The mastermind behind the Ravens' high-powered offense this season is headed to Denver.
Gary Kubiak, former offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, was hired by the Broncos late Sunday evening, as reported by multiple media outlets.
Gary Kubiak has agreed to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 19, 2015
Kubiak previously served as the head coach of the Houston Texans from 2006-2013, compiling a 61-64 record. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh hired the Texas A&M grad, which proved to be a wise move. The Ravens ranked second in the league this season in scoring, averaging 30.5 points per game, second only to the Patriots.
The hire makes sense for Denver, since Kubiak served as the backup to former Denver quarterback and current general manager, John Elway. As Kevin Para of NFL.com noted:
In Kubiak, Elway has found a close confidante that believes in similar philosophies. That starts with a dynamic running game and zone-blocking scheme that helped Elway win two titles as a player.
The Ravens will certainly miss Kubiak. He helped quarterback Joe Flacco bounce back from an ugly 2013 campaign, as Flacco threw for a career-high 3,986 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2014. Steve Smith recorded over 1,000 receiving yards and Torrey Smith raked in 11 touchdown receptions. The Ravens were fourth in the league with 269 passing yards per game.
Kubiak also coaxed a respectable ground attack out of a thin backfield without Ray Rice. Thanks to Kubiak's trademark zone blocking scheme, Justin Forsett rushed for 1,266 yards, his highest total as a pro. Bernard Pierce also picked up 366 while Lorenzo Taliaferro recorded 292.
In two games against the Browns, the Ravens scored 23 and 20 points. In the second contest, Baltimore exploded for 17 points in the fourth quarter.
The Ravens also enjoyed a nice run in the playoffs, beating the Steelers, 30-17, before succumbing to the Patriots in the AFC Divisional round, 35-31.
The Ravens assumed that Kubiak would depart after the successful season, as the team has pursued several coaches for the new job opening at offensive coordinator. The club showed interest in Kyle Shanahan at one point, but the former Browns offensive coordinator has reportedly decided on the Falcons.
With opportunities elsewhere, OC Kyle Shanahan has decided to head to the #Falcons, presuming they hire Dan Quinn. Balt & Den had interest— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 19, 2015
Kubiak's departure is good news for Browns fans, as is word that Shanahan will stay away from the AFC North. Hopefully for Browns fans, the club can entice an offensive mind as keen as Kubiak to come to Cleveland.