NFC Notes: Kliff Kingsbury, Mike Zimmer, Commanders, Cowboys, Giants


  • New Washington OC Kliff Kingsbury is excited to be back in the NFL and is embracing not being the head coach, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post: “Being able to just focus on the offense will be great. Dan [Quinn] has a bunch on his plate. I’ve sat in that seat. To be able to back up and do that again is exciting. I’m ready to get to work.” 
  • Kingsbury also noted he doesn’t want to get into the details of why the deal with the Raiders fell apart or answer any questions about former NBA star Magic Johnson’s involvement. (Andrew Siciliano)
  • When asked about how he would describe his offense, Kingsbury stated he wouldn’t classify it as an Air Raid scheme. He believes a balance between the run and pass is vital. (JP Finlay)
  • Kingsbury playfully added he would want to work with his current quarterback in Kansas City (Patrick Mahomes), but he did mention that some mobility is important for quarterbacks. (Finlay)
  • “He’s a great kid, there’s no doubt,” Kingsbury said when asked about USC’s QB Caleb Williams. Washington has been speculated as a potential candidate to trade up to No. 1 for Williams since hiring Kingsbury, who was the QB coach at USC last year. (Finlay)
  • Kingsbury went on to talk about the team’s new run game coordinator Anthony Lynn, saying: “You cant have enough Texas Tech Red Raider, rocket scientists on the staff…To have a football mind like that, a leader like that is huge for us.” (Finlay)
  • Kingsbury also mentioned new QB coach David Blough is “one of the smartest QBs I’ve ever been around,” and he thinks Bough will become a desired coaching candidate quickly. (Finlay)
  • New DC Joe Whitt Jr. was asked about the specific of his defensive front: “3-4, 4-3 … everyone plays the same coverages. Structure doesn’t matter. The main thing that matters is are we going to arrive violently and turn the ball over and disrupt these quarterbacks.” (John Keim)
  • On how the defensive staff was put together, Whitt added: “We have coaches from different trees — and we did that by design because we wanted to have ideas outside from what I’ve done in my past.” (Ben Standig)
  • When asked when he felt like he was ready to take the next step in his coaching journey, Whitt responded saying he was ready in 2015 with the Packers. (Jhabvala)
  • Whitt also promised: “We’re going to build a Commander defense. It’s not going to be exactly what we did in Dallas. … We’re have the structure that we want, but we’re going to take the ideas from all the coaches on staff.” (Jhabvala)
  • Whitt highlighted CB Emmanuel Forbes and DB Quan Martin as young secondary players he’s excited to work with: “I really liked him when he came out, not only Forbes I liked Quan. A number of guys on the back end are intriguing. … To get those guys in and to believe in the techniques we teach them and the scheme we put them in. We have quality young players.” (Keim)
  • Commanders WR Curtis Samuel‘s contract voided on February 15. He was already scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent but this means Washington will have $4.8 million in dead money on their books for him in 2024 even if he’s re-signed. (Joel Corry)


Retired Cowboys S Darren Woodson described the type of coach Dallas is gaining in new DC Mike Zimmer, who Woodson played under from 1994-2003. Zimmer notably began his career as the Cowboys’ defensive assistant in 1994, earning promotions to defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator. 

“He doesn’t have any ‘back up’ in him,” Woodson said, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “He’s going to set his feet. He will fight your ass tooth and nail, a lot like Bill Parcells. You’re going to do it his way. He might not be your best friend. It’s not going to be cuddly and kumbaya. That’s not happening. He’s going to test your mettle.”

Former Cowboys DE and current ESPN analyst Marcus Spears thinks Zimmer is a “phenomenal” coach and enjoyed playing for him. 

“He’s a great man and he’s a phenomenal football coach,” Spears said. “Tough but fair and he cares about his guys. It was great to play for Zim even when he cursed me out.”

Woodson said Zimmer helped improve his craft despite already being at the height of his career after winning the Super Bowl in 1996. 

“Here’s what I love, and a lot of people wouldn’t have done this, but we’re the Super bowl champs and I’m like at the height of my career, and he’s showing me all my bad plays,” Woodson said. “I’m like holy s—, but it’s all what I can work on, and he’s breaking it all down with me. That brought us that much closer because I wanted to be better. Again, it wasn’t all cuddly. It was, ‘This is who you are. Let’s figure out how to get better.'”

  • Georgia State OT Travis Glover was also not invited to the Combine despite earning a late call-up to the Senior Bowl. He has 11 official top 30 draft visits scheduled. Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline doesn’t say if one of those is with the Cowboys but notes they’re one of the teams who seem hot on Glover. 


  • The contracts of Giants QB Tyrod Taylor, DL A’Shawn Robinson and CB Adoree’ Jackson officially voided on Thursday and the trio is set to be free agents this year, per the Athletic’s Dan Duggan.
  • Had the Giants signed any of these players to extensions, it would have stopped the dead money from accelerating to this year. Now no matter what, even if New York brings back one or more of this group, the Giants have $6.5 million in dead money on the 2024 cap from their void years.
  • Giants assistant ST coach Mike Adams is remaining with New York after receiving interest from Washington for their assistant secondary coach opening. (Art Stapleton)

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