Gary Kubiak Named Offensive Coordinator of the Vikings

Stunning journalism by John Turner

Earlier today, the Vikings announced that they have moved long time NFL coach Gary Kubiak to the role of Offensive Coordinator. Gary had been with the Vikings as an offensive advisor this past season. Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Quarterback Kirk Cousins are going into the final year of their contracts with the team, so perhaps Zimmer’s theory is that he’d prefer to have the most experienced coach possible in control of the offense while the window is open.

Gary Kubiak is known for his explosive running game that utilizes the zone blocking technique. Zone blocking uses lateral movement and double teams by linemen to gradually open up holes that allow for a one-cut scenario to occur.

Linemen typically can be undersized and tend to be a little faster across the board. The double team by linemen will last until one of the two breaks off to take on another defender at the next level(usually a linebacker). Also, in zone blocking, linemen are more or less blocking an area instead of an actual man.

Most runnings schemes require every offensive linemen to be responsible for a blocking assignment or specific defender, whereas, zone blocking is designed to allow holes to open up in certain places using lateral movement and timing. So, instead of it being 3 yards and a cloud of dust, it’s more like 5.3 yards and a play action. Just look at some of the numbers guys put up while playing in his system.

Hey check out the weirdo in the video attempting to know stuff about football!!!

  • Terrell Davis 1996- 1538 yards
  • Terrell Davis 1997- 1750 yards
  • Terrel Davis 1998- 2008 yards
  • Arian Foster 2010- 1616 yards
  • Arian Foster 2011- 1224 yards
  • Arian Foster 2012- 1424 yards

Kubiak started his coaching career at his alma mater Texas A&M, after playing for the Denver Broncos for eight seasons. He’d join the 49ers staff in ’94 for a season (winning Super Bowl XXIX) as a Quarterbacks Coach, before returning to Denver the following year. His offenses would churn out one 1000 yard rusher after another for nearly a decade straight, winning two Super Bowls in the process. Following the 2005 season, he would be hired as the Head Coach of the Houston Texans, where he’d spend the next seven seasons. It was a mixed bag in Houston- although the Texans were typically competitive- but having Peyton Manning in your division doesn’t help much. The best season was in 2012, after a 5-0 start, they wound up with a 12-4 record and Wild Card round victory over the Bengals, before losing to the Patriots in the second round.

On his way into to the locker room at the half in November of ’13, he appeared to have a heart attack on the sideline. He would receive immediate attention and miss the next three weeks. With his health struggling at the time, his team struggled as well. He was fired in early December and would post a 2-11 record for the year.

It wouldn’t take him long to find work as John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens came calling. Hired as the new offensive coordinator under his system, Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett would put up career highs in yards as well as touchdowns. John Elway and the Broncos would would once again bring him back to Denver the followingyear.

Paired up again with Wade Phillips, this wasn’t your typical Peyton Manning season. Kubiak would do something no coach had ever dreamed of doing before, and benched Manning in week 10, after starting the season 7-0. Osweiler would take over and go 5-2 as a starter until he was bench in favor for Manning in the last week of the regular season. The team would rally behind its strength of defense and running game and in turn run the table to win Super Bowl 50. With Peyton retiring, Kubiak would return the next season and the Broncos would finish 9-7 during which he would miss another game due to health reasons. After the season full of musical chairs at the quarterback position with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch at the helm, he would step down as head coach, however, he would remain on staff as a personnel advisor for two more years.

And now here we are. After a year serving as an advisor it appears as if he’s up for one last dance likely from up in the booth. I like the move, and I only hope his health holds up for the entire season. Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Dalvin Cook, and Kyle Rudolph are all under contract and likely returning. The Offensive Line was ranked 19th by PFF this season, so they’re leaving a bit for the imagination in that regard. However, if Gary’s zone technique combined with some help on the line through free agency and or the draft can be installed and the wind blows just right (they play in a dome), they could very well be looking at a magical season. So for now, I’ll say “good hire”. The NFC North won’t be a walk in the park come 2020, but I believe the Vikings got better today. Time will tell.

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