The Ravens turned the page on 2013 on Monday with the announcement of the hirings of Gary Kubiak for their vacant offensive coordinator position and Rick Dennison as their quarterbacks coach.
While Kubiak was a home run swing, the Ravens are also relying on Dennison’s history to help quarterback Joe Flacco rebound from an abysmal 2013 season.
As we all know, Flacco is now looked at as the $120 million man and his feet are held to the fire when it comes to producing.
The offensive line was horrid in 2013 and the lack of a run game made it that much tougher for Flacco to shine. Joe, however, was not without fault and his 22 interceptions were a career worst.
Dennison helped create a prolific offense during his tenure with the Texans. During his four seasons as the offensive coordinator, Houston ranked eighth in total net yards (369.5 ypg), sixth in rushing (130.6 ypg) and 13th in passing (239.0 ypg).
Houston produced an NFL-best 29 individual 100-yard rushing performances, ranked fifth in the NFL with 64 rushing touchdowns and registered three of the best rushing seasons in franchise history during Dennison’s time there.
While an all-around offensive-minded coach, Dennison has never been strictly responsible for quarterbacks. It is worth noting though, that Texans quarterback Matt Schaub did eclipse the 4,000-yard passing mark twice during Dennison’s tenure.
It appears as if the Ravens are going to get back to playing smashmouth physical football in 2014 under Kubiak, Harbaugh and Dennison.
While it remains to be seen just how the Flacco/Dennison relationship develops, some of Joe’s best years came when he had a separate quarterback coach (Jim Zorn, Hue Jackson).
The bottom line? It can’t get much worse than it was in 2013 for the Ravens offense and Joe Flacco.
It goes without saying that the hirings of Kubiak and Dennison don’t automatically place the Ravens in the Super Bowl next season. It is, however, a step in the right direction.
Now, the Ravens will go to work finding the best players to make it happen.
The front office is all in on Kubiak and Dennison. With any luck, Ravens fans will find ourselves in a similar spot at this time next year – discussing a new offensive coordinator. Why, you may ask? Well, that will mean that Kubiak and Dennison succeeded and became hot commodities.
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