Gary Kubiak Named Broncos Next Head Coach
Gary Kubiak wasn’t supposed to be going anywhere, and now he is. The former offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens had initially stated he’d return with the Ravens next year, but ultimately wound up accepting the head coaching gig for the Denver Broncos.
The 53-year old Kubiak simply couldn’t turn down a chance to return to his old stomping grounds, where he played as a quarterback from 1983-1991 and later coached as an offensive coordinator from 1995-2005. Kubiak played directly behind current Denver GM John Elway during his playing career, and also ended up coaching him while on Mike Shanahan’s staff in the mid to late 90’s.
Kubiak will come to Denver on a four-year deal and will be expected to help push Denver back into the Super Bowl, possibly immediately.
Kubiak’s solid zone-running scheme and overall effective offenses helped land him his first head coaching gig with the Houston Texans back in 2006, and he promptly guided Houston to several playoff appearances. The Texans faded in his final season (2013), however, and he was let go. After just one season as Baltimore’s offensive coordinator, Kubiak made himself a hot name yet again by helping the Ravens improve on offense across the board.
While Kubiak could have earned a top spot just about anywhere, his direct ties with Elway and the Broncos made him an obvious fit once news broke that the team would be letting John Fox go. Of course, whether or not Kubiak’s return to Denver means Peyton Manning sticks around, is an entirely different question.
There were whispers initially that Manning wanted to go to the Texans after the Indianapolis Colts released him back in 2012, but Kubiak supposedly said no. That could have been inacurrate information, or it also could have had a lot to do with Houston already investing a lot of time and money into Matt Schaub, who was a respectable starter at the time.
There is also the concern that Manning may not fit Kubiak’s system, which requires the quarterback to use his mobility a bit more than he normally would. Of course, Kubiak was able to get highly productive seasons out of an equally immobile Schaub, so this might not end up being as big of an issue as some let one.
The switch from Fox to Kubiak is questionable, as Fox had led two different teams to the Super Bowl during his career and Kubiak has yet to do so. Then again, Kubiak was on hand when Elway won his two Super Bowls, so Elway must think Kubiak knows well enough how to get the Broncos over the hump.
Doing so may depend on Kubiak convincing (and wanting) Manning to return. Whether or not that will happen could play a huge hand in how successful the Broncos end up being in 2015.
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