The Baltimore Ravens coaching staff is one of the best in the NFL, as they were somehow able to land both Gary Kubiak and his former offensive coordinator in Houston Rick Dennison. Kubiak is the offensive coordinator and is set to call plays, whereas the underrated Dennison is the QBs coach. It looked like the Ravens were going to hire either Kyle Shanahan and Jim Hostler, but Kubiak suddenly emerged as a top candidate on Monday and was hired by the organization. They tried to pursue both Shanahan and Dennison but were unsurprisingly “only” able to add Dennison to their dream team of coaches. The fact that this was highway robbery on the part of the Ravens cannot be emphasized further, but there is one myth that rose during Monday’s search that needs to be dispelled as quickly as possible.
It was reported on Monday by the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston that John Harbaugh was a “non-factor” in the potential hiring of Gary Kubiak, and Preston’s tweets that day insinuated that owner Steve Bisciotti was unhappy with Harbaugh and pretty much brought in Kubiak by force.
The premise was hard to believe, but it was definitely intriguing and became a talking point. A report from the Sun’s Aaron Wilson, who is a lot more reliable than Preston and is one of the best in the business, the day before Preston’s tweet stated that Dennison and Harbaugh had spoken. That piqued my interest, because I read it following Preston’s tweet and wrote this,” it is unlikely that Harbaugh spoke with Kubiak’s former offensive coordinator without knowing that Kubiak was a candidate for the job.”
We know now that Preston’s report- it’s easy to harp on him too much, so please realize that writers and their sources are often wrong, and it’s not for me to judge anyone’s reporting at all until all of the facts are there- is false and that Harbaugh did have a major role in hiring both Kubiak and, obviously, Dennison.
In an excellent piece clarifying things for us, Senior VP of Public and Community Relations Kevin Byrne wrote on the team’s official site that Harbaugh did have a role in the hiring and supplied some interesting quotes from Harbs. Please click on the link and read the piece, since it is excellent and further proves that the Ravens are the best organization at bringing the facts to the fans and media.
Harbaugh said, “Before that conversation with Rick, I was ready to make the call between ‘Hoss’ [Hostler] and Kyle, two really good coaches. In my conversations with Rick, he suggested reaching out to Gary. We had discussed Kubiak early in the process, but Gary was a head-coaching candidate, and we knew he had turned down some teams for the offensive coordinator position.
“I called Gary on Saturday, and we had a long conversation. We found that we agreed on many of the fundamentals needed to make an offense great, and he agreed to fly to Baltimore as soon as he could. I let Ozzie know and asked him to help get more information on Gary. Ozzie called Rick Smith [the general manager] of the Texans to get a little more of a feel about where Gary was at right now. Oz called me back and said Rick was very strong on Gary – very positive.”
So yeah, Harbaugh had plenty of say, and anything other than that would have been totally against the M.O. established over the year by Bisciotti and the Ravens organization.