbury is out out on the Raiders, Colin Cowherd and other reporters are linking him to join the Washington Commanders, who happen to have the No. 2 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Caleb Williams is a D.C. native and there have been rumors he wants to play for his hometown team. While it may take a bunch of assets to trade up one spot to get him, it feels like Kingsbury joining the Washington staff is part of a bigger plan.
We will see how it plays out.