The Jets Are Talking to a Former Vikings Coach

Flashback: Vikings Run Over Jets in 2018
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

The New York Jets finished 7-10 in 2022, collapsing down the stretch of head coach Robert Saleh’s second campaign after starting 7-4 through Week 12. New York was actually in legitimate contention for the AFC East midseason, logjammed with the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots.

The Minnesota Vikings kickstarted the Jets end-of-season losing streak, knocking off the green team 27-22 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 13. New York somehow never recovered from that game, even though Mike White played like Dan Marino. The Jets lost six games to end the season.

The Jets Are Talking to a Former Vikings Coach

Now, to possibly rectify offensive woes that undid the Jets once-promising season, the aforementioned Saleh has requested an interview with former Vikings offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak.

The Jets Are Talking
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero tweeted Sunday, “The Jets are interviewing Klint Kubiak today for their offensive coordinator job, per source. Kubiak was the Vikings’ OC in 2021 and spent last season with the Broncos..”

Indeed, Kubiak led the Vikings offense inside an underwhelming 2021 season, an 8-9 campaign that led to the terminations of general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer. Coaching staffs are rarely retained when a new coach takes over, and with Kevin O’Connell and the Vikings last February, Kubiak was no different.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

So, that’s two straight years with Kubiak in a prominent offensive role — and his head coach canned after the regular season. In Minnesota last year, Kubiak’s offense ranked 17th leaguewide per offensive EPA/Play. Then, in Denver, the Broncos offense, plus Russell Wilson, sunk to 27th in the NFL in the same metric. It was not a good year for offense in Denver, so Kubiak and his boss, Nathaniel Hackett, are subsequently looking for employment.

Meanwhile, the Jets ranked 30th in offensive EPA/Play, and a change at offensive coordinator — and probably quarterback — seems mandatory. Saleh said this week about moving on from LaFleur, the team’s offensive coordinator for two years, “Over the course of the few days we’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about his availability from some teams and just talking with Mike, felt like it would be in everyone’s best interest for him to pursue those opportunities.”

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

With or without Kubiak in New York, Saleh must decide the fate of his QB1 situation in 2023. The Jets appear ready to end the Zach Wilson era sooner than anyone foresaw, Mike White is a large maybe for longterm sustainability, and Joe Flacco isn’t a feasible option as a starter (anymore). The Jets will have to roll with White, sign a free agent like Derek Carr, or draft “the next guy.”

The Jets have also interviewed other candidates, Marcus Brady (PHI), Nick Cagey (NE), Brian Johnson (PHI), Kevin Patullo (PHI), and Joe Brady (BUF), among others, for the offensive coordinator job.

Klint Kubiak is the son of former Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. The father Kubiak led the Broncos to a Super Bowl triumph in 2015 as head coach.

Klint Kubiak will turn 36 in about four weeks.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).