Hallelujah! Gary Kubiak in to save the day! This was a guy that stood out in my mind the second Caldwell jumped ship to Detroit, but never thought was a realistic possibility. Watching the candidates dwindle down to pretty much my worst two nightmares, only for a dark horse to emerge, made this all the sweeter. And the kicker is Kubiak brings in his OC from Houston, Rick Dennison, to join the staff as QB’s coach. What a turn of events.
Kubiak is exactly the kind of splash hire this team needed to run its 29th-ranked offense. In his parts of 8 seasons as head coach in Houston, his offenses placed in the top half of the league 7 times, with 4 of those offenses being coordinated by Dennison himself. He mentored the likes of Steve Young and John Elway to the tune of 3 Super Bowls as QB coach and offensive coordinator. And in today’s NFL, it’s safe to say that any head coach that lasts as long as he did in Houston must have been doing something right.
The one apparent downside is that it looks like zone blocking is here to stay. But that might not be the worst thing. Remember the days when the Broncos would turn a no-name running back into a 1200 yard rusher year after year? Guys like Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson who experienced little to no success after leaving Denver? That was Gary Kubiak. We might not have the personnel on the offensive line to thrive yet, but that can be fixed. I can’t help but think that Bernard Pierce, a patient runner with good vision, would be a standout in this offense a la Arian Foster for years to come. If Kubiak and Dennison can’t make zone blocking work in Baltimore, nobody can.
This might be a pivotal day in the trajectory of this franchise moving forward. The Ravens laid out a stinker to end the season, and it appeared this team was trending downward. Now things are looking up again. Yeah, Kubiak might jump ship at the drop of a hat to take a head coaching position again, and he probably deserves it. But the addition of Dennison makes this all the better. The OC position would be his for the taking at that point, and would allow some much needed continuity for the offense. This hiring process that looked disastrous from the start could not have turned out any better. What a day.