Arizona Cardinals’ Cliff Kingsbury on schedule: ‘There are big games’


Arizona Cardinals coach Cliff Kingsbury received a text message from Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs—the Kingsbury quarterback at Texas Tech—before the NFL schedule was released Thursday.

The Mahomes sent the Kingsbury eyes emoji, learning that presidents and cardinals have a date in the first week.

“I was really grateful to the table makers for giving us the young, young midfielder who hasn’t quite found his way into the league yet,” Kingsbury joked. “It’s going to be fun. … It’s going to be revving up. We’ll definitely have some Texas Tech fans following along.”

Kingsbury spoke to reporters Friday at the junior camp in Arizona, and the schedule was one of the main topics of discussion.

The Cardinals have four games in prime time and start the year with four playoffs in the first five weeks.

Arizona will be without star recipient Deandry Hopkins for this period due to a six-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, but Kingsbury said bringing him back in Week 7 will provide a boost to the rest of the season.

The Cardinals struggled at the height of last season, but their coach is eyeing more opportunities.

“You couldn’t ask, for me, a better setup when you look at some of those games,” Kingsbury said.

“Get a team like The Chiefs to see where you are, play Bill Belichick on Monday night, play Tom Brady at Christmas. I mean, there’s some big time games. Go to Mexico City to play a rival, I mean, it’s going to be so much fun.”

Kingsbury also indicated his enthusiasm for facing the Las Vegas Raiders in Week Two. Josh McDaniels was named head coach this off-season, and Kingsbury was at the New England Patriots in 2003 when McDaniels was assistant coach.

Plus, longtime stalwart Chandler Jones of the Cardinals is now with Las Vegas.

The Cardinals have the second hardest table in the league based on winning percentages for 2021. Kingsbury downplayed this with the point that each table has its challenges.

“The AFC West, lining up with them this year to get Russell (Wilson) is a challenge,” Kingsbury said. “Anytime you look at the NFL schedule, it’s not like you can go down and pick a bunch of winnings. They are all strong and everyone is facing the same deal.”

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