The addition of Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t necessarily imply that the Washington Commanders are fully committed to pursuing Caleb Williams.

When the Washington Commanders appointed Kliff Kingsbury as the offensive coordinator last week, the immediate assumption was that this move was orchestrated to position the team favorably for Caleb Williams.

Williams, the USC quarterback and anticipated No. 1 overall pick, shares a close relationship with Kingsbury. Upon the announcement of Kingsbury’s hiring, Williams conveyed his congratulations on Instagram. Their association blossomed when Kingsbury, after being let go by the Cardinals, assumed the role of senior offensive analyst at USC, working alongside his close friend Lincoln Riley.

However, the Kingsbury/Williams hypothesis encounters a hurdle: the Commanders have no influence over whether they can pair Kingsbury with Williams, as the Chicago Bears currently hold the No. 1 overall pick and are expected to select Williams. This leaves the Commanders with the choice between quarterbacks Drake Maye (North Carolina) and Jayden Daniels (LSU) – both regarded as exceptional prospects.

While the notion sparks discussions, the reality requires several developments to align. More likely, the Commanders’ new head coach, Dan Quinn, aimed to secure the best offensive mind to foster the development of a young quarterback, given Kingsbury’s outstanding reputation in quarterback development.

Following Kingsbury’s hiring, the Commanders further strengthened their coaching staff by bringing on former Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. Additionally, quarterbacks coach Tavita Pritchard was retained, ensuring multiple coaching perspectives for the team’s young quarterbacks in 2024, including a rookie and Sam Howell.

Despite Kingsbury lacking a direct link to Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, he does share a connection with Maye. During Maye’s initial two seasons at North Carolina, his offensive coordinator was Phil Longo – who also served as Howell’s college offensive coordinator at UNC. Longo, a mentor of Mike Leach, who in turn mentored Kingsbury, provides valuable insights into Maye’s and Howell’s playing styles, having coached them in his version of the Air Raid offense.

While these connections do not necessarily dictate the Commanders’ selection of Maye, they do provide Kingsbury with valuable insider information on two of the top three quarterback prospects. General manager Adam Peters is likely to rely on Kingsbury’s assessments when evaluating Daniels as well.

As of now, these connections hold significance but do not determine the outcome. However, if Washington were to somehow trade up for the No. 1 pick, the dynamics could change.

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