Though he never officially coached under Bill Belichick, Kliff Kingsbury still learned a lot about his eventual career during his time in New England.
Kingsbury, the new head coach of the Cardinals, was a quarterback when the Patriots made him a sixth-round pick in the 2003 draft. After an injury meant he was ruled out for the season, Kingsbury effectively became a coach, working under then-offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to help prepare the team.
It was in this period that Kingsbury got his first glimpse at the coaching world. His admiration for Belichick grew during the experience.
“With that team, each and every day — it didn’t matter if it was a preseason game or an offseason practice — you were going to be prepared,” Kingsbury said in a recent Cardinals interview with Kyle Odegard. “You were going to know what was going on. That’s why [Belichick’s] had such great success. That would be the biggest thing I took from him, was watching his work ethic and the level of preparation that he put his team through.”
Kingsbury has work to do in turning the Cardinals around. Inheriting a 3-13 team from 2018, the rookie NFL coach is also working with a rookie quarterback (No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray). Kingsbury understands that he can help provide his team with a leg up if he’s doing his job well.
Again, he cited Belichick as the league’s gold standard.
“It starts with the players, obviously — it’s about those guys — but when you have great coaches like coach Belichick, and he gets a read on something or comes up with a scheme that’s working, that’s why he’s the best to ever do it.”