INDIANAPOLIS -- When the Patriots drafted Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury in the sixth round of the 2003 draft everyone involved hoped the young passer had a bright NFL future. And though he's in the NFL more than a decade and a half later, things didn't work out as might have been expected.
Kingsbury's playing career never really took off, either in New England or elsewhere. He spent one season on injured reserve with the Patriots and then bounced around the NFL and Canada before he turned to a career in coaching at the University of Houston in 2008.
In the last decade he's risen through the ranks quickly to become the head coach at Texas Tech, and then after being fired by the Red Raiders the strange twist of essentially getting a promotion with the job as the Arizona Cardinals head coach this offseason.
Though things didn't work out for Kingsbury as a young quarterback, he clearly still took something from his time in Foxborough and the relationship he built with Bill Belichick since arriving as a draft pick.
Belichick and Tom Brady each contacted Kingsbury following his hiring in Arizona.
"Both of them reached out – texted – and were excited, so that meant a lot to me," Kingsbury said in his press conference at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. "Through my playing career and as a coach, being around Bill and Tom and the way they operate – the level of preparation, the competitiveness at practice – those are all things that stay with you for life when you've been in that building. That's kind of the mountain top of preparation and competitiveness, and you can see why they win so much."