While he was expected to be named the Las Vegas Raiders’ new offensive coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury apparently has other ideas in mind. Kingsbury has withdrawn his name from consideration to be the Raiders’ next OC, according to ESPN. Kingsbury’s decision comes after both sides considered it a formality that he was coming to Las Vegas, according to The Athletic.
Kingsbury had been discussed as an offensive coordinator candidate with the Washington Commanders, according to CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones. Washington could possibly still be in play for Kingsbury’s services given Saturday’s news.
With Kingsbury no longer in play, the Raiders will continue their search for a new OC. Luke Getsy, who recently served as the OC in Chicago, was considered a strong candidate during the initial interview process, via ESPN. The team has also spoken to former Chiefs/Commanders OC Eric Bieniemy and Pep Hamilton, who in 2022 served as the Texans’ OC.
The Raiders interviewed a couple big names for this job. NFL Media reports that Vegas interviewed current UCLA head coach Chip Kelly at least twice, but had reportedly targeted Kingsbury for the job. The 44-year-old reportedly interviewed with several teams for their offensive coordinator openings, including the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kingsbury served as an offensive analyst for USC this past season after he was fired by Arizona last January. He went 28-37-1 during four seasons with the Cardinals, and made the playoffs in 2021 after going 11-6. After going 5-10-1 in his first NFL season, Kingsbury improved his win total by three wins each of the next two years. Then, things fell apart in 2022, as Arizona finished in last place in the NFC West with a 4-13 record. Previously, Kingsbury served as the head coach at Texas Tech, and offensive coordinator at Texas A&M the year Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy.
When the Raiders fired Josh McDaniels in the middle of last season, Antonio Pierce stepped in and immediately improved the defense. From Weeks 9-18, the Raiders allowed an average of 16 points per game, which led the league. As for the offense, Vegas finished with the sixth-worst unit in yards per game (289.5), and 10th-worst in points per game (19.5).
The Raiders have several questions to answer this offseason, such as who will be the starting quarterback and if Josh Jacobs will re-sign with the club. They also still need to figure out who their next offensive coordinator is going to be.