Jan 27 2014, 10:21pm CST | by Poch de la Rosa
"Head coach John Harbaugh announced Gary Kubiak as his new offensive coordinator on Monday, capping an exhaustive search with a coach considered to be one of the best play callers and brightest offensive minds in the NFL.
"Kubiak, the former head coach of the Houston Texans, was not listed as one of the four candidates about a week ago. But as time passed and other opportunities shook out, the two sides came closer. They reached an understanding Sunday night over dinner at Harbaugh's home.
"Kubiak has long run a very effective scheme that was highly respected by Harbaugh and Baltimore. He relies on the zone running scheme and a lot of play-action passing to open up big plays down the field.
"The Ravens studied the Texans' running approach before the 2012 season and assimilated some of their practices into their own scheme."
For his part, Harbaugh told Mink he's excited about having Kubiak on board.
"I want you to know for the Ravens, for our coaching staff, for our players, for our organization, for our fans -- it's a great day and I'm excited about it.
"We left no stone unturned in this search. We are excited about the result and cannot wait to get to work."
Among the other candidates Harbaugh divulged to Mink's colleague Garrett Downing were former Washignton Redskins and Houston Texans offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler, former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and former Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson.
Toward the end, it boiled down to either promoting Hostler or hiring Shanahan, according to The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec and Aaron Wilson, citing league sources. Hostler was initially seen to be the favorite because of his close rapport with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and other offensive players.
Downing stresses the possiblity of hiring Kubiak sprang up when he had discussions with former Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who will be reunited with Kubiak in Baltimore when he was hired as its quarterbacks coach.
Harbaugh himself confirms it.
"When I had a chance to talk with Rick last week, and talk about some different candidates and things like that, it just kind of became apparent that maybe we were moving closer together. Without getting into too many details, that's just how it felt to me. It just started to make sense."
Zrebiec and Wilson say Harbaugh interviewed both Kubiak and Dennison at the Under Armour Performance Center.
Now that he is the new Baltimore offensive coordinator, Kubiak is excited at the prospect of working with Harbaugh, whom he holds in high esteem, per Downing.
"It gets down to John. We had some great conversations over the course of the last couple of days. It gets me the chance to be part of a championship organization and work with a great young quarterback, but I believed in John, and how he does things, how he runs the football team, his coaching staff, what he stands for.
"I have great respect for him. For me, to get back to work for him and this organization, I can't tell you how excited how I am."
Kubiak also told ESPN's Jamison Hensley he is in tip-top shape almost three months after he suffered a mini-stroke and collapsed to the turf at halftime of a home loss against the Indianapolis Colts when he was Texans head coach.
Hensley reveals Kubiak "has resumed working out." The latter says he feels great.
"I came out of it fine. I was my old self at the end of the season. I feel great. Looking forward to getting up very early in the morning and going to work again. My wife is tired of me being around the house."
Kubiak also made no mention to Hensley whether he'd like to be an NFL head coach again someday.
"Right now, I want to be the best offensive coordinator I can be. I don't look down the road. I told John when he first called me: 'I want to have a chance to enjoy coaching, teaching and having a chance to win.' I know you would offer all of those opportunities if things worked out."
Hensley notes in a separate piece that Kubiak calling the shots on offense really bodes well for the Ravens, mainly because of his past track record with quarterbacks. Fourteen years ago, he helped Brian Griese lead the league with a 102.9 passer rating.
Four years later, in 2000, Jake Plummer actually had one more passing yard than Brett Favre to finish fourth overall with 4,089.
Finally, in 2009, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub lorded it over the NFL in passing yards with 4,770.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
blog comments powered by Disqus