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Raiders to hire former Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury as offensive coordinator, per report

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury interacts with players during warmups before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 29-23 in overtime. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Kliff Kingsbury is reportedly back in the NFL. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images) (Jeff Bottari via Getty Images)

The Las Vegas Raiders went with a notable name to fill their offensive coordinator slot.

The team is expected to hire former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury as their next offensive coordinator under promoted head coach Antonio Pierce, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Kingsbury had also reportedly interviewed with the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport also reported that the Raiders interviewed UCLA head coach Chip Kelly twice before landing on Kingsbury. With current defensive coordinator Patrick Graham likely staying after interviewing for head-coaching positions, offensive coordinator was the biggest spot left in Las Vegas.

The hire is a return to the NFL for Kingsbury, who spent a season as an offensive analyst at USC after being fired by the Cardinals last year. A former journeyman quarterback in the NFL and CFL, Kingsbury rose through the college ranks as an Air Raid guru before jumping from Texas Tech, where he was fired after six seasons, to the Cardinals.

Can Kliff Kingsbury juice the Raiders' offense?

Kingsbury's tenure in Arizona saw the team reach the playoffs in the 2021 season and collapse to a 4-13 record in 2022. He constructed an unsurprising pass-heavy attack around former No. 1 draft pick Kyler Murray, but his teams struggled with more traditional aspects of the game and repeatedly faltered late in the season.

Even though he hasn't worked out as a head coach, Kingsbury's reputation as a sharp offensive mind is clearly intact enough to get a shot at running an NFL offense.

The big question is who will be running his offense in 2024, as the Raiders don't have a clear future at quarterback these days. Jimmy Garoppolo began the season as the starter, but was benched in favor of fourth-round rookie Aidan O'Connell, who led the team to a 5-4 finish. O'Connell figures to have a shot at the starting job for next season, though it's very conceivable the Raiders will look elsewhere for help.

Las Vegas holds the No. 13 pick in the NFL Draft. Normally, that would be too low to get a top quarterback, but this year's class is deep. USC's Caleb Williams, UNC's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels are not likely to fall out of the top 10, but players like Oregon's Bo Nix, Michigan's J.J. McCarthy and Washington's Michael Penix Jr. could be considered.

Whomever ends up throwing the ball for the Raiders, they can probably expect to throw it a lot for Kingsbury.