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Commanders' Kingsbury looking for mobility, leadership at QB

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New Commanders offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury described what he expects from his next quarterback as Washington enters the offseason likely to pursue a new signal-caller.

"The (Kansas City) Chiefs quarterback," Kingsbury jokingly said Thursday when asked what his ideal fit for a QB would be.

"When the money is on the table, you gotta be able to make some plays with your feet, move around enough to escape a bad play," Kingsbury added. "Doesn't mean you gotta run like Lamar (Jackson) or Kyler Murray, but you better be able to move a little bit and buy yourself some time. ... You want that player to be the hardest worker on your team, you want them to lead those guys."

The Commanders turned to Sam Howell in 2023, but the 2022 fifth-round pick may not have done enough to keep the starting job. He finished the season with a 63.4% completion rate for 3,943 yards and 21 touchdowns against an NFL-high 21 interceptions. Washington owns the second overall pick in this year's draft and is expected to add a new QB1.

The 2024 quarterback draft class is headlined by Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels. All three stand out when it comes to mobility. Kingsbury worked with Williams - who's the favorite to go first overall to the Chicago Bears - during his time as an offensive analyst at USC in 2023. A former head coach with Texas Tech and the Arizona Cardinals, Kingsbury has worked with several high-profile QBs throughout his career, including Williams, Murray, and Patrick Mahomes.

Kingsbury was originally expected to join the Las Vegas Raiders as OC in 2024, but the 44-year-old pulled himself out of consideration after negotiations broke down. He then signed a three-year contract with Washington.

Kingsbury declined to explain why he opted against the Raiders. He praised what the Commanders have been building instead.

"Don't want to get into specifics of the process as much, but obviously (the Commanders provide) a historic franchise, incredible fan base, the opportunity to work with (general manager) Adam Peters, (head coach) Dan Quinn," Kingsbury said.

He added, "The ownership group, what they're trying to do, their vision. It's exciting. Exciting times. ... Just honored to be here."

The Commanders finished 4-13 in 2023 and struggled on both sides of the ball, ranking 25th in points scored and 32nd in points allowed. They made big changes after the season, most notably hiring Quinn and Peters. The NFC East team will also have a new defensive coordinator in Joe Whitt Jr.

Washington landed Maye at No. 2 in the latest edition of theScore's 2024 NFL Mock Draft.

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