The Denver Broncos are searching for a new head coach, and along with that Gary Kubiak may find his way to being offensive coordinator.
The Denver Broncos are among the teams looking for a new head coach. But senior personnel advisor Gary Kubiak is apparently in-demand for offensive coordinator positions, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Broncos are blocking him from interviewing with the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Kubiak was the Broncos’ head coach for two seasons (2015-16), before stepping away from coaching for health reasons. Prior to that he spent nearly eight seasons as Houston Texans’ head coach (2006-13), with a season as Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator in-between.
The Broncos reportedly would like Kubiak to work under whoever the next head coach will be, provided the coach that’s hired is open to that idea. But that necessarily limits the search to some degree, to defensive-minded candidates like Chicago Bears’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio or someone like current reported front-runner Mike Munchak.
Kubiak goes back years with Broncos’ general manager John Elway, to when the two were quarterbacks for the team and Kubiak was Elway’s long-time backup from 1983-1991. If not for his health concerns, provided some level of success would have been maintained, there’s a pretty good chance Kubiak would still be the Broncos’ head coach right now after going 21-11 with a Super Bowl win in his two seasons.
It doesn’t sound like the Broncos are making Kubiak as offensive coordinator a fully attached prerequisite to any and all head coaching candidates. They are stepping down that path though, by blocking him from interviewing elsewhere when their logical (beyond contractual) right to block a step up could be questioned.
But if Kubiak wants to stay in Denver, as Schefter suggested, and wouldn’t have taken interviews with the Falcons, Bengals or anyone else anyway, then that’s a little different.
That said, Elway has to get this head coaching hire right. So the idea of attaching anything that may affect someone’s candidacy or necessarily eliminate candidates, even if Kubiak is plenty qualified to be an offensive coordinator, has to concern Broncos’ fans in a broad sense.