Kliff Kingsbury won’t address Oklahoma coaching rumors

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The Arizona Cardinals were on their bye this past weekend but head coach Kliff Kingsbury managed to find his way into the news. With the news of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley taking the same job at USC, Kingsbury was named as a potential target to replace Riley at Oklahoma.

Kingsbury spoke to reporters on Monday and, naturally, it was the first thing he was asked about.

He would not even address it.

“I don’t get into those things,” he said. “My sole focus the last couple weeks has been the Chicago Bears, and after watching them on Thanksgiving, it needs to be because they’re a really good football team and had a big win. So, that’s where my focus has been.”

He said he wasn’t affected by Sunday’s rumor because he was “in the movie room off the grid pretty much all day.”

There is no upside to him addressing it. The report clearly came out for a reason. If he says he is interested, then it looks like he isn’t focused on the Cardinals or their game this week against the Bears.

If he flat out denies his interest, he removes leverage for potential contract extension talks with the Cardinals and also risks sounding hypocritical if he were to ultimately take the job.

That said, he did comment about what he likes about coaching in the NFL.

“I really enjoy the professionalism that these guys approach the game with each and every day – highly motivated, take care of their bodies, study the game,” he said. “It inspires you to be a better coach and step your game up because you better come into that meeting room knowing what you’re talking about with a level of expertise and trust for those guys, or you’ll lose them.”

Cardinals players have comments about the respect they have for Kingsbury’s work ethic and focus. That would take a hit if he were to publicly address a rumor of something that won’t gain any real traction either way until the end of the season.

Will the rumor persist? Of course, at least until someone else is named the head coach.

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