Kliff Kingsbury recently said he thought he'd be fired after two games with the Arizona Cardinals during a conversation with The Ringer's Ryen Russillo. Jump ahead to 16:07.
If the Cardinals are trying to bury this story, they shouldn't be. This is the best I've felt about Kliff Kingsbury since he was hired. You know why? It shows me that he's self-aware.
All season long Kliff did his best dumb jock impression. He tricked us into thinking he was just a 6' 2", good-looking, Instagram-model-dating Ken Barbie Doll, without another layer behind his formulaic press conferences.
Was that guy going to be self-aware enough to self-assess and get better? Could I be into that guy? No, and no.
But the guy I heard during that candid, hour-long conversation with Ryen Russillo? That guy was perceptive, mindful and introspective. I can get down with that.
In fact, I'm more hopeful now than I was all season. I never expected Kingsbury to be Belichick. Of course not. Not even Sean McVay, as much as the Cardinals tried to sell us on that. I expected a creative offensive mind who could help Kyler Murray transition into the NFL. I got that. What I hoped for, and what the Cardinals knew they were hiring, was a guy that was smart, and self-aware enough to grow into a job that was clearly too big for him in 2019.
We've all been where Kliff Kingsbury was during halftime of that Detroit Lions game. I believe that if you care enough about your job, "I totally suck at this" comes with the territory on a daily basis. Guilty. Even Bill Belichick reportedly admitted to Herm Edwards that he thought he'd be canned at the beginning of his Patriots career.
We all have a guy in our office who has no sense of where he stands in the pecking order. He's the same guy who complains about his talent not being recognized 20 years later. That guy has no self-awareness, and that guy sucks.
Kliff's conversation with Russillo shows me that he has self-awareness, and he doesn't suck. The Cardinals should be proud of that, not disappointed.