Ravens Hire Gary Kubiak As Offensive Coordinator

Baltimore Ravens Coaching Staff News
Gary Kubiak

After about two weeks of deliberating, the Baltimore Ravens have filled their offensive coordinator vacancy by hiring former Houston Texans’ head coach Gary Kubiak.

Over the last few days, it seemed like the Ravens had narrowed their candidates down to two people: current wide receivers coach Jim Hostler and former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

However, last night the Ravens interviewed a “mystery candidate” and this morning it was revealed that this candidate was Kubiak––who was listed as a potential candidate by me along with Hostler (not Shanahan though) when previous coordinator Jim Caldwell left to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions.

Gary Kubiak

Courtesy of ICON SMI

While Caldwell left the Ravens for a head coaching gig, Kubiak joins the Ravens after being the head coach of the Texans for the last eight seasons. As the second coach of the Texans, he led them to their first playoff appearance in team history in the 2011 season. He also led the team to two berths in the Divisional Round of the playoffs including a loss against the Ravens in the 2011 season.

This season was a disaster for him and the team. After barely winning their first two games, the team reeled off 14-straight losses to end the season. Once their record reached 2-11, he was fired. During the Texans week nine loss against the Indianapolis Colts, he suffered a transient ischemic attack (basically a mini-stroke) while walking off the field at halftime. He was able to return later in the season, but missed a few games. In his eight seasons in Houston, he finished with a record of 61-64.

During his time in Houston, his offense ranked in the top five of the league on three separate occasions and in the top half of the league seven times.

Prior to being the head coach in Houston, he was the long-time offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos under head coach Mike Shanahan. With the Broncos, his offense totaled the most total yards during the span that he coached them. They also averaged NFL highs in yards and points per game. He helped coach them to two Super Bowl victories and coached running back Terrell Davis during his MVP season in 1998.

Before that, Kubiak played nine seasons as a quarterback for the Broncos backing up the legendary John Elway. After this, he started his coaching career right away as the running backs coach for Texas A&M––his alma mater. Moving to the NFL after two seasons with the Aggies, he joined the San Francisco 49ers as their quarterbacks coach. In his single season with the 49ers, they won Super Bowl XXIX with Steve Young at the helm. With the 49ers offensive coordinator, Mike Shanahan becoming the Broncos head coach in the offseason, Kubiak left to join Shanahan’s staff as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

Last week, Kubiak emerged as a candidate for the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator, but a deal wasn’t able to be worked out. So not only do the Ravens have a new offensive coordinator, they stole someone that one of their rivals wanted.

Know for his zone-blocking scheme on the offensive line, he is a good fit with the Ravens current offense as they have ran this scheme for the past few years. This––along with his excellent resume––are the two main reasons for this hire.

Suffering a horrific season on the offensive side of the ball, he has some work to do. The Ravens’ offense ranked 29th in total yards, 18th in passing, 30th in rushing, 25th in points per game and were last in yards per rushing attempt with a meager 3.1.

While the stats look bad, there are good pieces to work with including the reigning Super Bowl MVP––less than a week left to say this––quarterback Joe Flacco. With the players the Ravens had on the offensive side of the ball, they severely underwhelmed and it will be up to Kubiak to fix that.

Coming to Baltimore along with Kubiak is Rick Dennison who will join the staff as quarterbacks coach. When Kubiak was the head coach in Houston, Dennison was his offensive coordinator. He has never been a quarterbacks coach though as his coaching roots are in the offensive line. Current offensive line coach Juan Castillo isn’t going anywhere though, so quarterbacks coach is a good spot for Dennison. He brings good experience to the coaching staff and has plenty of experience with Kubiak.

Another move that the Ravens have made on the offensive staff was announcing that tight ends coach Wade Harman won’t return for next season. He is expected to be replaced by former Texans’ tight end coach Brian Pariani.

More changes to the staff could be coming, but that is all that is known right now. One name to keep an eye on is Hostler as he was a candidate for the coordinator job, but lost out.

When listing potential candidates for this job, I said Kubiak would be “an excellent addition” to the Ravens coaching staff. This believe holds true almost two weeks later. Of all of the candidates that the Ravens interviewed––less than 15 according to head coach John Harbaugh––Kubiak was the best choice by far. He bring loads of experience to the team as a play caller and is respected around the league.

While the Ravens took their time in selecting a new coordinator, they made the right decision.

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