Kliff Kingsbury warns Cardinals after Sean Kugler fired for alleged groping

It is, in fact, bad if one of your coaches gets fired for allegedly groping a woman during a team trip to Mexico City.

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury came to this revelation after offensive line coach and run game coordinator Sean Kugler was let go by Arizona earlier this week.

“It’s certainly not ideal for a team and focus,” Kingsbury said Wednesday after news broke, per the team’s website. “You wish it didn’t occur, but it did and our team has done a great job of adjusting. Our staff, being down some numbers, guys have to step up and answer the call.”

The 49ers destroyed the Cardinals on Monday in Mexico City, 38-10, with Arizona falling to a disappointing 4-7 on the season.

Kingsbury addressed the Kugler situation with the team and was a part of the “Hard Knocks” episode that aired on Wednesday night.

Sean Kugler on the Cardinals sideline on Oct. 3, 2022.
Sean Kugler on the Cardinals sideline on Oct. 3, 2022.
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“Obviously a situation in the coaching staff,” Kingsbury said. “So I want to apologize from the coaching staff. Unacceptable. We understand that. It won’t happen again. From this whole group, I’m gonna ask two things moving forward. Make sure moving forward, nobody has to stand in front of the media and answer any questions about dumb s–t off the field, one.

“And two, effort off the field. Everybody got me? No more moving forward. We got a great group, we handle our business all year. Let’s get this thing going the right way this week.”

Former tight ends coach Steve Heiden is taking Kugler’s role, with assistant offensive line coach Brian Natkin having a role to play as well.

Running backs coach James Saxon resigned in August after pleading guilty to domestic battery. His replacement, Don Shumpert, exited last month with Kingsbury saying the team wanted to go in a “different direction.”

“This whole year has been kind of a rollercoaster,” quarterback Kyler Murray said. “It seems like we were in the news all offseason and then the season, losing [cornerback Jeff Gladney, who died in the offseason] and coaches, it’s been up and down. But this group is resilient.”

Offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum said he spoke to Kugler, who is “devastated” by his dismissal.

Kliff Kingsbury on Cardinals sideline on Oct. 30, 2022.
Kliff Kingsbury on Cardinals sideline on Oct. 30, 2022.

“But at the same time, this is a business and we are professionals,” Beachum said. “We are called to do certain things and act in a certain way that’s becoming of an Arizona Cardinal. I don’t know any details of what happened, but what I am currently worried about are the guys here.”