Kliff Kingsbury has made his return to the NFL.
On Monday, the Commanders announced the deal had been made official.
An experienced play-caller
Kliff Kingsbury is our new offensive coordinator pic.twitter.com/U6zBkZ4oCB
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) February 5, 2024
Kingsbury marks the first major hire of Dan Quinn's tenure with the Commanders. Specifics of his contract are not yet known, though it's reportedly a three-year agreement. With Kingsbury's arrival in Washington, the Commanders are now moving on from former offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
"Kliff has always been somebody that I kept up with," Quinn said on Monday. "In the same way of why I wanted to hire Kyle years ago, he was hard to go against. He would stretch the field horizontally and vertically, and going against Kliff those same feelings you had. This is gonna be tough. Matchups, formations, speed, shots down the field, aggressiveness, boldness to go.
"As a coach you were writing down some names. If this is something in your future — if I get that shot, this is somebody I would want to talk to."
Kingsbury was expected to take over as the offensive coordinator with the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this week under new head coach Antonio Pierce. On Saturday, however, Kingsbury reportedly withdrew his name from consideration after a breakdown in contract negotiations. He then quickly became a favorite for the job in Washington.
Now, Kingsbury will join the Commanders under Quinn, who took the job after spending the past three seasons as the Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator. Quinn and the Commanders were also reportedly interested in UCLA head coach Chip Kelly, San Francisco 49ers tight ends coach Brian Fleury and others for the job.
The Commanders also hired their new defensive coordinator Sunday night. The team struck a deal to bring in Joe Whitt Jr., according to Rapoport. Whitt last worked with Quinn as a passing-game coordinator and secondary coach. He was set to interview for the defensive coordinator position with the Cowboys on Monday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 5, 2024
Kingsbury, 46, spent six seasons as the head coach at Texas Tech, where he worked with both Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield. He last spent four seasons in the league as the Cardinals' head coach, and he compiled a 28-37-1 record. The team reached the playoffs just once and went 4-13 in his final season with the franchise before he was fired last January. Kingsbury, who spent this last season working as both USC's quarterbacks coach and an offensive analyst, also interviewed with the Chicago Bears for their offensive coordinator position this coaching cycle.
Kingsbury will now be tasked with turning around the Commanders' offense and quarterback Sam Howell, who is set to enter his third season with the team this fall. The Commanders went just 4-13 last season before they fired head coach Ron Rivera. Howell, who took over as a starter for the first time in his career, threw for 3,946 yards with 21 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
The Commanders have the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft later this spring, too, so they could move to draft a replacement quarterback for Howell — including USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who spent last season working with Kingsbury in Los Angeles. Yahoo Sports' Nate Tice had Williams going to the Commanders in his latest mock draft.