Gary Kubiak lands in Baltimore as Ravens' new offensive coordinator
While Kubiak's tenure in Houston ended horribly, keep in mind that he took over a 2-14 squad back in 2006 and led the franchise to their first ever playoff appearances in 2011 and 2012. Kubiak made his name with the Denver Broncos when he joined their staff as an offensive coordinator under Mike Shanahan in 1995. During his 11 years in Denver, Kubiak's offenses ranked in the top-10 in scoring ten times. In the three years after Kubiak left (all with Shanahan as the head coach), the Broncos' offenses ranked 17th, 21st, and 16th in scoring.
Caldwell employed a very pass-heavy approach in Baltimore this season, ranking eighth in pass attempts and 18th in rushing attempts, but Kubiak will turn the tables and employ game plans that better suit the Ravens' personnel. Despite his monster contract, Joe Flacco is not a quarterback you want throwing the ball 614 times (which he did in 2013), and the Ravens have some talented running backs in Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, even though they were huge disappointments this year.
During Kubiak's 19 years as a coordinator/head coach, he has ranked higher in rushing attempts than pass attempts 13 times. Most of the seasons in which he passed more were his earlier years with the Texans, when the team was giving up boatloads of points on defense.
The addition of Kubiak suggests that the Ravens are set on getting back to what has brought them so much success in recent years - smashmouth football. 2013 was the first season under Harbaugh in which the Ravens ranked higher in pass attempts than rushing attempts, and it was also the first season under Harbaugh that the team missed the playoffs. Kubiak will attempt to pound opponents into submission with zone runs (the same blocking scheme that made Shanahan famous), allowing Rice and Pierce to be fed constantly throughout the season.
The hire also suggests that the Ravens will be looking to upgrade their offensive line this offseason. One key factor will be re-signing impending free agent Eugene Monroe, who was easily the best offensive lineman on the team in 2013. Other areas that may be addressed include center (Gino Gradkowski had a horrible rookie season), left guard (a carousel of players struggled at that spot), and right tackle (Michael Oher is an impending free agent and is coming off a bad year).
Overall, Kubiak looks like a great hire and should be able to help get the Ravens back on track in the near future.