It took a while, but first-year Las Vegas Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce has reportedly decided on the most critical addition to his staff as he is hiring Kliff Kingsbury as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Kingsbury has been considered a top candidate during the entire process. Kingsbury, who had multiple interviews to be an offensive coordinator, was the senior offensive analyst at USC in 2023.
Kingsbury, 44, was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2019-22 before being fired. It was his only NFL coaching experience.
Before hiring Kingsbury, the Raiders reportedly interviewed (or had an interest in) Luke Getsy, Alex Van Pelt, Thad Lewis, Chip Kelly and Mike Sullivan. The team wanted to interview Zac Robinson and Dan Pitcher, but they landed in Atlanta and Cincinnati, respectively.
Kingsbury is known for his “Air Raid Offense,” which is a wide-open attack. The Raiders, of course, will have to find a quarterback to run Kingsbury’s offense. They are expected to try to upgrade from rookie Aidan O’Connell, who was the starter when Pierce took over for the final nine games of the season.
The Raiders draft No. 13, so they will likely have to trade up to get a top quarterback prospect. But the teams drafting in the top three all need a quarterback. Kingsbury, of course, was with Caleb Williams in 2023, so that will spark Raiders’ speculation. But the Chicago Bears are currently expected to draft Williams with the No. 1 pick.
The Raiders have a lot of decisions to make, but adding Kingsbury is a key step as Pierce’s takes over.
Also, the team could bring back former coach Hue Jackson in a coaching role.