ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos are in the process of seeking an interview with current Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, according to several reports.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who broke the news that the Broncos and now-former head coach John Fox had agreed to mutually part ways on Monday, was also the first to report the news on Kubiak.
Broncos will seek permission to interview Ravens OC Gary Kubiak, who played and coached in Denver but has said he would stay in Baltimore.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2015
Because Kubiak is still under contract with the Ravens, the team would have to grant him permission to interview with the Broncos. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is expected to address the Kubiak rumors at a Tuesday press conference, which was slated to be held at noon MST.
There has been some speculation that the Ravens could seek compensation if the Broncos decide they ultimately want to hire Kubiak. That situation, however, would be unprecedented, considering the jump from offensive coordinator to head coach is a promotion.
Kubiak was both a teammate and coach of current Broncos general manager John Elway. He was Elway’s backup as a player from 1983 to 1991 and helped Elway win two Super Bowls as the Broncos offensive coordinator in 1997 and 1998.
Not only does Kubiak have familiarity with the Broncos, he has head coaching experience. Kubiak was named the second head coach in the history of the Houston Texans franchise, and he held that post from 2006 to 2013.
Kubiak took the Texans to their first playoff appearances in 2011 and 2012, but was fired midway through the 2013 season, one in which he also collapsed during a game after suffering what was loosely defined as a mini-stroke.
Many have worried about Kubiak’s potential lingering health issues as a result of that mini-stroke, officially defined as a transient ischemic attack, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is briefly interrupted, typically by a blood clot or narrowed blood vessels. Doctors say this sort of incident is often a warning sign that a full-blown stroke is in a patient’s future — often in their near future.
That said, experts told the LA Times that typically transient ischemic attacks indicate a stroke is likely to follow in the next three months, and Kubiak has long since passed that window.
But health issues might not be the only thing standing in the way of Kubiak becoming the Broncos head coach. There’s also the fact that Kubiak issued a statement on Sunday that he would be remaining with the Baltimore Ravens as offensive coordinator, a position he landed this past season.
“It is flattering and humbling to be invited to interview for a number of NFL head coaching positions, and I greatly appreciate these opportunities,” Kubiak said in a statement released by the Ravens. “But I have decided to stay with the Ravens.”
After beating the Broncos and winning the Super Bowl in 2012, the Ravens suffered a championship hangover in 2013, finishing a mediocre 8-8. Not only did Kubiak help the team back into the playoffs this past season, he helped them to a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and nearly a second in Foxborough, Mass., where the Ravens narrowly lost to the New England Patriots 35-31.
Given the groundwork Kubiak helped the Ravens lay in 2014, many, including Baltimore Ravens beat writer Aaron Wilson, still believe that despite the Broncos head coaching job becoming available, Kubiak will remain in Baltimore next season.
Ravens team source said he'd be "shocked" if Gary Kubiak left, even with Denver job now open, predicts he'll be running offense next season
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) January 12, 2015
Still, the speculation that Kubiak might consider an offer from the Broncos in spite of his prior statements have been much more widespread, even among Ravens players like Torrey Smith.
Until Broncos have a new head coach in place, I’ve talked to many connected people who won’t believe Gary Kubiak is staying in Baltimore.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 13, 2015
I wonder if John Elway would have interest in his former backup Gary Kubiak as HC? Kubiak announced plans to stay with Ravens but now?
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) January 12, 2015
— Glenn Clark (@GlennClarkRadio) January 13, 2015
Former Broncos tight end Byron Chamberlin also sounded especially confident about the Kubiak-to-the-Broncos speculation as of Tuesday morning.
Gary Kubiak will be the next coach of the Denver Broncos.
— byron chamberlain (@bc_chamberlain) January 13, 2015
For what it’s worth, if the Broncos were able to hire Kubiak, it would seem Broncos Country would be pleased. As of Tuesday morning, Kubiak was running away with a FOX31 Denver poll that asked fans who they would prefer to see as the Broncos’ next head coach.