Gary Kubiak Lands on His Feet in Baltimore
After Gary Kubiak's time as Houston Texans head coach ended abruptly and somewhat ignominiously on a Friday morning in early December, speculation began in earnest during the holidays as to what Kubiak would choose to do next.
Photo by Groovehouse Now prowling the sidelines in Baltimore.
An interview with the Detroit Lions for a head coaching job that eventually went to Jim Caldwell just two seasons after going 2-14 in Indianapolis seemed to indicate that Kubiak's head coaching career might regrow legs sooner than expected.
Rumors of interest from the Cleveland Browns for a spot as offensive coordinator seemed to make more sense, and were an indicator that perhaps Kubiak's being employed in 2014 would eventually be up to him.
Then again, smiling pictures from the Ragin Cajun perhaps foreshadowed an immediate future of eating gumbo, drinking beer and posing for shots with Texans fans.
In the end, for Gary Kubiak, the path back to head coaching in the NFL runs through Baltimore.
On Monday, Gary Kubiak was named the next offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, who are looking to bounce back from an 8-8 season in 2013 just one year after winning Super Bowl XLVII. Rick Dennison, Kubiak's offensive coordinator in Houston, will join him in Baltimore as their quarterbacks coach.
To call fixing Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco Kubiak's "first order of business" would be to imply that it's a task that can be accomplished in short order and crossed off of some sort of coordinator to-do list. It's much more than that. It's a season-long project for which failure is not an option, given Flacco's $120 million contract signed last offseason.
That deal forced the Ravens to make some hard decisions last offseason, decisions which resulted in free agents like Dannell Ellerbe's and Paul Kruger's leaving for richer deals and the trade of wide receiver (and Flacco security blanket) Anquan Boldin's to San Francisco for a measly sixth round pick, for salary cap purposes.
Franchise quarterbacks (Flacco, while not one in terms of play, is certainly being paid like one) must cover up the flaws and cap-caused holes on a roster, not exacerbate them. In 2013, Flacco went from 22 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions the previous season to 19 TD passes and a dismal 22 interceptions.