Since Vance Joseph’s departure, the rumor mill has been swirling that Gary Kubiak would return in some capacity to work with the Denver Broncos offense in 2019.
Smoke began to bellow out from Dove Valley when the Atlanta Falcons were denied the opportunity to interview Kubes for their vacant offensive coordinator position, a spot that Dirk Koetter now resides in. The Cincinnati Bengals were also denied an interview with Kubiak, and their entire coaching roster has yet to settle.
There is some reason to believe the Bengals may now have the opportunity as Kubiak is reportedly leaving the Broncos to seek another opportunity in the league.
Klis when asked if Kubiak could return his old role, "That would be no. This is like a divorce." https://t.co/oxU9E9BHYY— Doctor of Words (and tights and positive thinking) (@docllv) January 12, 2019
There has been rampant speculation that Kubiak wished to bring on former assistants such as Rick Dennison to install his offense. Dennison worked as the New York Jets run game coordinator/offensive line coach in 2018 but is currently available. The two have worked together at multiple stops along Kubiak’s coaching tenure, including Baltimore, Houston and Denver. It’s understandable if the two wished to be reunited, but may be best for all parties that the Broncos are moving away from the past in 2019.
In the time since the Kubiak news broke, reports have surfaced that the team has requested an interview with Rich Scangarello, the San Francisco 49ers QB coach. As of this time that interview is up in the air after the 49ers denied the Broncos attempts. But it appears Denver is pressing for the meet, so the situation is still very fluid.
So we know what the Broncos’ plan A and plan B appear to be. Reports have long suggested that Elway has been intrigued by the way the game is changing, at least as far back as November. That may be one reason why Scangarello is a logical path after Kubiak.
The 49ers QB coach has worked with Kyle Shanahan a number of years. He also bears some responsibility in the Niners finding Nick Mullens, so it seems he has an eye for unearthing hidden talent at the position. Combine the two and you have a coach who is well-versed in Shanahan’s system, the New Age iteration of his father and Kubiak’s. Adam Malnati and Ian St. Clair discussed the split between Kubiak and the Broncos, and who could potentially become the offensive coordinator on the latest MHR Radio Podcast.
I hate to tell all these teams hiring the next Mcvay for his offensive prowess two things. 1) Mcvay is a lot more than an offensive scheme guy 2) if you are trying to copy a scheme the Shanahan scheme is a better one to copy than the Mcvay one.— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) January 10, 2019
This is all just crazy.
So what’s Plan C if the Broncos can’t hire Scangarello?
When the Kubiak news first broke, I was coming home from work and thought perhaps the Broncos were moving away from the naked bootlegs and zone blocking system to what has defined the 2018 NFL season - college concepts, RPOs, aggressive short yardage play - the kind of approach to offense any longtime Madden player would appreciate.
There are a number of candidates that could fit that bill.
Zac Taylor - Los Angeles Rams QB Coach
This looks like a long shot with reports coming out that he’s expected to become the Cincinnati Bengals next coach. If, for some reason that does not come to fruition, Elway has already interviewed him for the head coaching position that has become Vic Fangios.
The 35-year-old has coached in the league since 2012, has previous play calling experience with the 2015 Dolphins, and worked for a couple years in the McVay offense.
It would be a logical move.
Bengals would like to hire Rams’ QB coach Zac Taylor after Los Angeles’ season ends, league sources tell @mortreport and me. It looks like it is Taylor’s job to lose. He is the preferred choice.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 10, 2019
Eric Bieniemy - Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator
There’s reason to believe this wouldn’t ever happen either, even if it’d be a logical move for the Broncos. The Chiefs have every reason to deny their coordinator from moving to take a similar role with a division rival.
But if Andy Reid did let his assistant move on to a larger opportunity with play calling responsibilities, the former Colorado Buffalo would bring with him the knowledge gained from designing Patrick Mahomes offense, as well as experience working with players like Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles.
Todd Monken - Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator
Monken has become a hot commodity as the head coaching positions have filled up. He already reportedly has interviews scheduled with the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns - and for good reason.
Monken is the magician behind Fitzmagic, and teams are looking to benefit from his vertical passing system. He has a number of years of experience coordinating an offense at all levels of football, and hope here is that the Broncos will give him a call.
Several names out there.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) January 11, 2019
Jim Bob Cooter
Marty Mornhinweg https://t.co/5Ap7I7DhhW
John Morton - Former New York Jets Offensive Coordinator
This one has some chance of happening as Vic Fangio and Morton coached together on Jim Harbaugh’s staff with the 49ers from 2011-2014. Most of Morton’s experience comes as a wide receivers coach after playing the position for a number of years in the 1990s. He has just one year of experience as a play caller.
Morton’s 2017 Jets offense finished 25th in offensive DVOA, 22nd in passing. It may not create the same level of hope that earlier names inspire, but coaches routinely hire within their network, and Morton is in that network.
Jim Bob Cooter - Former Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator
This time one year ago Cooter was considered a future head coaching candidate. He worked with the Lions under Jim Caldwell for three seasons before this last year with Matt Patricia. Prior to that he was the Lions QB coach after working as an offensive assistant during the 2013 season with the Broncos.
Cooter has garnered some interest since leaving Detroit. He reportedly has an interview slated with the Freddie Kitchen Browns for its now vacant coordinator job.
Marty Mornhinweg - Former Baltimore Ravens Offensive Coordinator
Since we’re talking about former Lions, it’s worth noting that Mornhinweg once had the top spot in Detroit from 2001-2002. Since then he’s had a number of positions, but most notably offensive coordinator jobs with the Ravens, Jets and Philadelphia Eagles.
He’s coached in the NFL since 1995 but last year under John Harbaugh is proof that he’s flexible enough to cater his offense to the talent he’s given. Then again, the fact that Harbaugh replaced him with Greg Roman speaks to who he trusts most moving forward with Lamar Jackson at quarterback.
Still, Mornhinweg coached Michael Vick to his best season in the NFL and has the kind of experience that may be valuable to a defensive specialist such as Fangio.
This isn’t an exhaustive list as there are a number of other coaches who could be in play. Perhaps Nick Sirianni wants the opportunity to call plays after working under Frank Reich with the Indianapolis Colts? Maybe the reports that Denver is looking to speak with Mike Munchak again leads to an OC job for the long-time offensive line coach?
All eyes should be set on who Fangio hires here as the Broncos need to turn the offense around in 2019. Kubiak’s ouster means the quarterback position could again be in total flux, but let’s hope whoever comes in has a plan.
If I were a betting man, I’d says odds still favor something working out with Scangarello, but only time will tell.
Broncos Country - Who do you want as OC?
This poll is closed
Jim Bob Cooter