What a long strange trip its been!!!
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced on Monday afternoon the hiring of Gary Kubiak as the teams new offensive coordinator and Rick Dennison as the new quarterbacks coach.
“We left no stone unturned in this search. We are excited about the result and cannot wait to get to work.” John Harbaugh stated.
Harbaugh acknowledged that they looked closely at 30 or more people, college and pro since the process of finding an offensive coordinator began.
It was said to have been a two-man race between Kyle Shanahan and in house candidate Jim Hostler, however rumors swirled around that Ravens head coach had been meeting with former Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison for a few days.
Early Monday another twist was added when ESPN reported that Baltimore was now in talks with former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak about the coordinator position.
There has been speculation circulating that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome got involved in the decision process since Kubiak was never mentioned as a candidate prior to today. “Steve [Bisciotti] is always involved. I listen to his advice.” Harbaugh stated.
However I doubt we will never know the real truth. My how things escalate and it appears as if it did rapidly.
The hirings of Kubiak and Dennison are solid pick-ups for the Ravens whose offense ranked 29th in total yards and 25th in scoring in 2013.
Kubiak and Dennison have a long history of working together dating back to their time with the Broncos and the Texans.
During Kubiak’s coaching tenure in Denver 1995-2005 (QB coach and O.C.) he was successful running the offense and the Broncos ranked in the top ten in scoring in 10 of his 11 seasons and finished in the top two in points three times.
While his resume wasn’t as successful in Houston and at times their own defense called Kubiak “predictable” in 2013, Kubiak along with former offensive coordinator Rick Dennison did have the Texans ranked in the top-ten in scoring four years in a row prior to the 2013 season.
The hiring of Kubiak will bring about a huge change for the Ravens in player personnel and coaching staff. His aggressive zone-blocking schemes seem to fortify the type of direction the team wants to take in 2014.
“Right now, I want to be the best offensive coordinator. For me, it’s about getting back. This is the best day I’ve had in 2 months.” Kubiak responded about being back in charge of an offense.
Kubiak is looking forward to his chance to work with several Ravens players including Joe Flacco.
“I feel very comfortable helping Joe through his years of growth…this is about rebounding”, Kubiak stated. “I’ve seen know enough to know that Joe Flacco is a winner.”
The former Texans coach had nothing but praise for Jacoby Jones and Vonta Leach and looked forward to working with them again. “I’m so proud of the man [Jacoby Jones] has become. I look forward to talking to him and Vonta as well.”
It was also anounced on Monday afternoon that Ravens tight ends coach Wade Harman will not be retained entering 2014. Harman, who was the longest tenured coach on the Ravens staff had been with the organization since 1999.
The Ravens still have several coaching positions that aren’t filled including running backs coach, secondary coach and Harbaugh did not rule out the fact the team may need to fill the wide receivers coach position as well. Harbaugh said he hoped to have his entire coaching staff set within a week. Harbaugh did confirm however that Juan Castillo will remain the Ravens offensive line coach for 2014.
The search is finally over and the Ravens will have their work cut out for them this offseason. Between instituting a new offensive scheme and roster evaluation some tough decisions are about to be made. Some players just may find themselves on the outside looking in.
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