Monday’s thoughts on the Gary Kubiak hire

Following up on Sunday night's post, here's some of what was written on Monday about Denver's hiring of Gary Kubiak:

Kubiak himself, as told by Mike Klis, Denver Post:

"A lot of things about this place are the same, and a lot has changed," Kubiak said, grinning. "I can't believe how big that fieldhouse out there is."

"I'm excited," he said. "I'm looking forward to the work. It's great to be home again.

"Hopefully it works out so this is the last coaching job I have in my career."

Andrew Mason, official site:

In once instance, Kubiak's words helped snap the Texans out of a four-game funk and toward a four-game winning streak that pushed the club to its first winning season in 2009 that validated the steady building process Kubiak oversaw.

"He was very honest with the team," Dreessen recalled. "I remember, it was the night before we played the Seattle Seahawks. It was like, 'Look, we've got to right the ship, guys. We've got to do this. We're all in this together. We're all tied at the hip, because I'm the head coach, and I chose every one of you,' and he's talking about players and coaches.

"There was never a coach-and-player distinction. It was always, 'We're in this together,' and he always gave you the feeling that all of your efforts on Sunday and in the work week were collective. It wasn't like, 'Hey, if you don't play well, you're getting cut,' it was never like that.

Jeff Legwold, ESPN:

Plummer points to Kubiak’s Texans offense with Matt Schaub as an example of how he has done it in the past. “Look at those years,” he said. “Kubes would adjust if he has to. It wasn’t like Matt Schaub could move around like a lot of guys Kubes had.” 

Schaub ran for 52 yards in 2007, his first season with the Texans. In 2008, he threw for 3,043 yards and rushed for 68. In 2009, Schaub threw for 4,770 yards and ran for 57. Granted, the last time Manning rushed for more than 45 yards in a season was 2002 -- 148 yards -- and last season he had a robust minus-24 yards rushing on his 24 carries/kneeldowns. 

Michael Schottey, Bleacher Report:

No, rather, it's that he's establishing his control and getting rid of people who may have been problems for him. In turn, he's elevating his people to those now-vacated positions of power. One doesn't feel the need to micromanage or second-guess each decision if he completely trusts the people he's hired to do a job. 

It was a kind of complete trust Fox did not have. He probably never could have earned it in a way that Kubiak already has, because of his history with the man in charge. 

I won't go so far as to call Kubiak a "yes man." Indeed, he (like most NFL head coaches and former quarterbacks) has that same Type-A personality himself. He won't let Elway coach from the executive suite, nor will he back down when the two disagree. However, he's a man Elway knows how to work with, and knows he shouldn't have to often work against. 

The two come from such similar backgrounds, and that background helped shape the ideas and values both have as football minds today. That means less friction and (hopefully for Elway and the Broncos) being on the same page could mean more success. 

What if it doesn't?

Seriously, but what if it doesn't?

Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun:

It wasn't just him, but his system. He turned a nomad like Justin Forsett into a 1,000-yard rusher. The Ravens scored a franchise-record 409 points with a No. 2 tight end in Owen Daniels and a veteran in Steve Smith who can no longer be classified as a legitimate No. 1 receiver.

The Ravens flourished because Kubiak's version of the West Coast offense was predicated on a physical running game that used stretch plays and play-action passes. The Ravens were successful because quarterbacks coach Rick Dennison, a former offensive line assistant, overhauled the blocking scheme the team used in 2013, and implemented Kubiak's.
It took Kubiak almost to midseason to figure out Flacco's strengths, and how to keep things so simple that the quarterback made the right decisions.

The problem is that no one knows for sure if a new chemistry will work. Kubiak was quiet and confident, but he never gave the impression that he was looking over coach John Harbaugh's shoulder or about to stab him in the back.

Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated:

On the surface, Manning would be a square peg-round hole fit for Kubiak's offense. Flacco, Elway and others like former Texans QB Matt Schaub have been able to take advantage of Kubiak's play calling, which often puts its quarterback on the move off play-action. Manning never has resembled a mobile QB, and he certainly does not qualify as one now.

Where Kubiak's  style should fit well, as usual, is on the ground. The Broncos employ a relatively athletic offensive line, in front of a loaded RB corps featuringC.J. Anderson, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman.

Anderson stepped up as the team's No. 1 back once Ball and Hillman fell to injury. Given Kubiak's history feeding a workhorse starter, Anderson could be in line for a monster 2015 season if he maintains his hold on the position.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, as told to Lauren Giudice of the official site:

They brought the scouting philosophy from the Broncos that assistant coaches get heavily involved and Gary doesn’t like the scouting personally, he likes to do it off tape. He likes to sit across the table from his top guys and look them in the eye and talk to them. He thinks that’s a big part of scouting, whether you’re at an individual workout or you’re at the combine. He’s big on that. He wants player that he thinks would be winners and as they transformed the roster here, they brought in a lot of players like that.

He won’t have that up there (in Denver). [Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager] John [Elway] controls the roster and they’ve got a lot of good players already. [Kubiak] won’t have to come in and change anything like he did here. He can hit the ground running.

More from Jeff Legwold, ESPN:

These are different situations, teams in different places to be sure. When Kubiak took the Texans' job before the 2006 season, they were a two-win team with an atrocious roster. 

But his tenure showed how important his defensive staff was to his success. Phillips’ hire snapped the defense in order. Rick Dennison’s hire as offensive coordinator a few years into Kubiak’s tenure also bred success as the team's running game and offensive line play improved. Dennison will be on Kubiak’s staff with the Broncos, but how he fills out the rest of that staff will determine a lot about how things go in the seasons to come. 

It is always a question of personnel, coaching or both. The Broncos believe Kubiak is the coach who can take a team Elway thinks has top-quality personnel and keep it playing into February.

And another from Legwold, ESPN:

From a football perspective, Anderson fits the mold the best, and Hillman has shown moments of decisiveness and speed to the hole. Ball has shown glimpses of that, too. But as the Broncos' ability to win the line of scrimmage waned early on this past season, Ball was at times trying to make too much of every run, and often looked hesitant as he approached the line of scrimmage.

Look for Cody Latimer, a second-round pick last May, to have far bigger impact in the offense with Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. 

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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