Report: Gary Kubiak and His Son to Join Vikings Coaching Staff
Just when Kevin Stefanski thought it was safe to go into the offensive coordinator’s office and sit in the main chair behind the desk, news came down the pike that may have him squirming just a little bit in that chair. Multiple outlets are reporting that the Vikings are hiring former Broncos and Texans head coach Gary Kubiak to an advisory role and that his son Klint will come on board as the Vikings quarterbacks coach. ESPN’s Adam Shefter had it first with this tweet:
“Vikings hiring former Broncos’ HC Gary Kubiak in an offensive advisory role, per a league source. Kubiak’s son, Klint, is expected to become Vikings’ QB coach and Kevin Stefanski will remain as Vikings’ OC.”
It seemed like it had been a little quiet regarding news coming out of TCO Performance Center after the announcement that Stefanski would lose the interim tag and become the next Vikings OC (after his dalliance with the head coaching job in Cleveland)—and some of the other coaching candidates the Vikings may have needed to fill spots were slipping away. But truth be told, it would appear, the Vikings were busy making this significant hire (and they have an offensive line coach and special teams coordinator yet to acquire).
When asked on KFAN radio earlier today, former Vikings Ben Leber says he is a little wary about the prospect of a special advisory role for Kubiak, as he cited that Kubiak has reportedly, in the past, had a little trouble “staying in his lane” when it comes to being part of a staff. As it is, Kubiak has quite a bit of coaching experience, and if given free rein to get involved where he wants, it could ruffle the feathers of the fledgling OC Stefanski in his first go-round at the position. Leber suggested that he would be more comfortable with Kubiak as the QB coach, then his role would be defined and would potentially not cause any headaches.
But the Vikings haven’t confirmed these hires, nor has head coach Mike Zimmer taken the opportunity to weigh in on the roles, duties, hierarchy and basically the plan for these two new hires. So, any speculation on who is going to do what ,when and upset who, how is definitely premature at this point.
What the news does seem to portend is the hiring of another very good offensive mind for the Purple. Clearly, Zimmer likes to have experience in his coaches room and appears to value former head coaches in his stable. Just two short seasons ago, Zimmer had former head coaches Norn Turner, Pat Shurmur and Tony Sparano all on his staff (clearly, he doesn’t have any concern about bringing other foxes into his hen house).
By all accounts, Stefanski is more than ready for his OC position—he had two interviews for the head coaching job at Cleveland before the Browns went with an inhouse candidate. So, he shouldn’t feel threatened. Hopefully, he sees it as an opportunity to have another voice in the room—a voice with a lot of experience on the offensive side of the ball. If he is on board with the hire, all should be good in the neighborhood.
Zimmer, a defensive coach, clearly wants to load up the offensive side of his football team with some experience. He has done it before, this offense by committee of a bunch of great offensive minds. But feathers were ruffled—Turner left in a huff and Shurmur took over—eventually having great success. Perhaps Zimmer and the Vikings like the recipe of a lot of cooks. And with Kubiak’s son on the staff, perhaps, the senior Kubiak won’t be looking for a way to build his resume for the next gig, but rather look to make things run smoothly with a Vikings offense that is loaded with talent but certainly underachieved last season.
The room could work well together—a blend of experience and youth with new ideas that might be exciting for quarterback Kirk Cousins to work with. Now just get an offensive line so plans for rebuilding that unit can begin in earnest, and find someone to replace Mike Priefer at special teams. The Vikings need to jump on those hires as soon as possible. In the meantime, welcome to the frozen North, Kubiaks!