Thursday's NFL: Kubiak couldn’t pass on shot to coach again
The allure of the gameday atmosphere was simply too strong for Gary Kubiak to ignore, having spent the past two years in a non-coaching role for Denver following another health scare.
He found his place in Minnesota, with this opportunity to add an experienced leader and accomplished strategist to a fluctuated offensive coaching staff.
“As a first-time coordinator, I would have been foolish not to go do everything in our power to bring in a guy who has been in seven Super Bowls as a player and a coach,” Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski said.
Though Kubiak was the play-caller for the 2015-16 champion Broncos, his ninth of 10 seasons as an NFL head coach, that responsibility will rest with Stefanski, who has given the Vikings their own millennial-generation offensive guide in a league that has fast filled up with them. As an assistant head coach to Mike Zimmer and offensive adviser, though, Kubiak will bring a long history of supervising productive offenses and a low-ego, laid-back personality set up to mesh well with the staff.
The Vikings also hired his son, Klint Kubiak (quarterbacks), and two of his longtime colleagues, Rick Dennison (offensive line) and Brian Pariani (tight ends), to try to help support Stefanski and give the offense a lift after lagging below the league average in the first season with quarterback Kirk Cousins. Gary Kubiak will be in the booth during games, with Stefanski on the sideline. Dennison will also hold the title of running game coordinator.
After serving as Denver’s backup quarterback behind Pro Football Hall of Fame member John Elway on three AFC title-winning teams, Kubiak broke into the NFL coaching ranks as quarterbacks coach for the Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers in the 1994-95 season. He was offensive coordinator for the Broncos for the next 11 years, winning two more Super Bowls along the way, before becoming head coach of the Houston Texans.
Bengals round out staff
The Bengals have completed their search for a defensive coordinator by hiring Lou Anarumo, who was the Giants’ defensive backs coach last season.
Defensive coordinator was the last major job open under new coach Zac Taylor, who came from the Rams as quarterbacks coach and plans to call the plays on offense.
Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway’s misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession stemming from an Aug. 5 traffic stop was dismissed last month.
... The Bears have released tight end Dion Sims (Michigan State).
The Akron Beacon Journal contributed.