As the Browns look to build a staff for their new head coach in Mike Pettine, the first of what will likely be many names is former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak.
Hear there’s interest in Gary Kubiak for #Browns OC job. Would make sense, given team’s FA love for RB Ben Tate, who’d be in the same system
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 24, 2014
Browns will make a run at former Texans coach Gary Kubiak from what I'm hearing to be Mike Pettine's offensive coordinator
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 24, 2014
With a rookie, defensive-minded head coach locked up, finding a top-flight offensive coordinator (in addition to a new, talented quarterback) is imperative to the Browns’ future success. Pettine and Kubiak have never worked together in the past, but, “RapSheet” points out, Kubiak’s fit in Cleveland would make some sense as the Browns have repeatedly been linked to Texans free-agent running back Ben Tate. Given his work with All-Everything wide recevier Andre Johnson, Kubiak’s addition would likely mean good things for All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon, as well.
Kubiak was relieved of his duties in Houston after the Texans drastically underperformed expectations. He worked under Mike Shanahan in Denver prior to taking the job with the Texans where he turned an undrafted running back named Arian Foster into a Pro Bowler (who also happens to be featured in Toyotal commercials) while winning a playoff game with TJ Yates as his quarterback in 2011. He interviewed with the Detroit Lions prior to their filling of a head coaching vacancy, but it is unclear as to whether or not he would be willing to accept a coordinator position just weeks after he firing.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter doesn’t appear to think so.
Despite Browns' interest, it is considered unlikely that former Texans HC Gary Kubiak will become Cleveland's next offensive coordinator.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 24, 2014
Meanwhile, it does appear likely that Pettine will be bringing 36-year-old Jim O’Neil with him from Buffalo where the linebackers coach would serve as his defensive coordinator.