It had been expected for a while, and now it's official: the Vikings are promoting quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak to offensive coordinator to replace his retired father, according to NFL Network.
Kubiak, who turns 34 this month, was seen as a favorite for the Vikings' OC gig last offseason after Kevin Stefanski was hired to coach the Browns. But the job went to his dad Gary Kubiak, who wanted one more run as a coordinator and play-caller. After a season in which the Vikings had one of the league's more efficient and explosive offenses, the elder Kubiak decided to retire for a second time, with fatigue and health concerns perhaps playing a role.
One year later, it's Klint's turn. He'll allow the Vikings to have a great deal of continuity on offense by keeping the same system, scheme, and terminology. Kirk Cousins has thrived in the Kubiak/Shanahan wide zone offense over the past two seasons, with a lot of his success coming on play-action passes. Last week, Justin Jefferson was asked about the possibility of Kubiak taking over as OC.
“Nothing but respect for coach [Gary Kubiak]," Jefferson told Fansided's Mark Carman. "I wish I could have more years with him. I was just getting comfortable with him. But I’m pretty sure Klint is going to come in and do the same or even better. I’m pretty sure [Gary] is going to give him a little insight and give him some tips on how to call the games. If he does [get the OC job] it’s pretty much going to be the same offense."
What will be interesting to see this fall is what kind of tweaks Klint implements to make the offense his own, and how his tendencies as a first-time play caller might differ from his dad's. As a former quarterbacks coach, maybe he will increase the Vikings' passing rate ever so slightly. The Vikings have a chance to once again have a very good offense in 2021, but they need to once again address their offensive line and potentially add an upgraded WR3.
With Kubiak moving to OC, former wide receivers coach Andrew Janocko takes the vacated spot at quarterbacks coach. A former college quarterback at Pitt, Janocko is an impressive young coach (slightly younger than Kubiak at 32) who may be in line for an OC gig of his own down the line. The Vikings hired Keenan McCardell to be their new receivers coach, which should be an excellent addition, particularly as a mentor for Jefferson. The other three offensive coaches remain the same: Rick Dennison is the offensive line coach and run game coordinator, Kennedy Polamalu is the running backs coach, and Brian Pariani coaches tight ends.
The Vikings interviewed several other candidates during what feels like their annual OC search, including Giants WRs coach Tyke Tolbert, but ultimately decided to go with the internal candidate who was always seen as the heavy favorite for the job.
Kubiak began his NFL coaching career with the Vikings as an assistant receivers coach back in 2013. After two years in that role, he coached WRs at the University of Kansas for one season. Kubiak then re-joined his father by joining the Broncos as their QBs coach in 2016, holding that job for three seasons until coming back to Minnesota in 2019. He played college football at Colorado State from 2005 to 2009.
With Kubiak becoming the Vikings' sixth different OC since the start of the 2016 season, Minnesota would presumably like to see him remain in the role for at least a few years to provide some stability there.
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