The Younger Kubiak Has a New Employer
Former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak will join his third team in three years this season.
Kubiak heads westerly to San Francisco, where he’ll take on a senior offensive job thanks to Kyle Shanahan. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted the news Thursday evening, “The 49ers are hiring Klint Kubiak to a top role on Kyle Shanahan’s offensive staff, replacing Bobby Slowik, per sources. Kubiak, the former Vikings OC and Broncos QB coach, steps into a spot that has been a promotion factory, with Slowik most recently becoming Houston’s OC.”
The Younger Kubiak Has a New Employer
The 35-year-old last worked in Denver as a quarterbacks coach and was linked at the hip with Russell Wilson in 2022, an experiment that ended terribly. Wilson joined the Broncos via trade about one year ago, and the results to date have been horrendous. But Denver’s brass fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett accordingly, Sean Payton took over, and evidently didn’t retain Kubiak for the long haul.
The New York Jets chatted with Kubiak about their offensive coordinator position on January 22nd but ultimately chose Kubiak’s 2022 boss Nathaniel Hackett for the job. After that, Payton was hired in Denver, and Kubiak marinated in limbo. Not long after, he’s landed with Shanahan and the gang.
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.
So, that’s three straight years now with Kubiak in a prominent offensive role. The last two adventures ended with his boss getting fired. We shall see on Shanahan. It would be rather odd for him to get the ax.
With the Vikings in 2021, Kubiak’s offense ranked 17th leaguewide per offensive EPA/Play. Then, in Denver, the Broncos offense, plus 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, Hackett, were subsequently not retained.
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.
While the formal title is yet to be announced, Kubiak should be in good hands with Shanahan, who is considered one of the brightest offensive minds in the sport. In 2022, the 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers and totally revitalized their season. San Francisco won 12 consecutive games one week after McCaffrey joined the squad and nearly reached the Super Bowl. They fell short to the Philadelphia Eagles after encountering back-to-back-to-back-to-back quarterback injuries.
In the end, the 49ers offense ranked fourth in the NFL per EPA/Play. They’ll decide this offseason what to do at quarterback but will likely roll with Trey Lance, who is recovering from a broken ankle. His replacement, Brock Purdy, ruptured his UCL versus the aforementioned Eagles.
Kubiak will turn 36 on Friday.
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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).
All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.
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