Like Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury Is a Combo We Need to See

By Tully Corcoran

There’s no telling whether Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray will be good at their jobs in the NFL, individually or in tandem. But those two working together is something we all need to see.

Magic happens when a coach and a quarterback are perfect for each other. Bill Walsh and Joe Montana and Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are the all-time examples, but think also about Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. Separately, both were good. Together, they became greater than the sum of their parts.

Kingsbury-Murray has that kind of potential.

Kingsbury and Andy Reid come from the same coaching tree. Reid played for LaVell Edwards at BYU. Edwards invented the spread offense concepts that formed the basis for what we now call the Air Raid. Another BYU student, Mike Leach, fell in love with those concepts, and used them in a coaching career that took him to Texas Tech, where he coached quarterback Kliff Kingsbury.

After the 2018 NFL season, nobody can say you can’t run a “college offense” in the NFL. And if you can run a college offense in the NFL, then you’re eliminating 90 percent of your concerns about a quarterback like Kyler Murray. Size doesn’t matter much in the Air Raid — the offense was literally designed to help undersized BYU teams compete with bigger, faster teams. And since the offense that’s in Kingsbury’s DNA is what Murray has been running his whole life, there’s no uncertainty about how he’ll translate to “an NFL system.”

No offense to Josh Rosen here. It’s just that Kyler Murray is the perfect quarterback for Kliff Kingsbury and Kliff Kingsbury is the perfect offensive coordinator for Kyler Murray.

That’s just in theory, but it’s a theory that needs to be tested.