So far as we're told, Gary Kubiak has no intention of leaving the Baltimore Ravens football for any head coaching opportunities. For once, Baltimore coaches aren't disappearing. A huge development to hopefully further the franchise record set this year, and especially after the abysmal 2013 season.
(Disclaimer: The Broncos have formally requested to interview Kubiak so it's possible he changes his mind.)
We all remember as the offense consistently sounded in 2013 as:
- 1st and 10: Rush by Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce, loss of 2
- 2nd and 12: Rush by Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce, gain of 1
- 3rd and 11: Pass intended for any receiver incomplete
- 4th and 11: Sam Koch punt for X amount of yards
It was physically frustrating to observe. This season, Gary Kubiak made it fun.
The stretch zone run to the left and right sides. The naked bootleg from the zone run as Flacco rolls out and launches one deep to Torrey Smith or Steve Smith. Or across the field to a wide Owen Daniels and Marlon Brown. Justin Forsett blowing into the secondary at a sprint as both the NFL top right tackle and guard (Rick Wagner & Marshal Yanda) devoured defensive lineman. Baltimore became an offensive team, and that without a doubt made the NFL nervous.
The Ravens aren't just keeping a good offensive coordinator with Gary Kubiak, if he doesn't change his mind. They would be keeping the best offensive coordinator for the offensive personnel Baltimore possesses. Joe Flacco, the cyborg cannon armed quarterback. Two top five guards in the NFL and the best right tackle helping to exploit the stretch zone run. Both a burner route to blow the top off defenses, and the feistiest wide receiver who can change from 5-foot-9 to 6-foot-5. Both blocking and pass catching tight ends. This offense has the parts to build a powerful football machine. Kubiaks' scheme became the blue prints and owners manual on how best to operate.
I know I'm spewing over the offense almost too much, but turn the clocks back with me and remember how free agency felt, and the slight frustration hangover of the 2013 season.
- Baltimore acquired Steve Smith Sr. Another "too old" possession receiver. (See: Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason.) Everybody except for Richard Sherman made fun of this move. Weird, I know. "He won't be able to do much anymore." "He's burnt up." I remember these comments from fans across the league.
- Baltimore also acquiring Gary Kubiak. "He might be a decent pick up" was the best compliment I heard. All other fans wanted me to be mad because he doesn't adjust and his play calling becomes frustrating.
- Justin Forsett comes to Baltimore. Another too old to play running back. Also was third on the depth chart.
The Ravens came into this 2014 season with no starting running back, The Ravens came in with no blue-chip wide receiver. The Ravens came in with their back up right tackle after Michael Oher left. It didn't look good.
But all of this doesn't matter as the outcome of Baltimore was record-setting. Never before has the offense been more potent. New franchise record of 364.9 yards per game. This all started with an outstanding ground game at 4.5 yards per rush.
The biggest factor in all this being Flacco. Career highs in both yards (3,986) and touchdowns (27). What fans loved the most was the interceptions slicing down to only 12. Also, fans truly appreciated as the beloved 6-foot-6 quarterback only being sacked 19 times. For the 2013 season, it was two away from 50.
Next year, expect something similar to the 2014 season. Flacco should have the same offensive coordinator for two seasons, and the team will only become stronger as they mesh together in the Gary Kubiak offense.