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Report: Commanders hiring Kingsbury as offensive coordinator

Kliff Kingsbury Arizona Cardinals Kliff Kingsbury - The Canadian Press

Kliff Kingsbury is joining the Washington Commanders just in time for their latest search for a franchise quarterback.

The Commanders are hiring Kingsbury as their offensive coordinator and Joe Whitt Jr. as defensive coordinator, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because those deals had not been announced.

Kingsbury, 44, is the first addition to Dan Quinn's staff since the former Dallas Cowboy defensive coordinator was named coach earlier in the weekend. Kingsbury on Saturday pulled out of consideration for the Las Vegas Raiders' offensive coordinator job after initially agreeing to go there and work for Antonio Pierce.

Washington, with Josh Harris' ownership group, new general manager Adam Peters and the second pick in the draft, turned out to be a more attractive destination.

Kingsbury is back in the NFL as an assistant after spending last season as an offensive analyst and quarterbacks coach at USC, coaching potential top pick Caleb Williams. At the very least, the Commanders could end up with Williams or UNC's Drake Maye, if they so choose.

Whether it's through the draft, by trade or in free agency, they are expected to add a quarterback or two in the coming months after 2022 fifth-rounder Sam Howell started all 18 games this past season. Howell led the NFL with 612 passes and 21 interceptions and was sacked a league-high 65 times.

Kingsbury being a QB guru clearly made him a desirable candidate to run Washington's offense under Quinn, in a head job for the second time after coaching the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-20.

Kingsbury coached the Arizona Cardinals from 2019-2022 after five seasons in college at Texas Tech. In his new role, Kingsbury succeeds Eric Bieniemy, who lasted just one season in Washington after leaving Kansas City to work for Ron Rivera.

Whitt, 45, follows Quinn to Washington from Dallas, where he was the Cowboys secondary coach and defensive passing game coordinator. Whitt, who earlier in his career was an assistant with Green Bay and Cleveland, also worked for Quinn with Atlanta in 2020.