John Harbaugh and the Ravens broke form by disdaining to hire or promote from the inside… and announced former Houston Texans' head coach Gary Kubiak as their new offensive coordinator, and also Kubiak's right-hand man at Houston, Rick Dennison, as the new quarterbacks coach.
It's a package deal with the flavor of the Texans' halcyon days as a downhill running team from recent years.
Jamison Hensley, former beat writer for the Ravens and now featured AFC North columnist for ESPN.com, wrote it up the best:
After reportedly being down to two finalists this past weekend, the Ravens changed direction and went with Kubiak, who began talking with the team only a few days ago. Kubiak becomes the Ravens' third offensive coordinator in the past 13 months and the third in coach John Harbaugh's tenure.
"It was a great process. It may have taken us back to where, in the beginning, you might assume we started," Harbaugh said at Monday's news conference. "In the end, this is the way it worked, and we have the best guy."
Kubiak was the coach of the Houston Texans for nearly eight seasons, leading them to the playoffs in 2011 and 2012. The offense ranked in the top 10 in four of the past six years.
The Texans, who finished 2-14 this season, fired Kubiak in early December.
"This is the best day I've had in two months," Kubiak said. "It gives me a chance to be part of a championship organization."
The Ravens estimated that Harbaugh spoke to 15 candidates during the two-week search. It was reported this weekend that the Ravens would choose between former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler.
But Harbaugh met with Kubiak for dinner on Sunday, saying it was at that time he thought it would be a good fit.
"In your mind, you always keep list of the guys that give you the most trouble as coaches," Harbaugh said. "With this staff, what they've done offensively, has been kind of a pain in our rear."
Kubiak, 52, said there are no concerns about his health. He suffered a transient ischemic attack, or "mini-stroke," on Nov. 3 while walking off the field at halftime of a loss against Indianapolis.
According to Kubiak, he has resumed working out.
"I came out of it fine. I was my old self at the end of the season," Kubiak said. "I feel great. Looking forward to getting up very early in the morning and going to work again. My wife is tired of me being around the house."
Kubiak takes over a Ravens offense that finished 29th in the NFL in total yards, the team's worst ranking in eight years. Harbaugh called it a "fresh start" for the offense, but he doesn't want the offense's philosophy to change.
"It's not going to be Texans offense or the Broncos offense. It's going to be the Ravens," Harbaugh said. "It's going to be what we build with our players and our coaches. It's going to look like what Baltimore wants it to look. It's going to be rugged. It's going to be rough. It's going to be tough, physical, downhill, precise football. I think there is a really good fit philosophically. We see football from the same perspective."
Kubiak declined to say whether he wants to be a head coach in the league again.
"Right now, I want to be the best offensive coordinator I can be. I don't look down the road," Kubiak said. "I told John when he first called me: 'I want to have a chance to enjoy coaching, teaching and have a chance to win.' I know you would offer all of those opportunities if things worked out."
The Ravens also added Rick Dennison as their quarterbacks coach. Dennison, the Texans' offensive coordinator the past four seasons under Kubiak, has never held that title in his coaching career.
Good Luck, Gary
Gary Kubiak takes over a Ravens offense that has gone 16 seasons without ranking in the top 10 in total offense — tied for the fifth-longest streak in history.
* Active streak
** Browns were not in NFL from '96-98
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