Kubiak among critical new coordinators
June, 6, 2014
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
Getty ImagesEli Manning and Joe Flacco will be adjusting to new offensive coordinators next season.When the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants won two of the past three Super Bowls, their quarterbacks shredded playoff opponents for a combined 20 touchdown passes with just one interception. It was a beautiful thing to watch unless your team was on the losing end, but now the beauty is a faded memory. Those same quarterbacks have combined for more picks (64) than TD passes (63) since winning it all, and now both teams are hoping new offensive coordinators can orchestrate turnarounds.
"Baltimore is very intriguing to me with Gary Kubiak and a pretty good quarterback," an offensive coordinator from another team said recently.
It's that time of year in the NFL. Since last season, 21 of the 64 offensive and defensive coordinator jobs have turned over. As teams work their way through organized team activities, coaches and executives around the league are forming early opinions. Some newly hired coordinators have big shoes to fill (think Paul Guenther in Cincinnati or Frank Reich in San Diego). Others are preceded by their reputations.
I've singled out five compelling coordinator changes for a closer look through the eyes of league insiders: Kubiak in Baltimore, Ben McAdoo with the Giants, Ray Horton in Tennessee, Kyle Shanahan in Cleveland, and Gregg Williams in St. Louis. Which ones will produce the desired results?
1. Kubiak to the Ravens as offensive coordinator
Quarterback Joe Flacco is ditching the three-digit play system for West Coast terminology and expanded zone concepts with the bootleg action Kubiak used when Matt Schaub was his quarterback in Houston. We won't know until the season starts whether this will be a full or partial conversion. Sometimes, a new coordinator adjusts not only to his personnel but to the preferences of the head coach. Kubiak, as a longtime former head coach, is more established than the majority of coordinators. A similarly established offensive coach from another team said he thought that could be a very good thing in Baltimore.