After a week of speculation upon four names that became three names that became two names, the actual final name flew in at the last moment – Gary Kubiak.
In a process that was called very “thorough” on multiple occasions, in the end, the Baltimore Ravens look to have captured the opportunity to create a whole new era of offense in Charm City.
Both Kubiak and Dennison come most recently from the Houston Texans – where Kubiak was head coach from 2006 through the 13th game of 2013. Prior to that, he was an offensive coordinator with the Broncos under former Redskins head coach, Mike Shanahan from 1995-2005. Dennison was Kubiak’s O.C. for the past four years in Houston (and he also worked as O.C. in Denver from 2006-2008).
Kubiak is considered one of the great play-calling minds in the NFL. His offenses have consistently ranked high in the league. Here is Kubiak’s record of total offense ranking …
The past year in Houston was simply an unpleasant experience in many ways for Kubiak. Along with only three wins, he suffered a TIA mini-stroke at halftime on November 3rd. Carried from the field with immediate fears of a heart attack, his health now is not deemed to be of any particular concern.
In a move that should really encourage the Ravens faithful, the hiring of Kubiak is seen as Baltimore getting the most capable person available. In the press conference, Kubiak demonstrated that he is all about more than just the passing game. He spoke of the importance of stretching the defense to open passing opportunities. Clearly, nothing of this sort was happening in 2013. Will this require a host of new personnel? Well, that will be the content of work and discussions that begin tomorrow morning.
Jacoby Jones weighed in on this hiring during the process, having played five years in Houston. He was mentioned in the press conference with clear affection by both Kubiak and Dennison. I think it looks brighter for Jacoby to be back next year, and as I wrote yesterday, I think that would be great.
After 12 hours of the Ravens interviewing with Kirby Wilson, talking all about how the Steelers running game works, Wilson did not get the job. Instead, he goes to the Minnesota Vikings as their running backs coach, and the Ravens gain a notebook full of information. Sounds like a win/win!
Another overlooked interviewee – Scott Linehan – is reported to be going to the Cowboys to call plays. If indeed the Cowboys are God’s team, as I was told they were when I lived there, then God Himself knows the Cowboys need someone to settle that issue about who calls the plays. So… good for Scott, and good luck with that crazy situation.