Ravens, Kubiak renew ties during Week 1 clash in Denver
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Gary Kubiak knows all about the Baltimore Ravens. They know all about him.
Kubiak spent the 2014 season as offensive coordinator of the Ravens. Not long after he emphatically insisted that he would be staying in Baltimore, perhaps the only job that could have lured him away became available: head coach of Denver, where he spent most of his playing career.
Kubiak accepted the position, and he will make his debut Sunday against, of course, Baltimore.
''It's funny how that works,'' Kubiak said Wednesday.
With Kubiak calling the shots, the Ravens set franchise records last season in points (409) and yardage (5,838). They also rang up 30 points in a playoff win at Pittsburgh before coming up short in a 35-31 loss at New England.
Marc Trestman has taken over as Baltimore's offensive coordinator, but the unit's identity remains the same.
''Everyone knows what kind of team we are,'' said running back Justin Forsett, who ran for a career-high 1,266 yards in 2014. ''We have an identity of being a run-first team, a team that's physical - smash-mouth football. We can't worry about if (Kubiak) knows a little bit of what we do. We've just got to execute.''
Kubiak also knows a quite bit about the Baltimore defense after working against the unit in practice last year.
Maybe it matters.
Probably it doesn't.
''You can say he has the advantage against us because he was here all last year and knows the defense we run,'' cornerback Jimmy Smith said. ''But we know what he runs. It's going to come down to the players on Sunday.''
Familiarity between a coach and his former team can be intriguing, but usually does not factor in the outcome.
''I think those things are overrated in our business,'' Kubiak said. ''Coaches move around in this league and players move around. There's a lot of people familiar with each other.''
Before the game, many of the Ravens will make a point of shaking hands with Kubiak and Rick Dennison, now Denver's offensive coordinator after serving as Baltimore's quarterbacks coach in 2014.
''It won't be weird. I'll go say hi to those guys,'' Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. ''I had a great relationship with all of them. I'll probably just go up to them and joke around about something, nothing probably too serious.''
This game is important to the Ravens because it's the first one, not because Kubiak will be on the opposite sideline.
''We had some success last year, but nothing was circled,'' Forsett said. ''It was circled because it's Week 1. We're preparing for Week 1 all through the offseason. There's no added extra value on coach Kube being there or not. We all have our relationships with him, but there's none of the extra stuff going on.''
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