In news that should surprise no one after Justin Jefferson’s comments last week, the Vikings have officially hired Klint Kubiak to succeed his father, Gary, as offensive coordinator. The 33-year-old has been a fan favorite around the PurpleTerritory water cooler, being dubbed the nickname Lil’ Kub by Kyle Joudry. He was the Vikings’ quarterbacks coach for the past two seasons, and his promotion was always what made the most sense for the Vikings.
Mike Zimmer has been preaching that he wants continuity going into 2021. It makes sense. Continuity is a key component to chemistry on and off the field. With Gary Kubiak retiring, that wasn’t truly possible for their OC. However, the Vikings got about as close to it as they possibly could by hiring the heir, Lil’ Kub.
The senior Kubiak led the Vikings to the fourth best offense in terms of total yards and eleventh in scoring during 2020. With most of the key pieces set to return in 2021, and hopefully an improved o-line, it looks like Zimmer is getting as close as he can to his continuity wish.
Last week, the Vikings interviewed Tyke Tolbert for the OC position. Tolbert has never held an offensive coordinator position, but he has a long history as a wide receivers coach. He has held stints primarily with the Bills (2004-09), Broncos (2011-17), and Giants (2018-present).
He also coached Anquan Boldin during his (at the time) record-setting rookie year in 2003. Other notable young receivers on his repertoire include Lee Evans, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Odell Beckham Jr. It would have been interesting to see what he could bring out of Justin Jefferson in 2021.
Rumors (then again it may have just been blind hope) had also begun to swirl around the Chiefs current OC, Eric Bienemy, after he somehow didn’t end up with a head coaching job. Don’t let last night’s Super Bowl fool you, Bienemy’s offense has been historically great in Kansas City. The only knock on him could be that Andy Reid has famously been a mastermind on that end of the ball, so Bienemy can’t take all the credit.
With that great of a team and a situation where he seems next in line for the Chiefs’ head coaching job (Reid will be 63 next season), it was hard to imagine him leaving. The only argument that really could be made is that he would have much more say in the Vikings’ offense than he would in KC. That said, I probably wouldn’t have left Patrick Mahomes, either.
Personally, I am very excited to see what Lil’ Kub can do next year. His father has a reputation as one of the best in the league at building offenses. While a hiring like Bienemy would have been incredible, that never really felt feasible to me. There were just too many reasons to stay in Kansas City if he was only going to be the OC instead of head coach. Tolbert would have been interesting as well with his ability to coach young receivers. However, he’s never had an offensive coordinator job. While Kubiak hasn’t either, he’s at least had one of the best offensive minds around him his entire life. It’s a very unique situation going directly from father to son on the coaching staff, and I expect the young gun to be eager to prove himself this year.