For nine straight seasons as a head coach at Texas Tech and then Arizona, a good-to-great start for coach Kliff Kingsbury became a bad finish.
This year, 10-2 became 1-5 and a one-game exit from the postseason. Three days later, conflicting reports have emerged regarding whether owner Michael Bidwill has met with Kingsbury regarding the disastrous end to a promising season.
Kyle Odegard, who previously worked for the team’s official website, reported on Thursday afternoon that a “tense meeting” occurred on Wednesday between Bidwill, Kingsbury, and G.M. Steve Keim. Odegard added that “shit hit the fan” during the meeting.
Ian Rapoport quickly contradicted that report, claiming that “there has been no meeting.”
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic adds that, while an unnamed source “didn’t hear of this meeting,” Bidwill is “very, very upset” with the manner in which the regular season ended and with the team’s one-game flameout in the postseason.
After an 8-0 start, the Cardinals lost a close Thursday night game against the Packers. Two weeks later, the Cardinals were blown out by the mediocre Panthers. The Cardinals also were outclassed by the lowly Lions, and they lost a Week 18 game against the Seahawks. For Arizona, the division title was on the line. For the Seahawks, nothing was on the line.
The Cardinals lost five straight home games to end the season, and they were outclassed on Monday night against the Rams.
Frankly, the fact that a meeting hasn’t already happened (if Rapoport’s report is accurate) seems very odd. Why wouldn’t a meeting have already occurred, given the manner in which the season ended?
It’s not crazy to wonder whether Bidwill is evaluating and thinking and strategizing before he meets with Kingsbury. When that meeting happens, it’s entirely possible that the poop will hit the propeller.
And that the Cardinals will be looking for a new coach.