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Kliff Kingsbury using unusual offseason to improve offense

Kenyan Drake called him a "mad genius." Patrick Peterson termed him a "mad scientist." Whatever noun they choose to use, it's clear Arizona Cardinals players view coach Kliff Kingsbury as a frenzied offensive mind -- in the most complimentary way possible.

With the NFL world on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kingsbury enjoyed even more free time to delve deep to find new plays and concoct elaborate schemes for the 2020 season.

"Yeah, it's definitely allowed me to dive into a lot of the college game a little more," Kingsbury said, via the Arizona Republic. "I've always tried to study some of those top offenses, guys that I've had a ton of respect for and liked the way that they operated, but it's really allowed me to watch a lot more of that. There's a lot of great minds at that level, so it's definitely a deeper dive into offensive football this offseason, no question, with all the downtime."

With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins to a receivers corps with Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, the retention of running back Kenyan Drake, and a potential Year 2 leap from quarterback Kyler Murray, Kingsbury has a plethora of weaponry to tinker with.

"That's what makes him dangerous," Peterson said. "It's not like one thing, like, 'Hey, that's what the Arizona Cardinals do well.' Especially having Mighty Mouse at quarterback. There's so many things that you have to defend. So, having the toys and having this spare time now to sit, really sit back, draw plays, watch film, it's going to be great for coach."

Kingsbury showed last season down the stretch that when things are clicking, his offense can be potent and creative. Entering his second season, his players are geeked to find out how he's improved the scheme during all his downtime.

"Kliff is one of the more mad-genius, offensive-minded guys in this league because of how he can put players in different positions to go out there and be successful and use your raw, natural ability to mirror up with the things the offense works best at," Drake said. "I have no idea what he could be coming up with, but I know once this season gets going and we get out there running around a little bit more, everybody's going to get into a good flow and ... we'll score points and win more games this year."

In a brutally tough NFC West, the Cardinals sit as one of the teams on the rise in 2020. After the offense made strides in Kingsbury's first season, another big jump this year should have Arizona in the playoff hunt.

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