Klint Kubiak

NFC West Coaching Updates: Rams, Kubiak, Cardinals

The Rams announced that they’ve finalized their coaching staff for the 2023 season earlier this month, according to Rams staff writer Stu Jackson. We covered a number of the changes from 2022 already, but below are the ones we have yet to cover.

With the departure of Thomas Brown, who will be calling plays for the Panthers in 2023, head coach Sean McVay had an opening for a new assistant head coach. We heard last month that the team added Jimmy Lake to the staff, but we didn’t have details on his role. It turns out that he will be replacing Brown as the Rams assistant head coach.

On offense, the biggest change we have yet to cover is the addition of Ron Gould as the team’s new running backs coach. After allowing Ra’Shaad Samples to depart for a college position, the Rams went and poached Gould away from San Diego State a month after Gould was named the associate head coach and running backs coach for the Aztecs. He spent the last six years coaching running backs at Stanford. Additionally, two assistants received promotions this offseason. Jake Peetz, who was an offensive assistant last year has been given the new title of pass game specialist. Kenneth Black, last year’s coaching fellow in Los Angeles, will fill Peetz’s previous role of offensive assistant.

Los Angeles made two new additions to the defensive staff. They hired Joe Coniglio to coach outside linebackers in 2023. Coniglio played a similar role for Navy last season. The other addition is Andrew Carter, who will be the new assistant defensive line coach after the departure of Skyler Jones. Carter was a defensive quality control coach for the Broncos last year.

Additionally, the Rams’ defensive staff saw a rare swap occur. Chris Shula, who served last year as the team’s pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach, will spend 2023 as the inside linebackers coach/pass rush coordinator. Last year’s inside linebackers coach, Chris Beake, will now coach defensive backs.

Here are some other staff changes in the NFC West:

  • We heard last month that the 49ers added Klint Kubiak to their staff in an unnamed role. The team recently announced that Kubiak will serve as San Francisco’s offensive passing game specialist in 2023. The 49ers also announced the hires of Jacob Webster as defensive quality control coach and Max Molz as coaching operations assistant. Both are making their NFL-debuts with Webster coming from Wisconsin as a graduate assistant and Molz serving as the associate director of football operations at Missouri last year.
  • The Cardinals hired some personnel help for new general manager Monti Ossenfort earlier this week, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. Arizona is bringing in Rob Kisiel to a pro personnel department executive position. Kisiel has been a pro scout for the Falcons for the last two seasons and previously served as director of pro personnel for the Texans.

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spun for several weeks, many teams made coordinator changes as well. Teams seeking new head coaches are conducting OC and DC searches, and a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

This is a big year for offensive coordinator hires, with nearly half the league making changes. Here are the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 3-1-23 (3:31pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals 

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Ben McAdoo)

  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach, (Rams): Hired
  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Kellen Moore)

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interviewed 2/2
  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed
  • Jeff Nixon, running backs coach (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Brian Schottenheimer, offensive consultant (Cowboys): Hired

Denver Broncos (Out: Justin Outten)

Houston Texans (Out: Pep Hamilton)

Indianapolis Colts (Out: Parks Frazier)

  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Tee Martin, wide receivers coach (Ravens): Interview requested

Kansas City Chiefs (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Matt Nagy, quarterbacks coach (Chiefs): Hired

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Shane Steichen)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Vance Joseph)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Leslie Frazier)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Al Holcomb)

  • Ejiro Evero, former defensive coordinator (Broncos): Hired
  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): Interviewed
  • Kris Richard, co-defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Renaldo Hill)

  • Derrick Ansley, defensive backs coach (Chargers): Promoted
  • Doug Belk, defensive coordinator (Houston): Interviewed
  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Interviewed

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Ryan Nielsen, Kris Richard)

  • Joe Woods, former defensive coordinator (Browns): Hired

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Jonathan Gannon)

San Francisco 49ers (Out: DeMeco Ryans)

  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): On radar
  • Chris Harris, defensive backs coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/31
  • Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach (49ers): On radar
  • Steve Wilks, former interim head coach (Panthers): Hired

Texans To Hire Shane Day, Discussed Role With Klint Kubiak

Coaches with 49ers pasts have become a regular part of the Texans’ first offseason under DeMeco Ryans. The new Houston head coach has hired a host of former 49ers coworkers, and he added another notable name to that list late this week.

Shane Day is joining the Texans’ staff, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets. The Chargers’ quarterbacks coach over the past two seasons, Day will work as a senior offensive assistant in Houston. The Chargers fired Day and OC Joe Lombardi last month, but Day has a connection to Ryans. The two were part of the 49ers’ staff from 2019-20, when Day was San Francisco’s QBs coach.

In addition to hiring another ex-Kyle Shanahan assistant, the Texans discussed a job with a staffer Shanahan just hired. Klint Kubiak, who spent last season as the Broncos’ QBs coach, engaged in talks about joining Ryans in Houston, KPRC’s Aaron Wilson tweets. It is unclear if Kubiak was the first choice for the role Day will fill, but he is now with the 49ers. Klint Kubiak’s father, Gary, of course, is the longest-tenured HC in Texans history. Gary Kubiak, who stepped away from coaching after the 2020 season, was the Houston boss from 2006 until an in-season firing in 2013.

With Shanahan serving as San Francisco’s play-caller, the team has often gone without an offensive coordinator. Mike McDaniel held that role in 2021, but during Day’s tenure, the team went without one. Considering Jimmy Garoppolo‘s 2019 success, Day’s standing with the team undoubtedly boosted his prospects. Though, the Chargers canning him brought a setback. While the Chargers have been labeled as underachievers in recent years, Justin Herbert did become the AFC’s Pro Bowl starter in 2021.

New Texans OC Bobby Slowik does not have Day’s experience, being an offensive assistant during Day’s time in the Bay Area and only spending one season (2022) as the 49ers’ passing-game coordinator, so the latter stands to provide considerable assistance to the 35-year-old play-caller. Kubiak will serve in Slowik’s former position in San Francisco.

The Texans will add one of Kubiak’s 2022 Broncos coworkers, Jake Moreland, as their tight ends coach, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. Moreland, 46, has spent the past two seasons at the NFL level. Prior to joining Robert Saleh‘s staff as Jets assistant offensive line coach in 2021, he had spent his career at the college level.

The team will stay the course at one of its assistant positions. Jacques Cesaire, who joined Lovie Smith‘s staff last year, will stay on as defensive line coach, Wilson adds. A nine-year Chargers D-lineman, Cesaire served as the Bolts and Bills’ assistant D-line coach from 2015-21. He has no 49ers ties.

49ers To Add Klint Kubiak To Staff

The 49ers have lost several assistant coaches in recent days with DeMeco Ryans becoming the new head coach of the Texans. Among the brain drain the team has endured is the departure of Bobby Slowik, who recently became Houston’s offensive coordinator.

San Francisco has found his replacement in the form of Klint Kubiak. The 49ers are adding him to their offensive staff in an unnamed role, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link). Slowik held the titles of passing game specialist and passing game coordinator over the past two seasons, so something similar can be expected for Kubiak, who has found his next NFL employer after a one-year stint in Denver.

The 35-year-old served as the Broncos’ QBs coach and passing game coordinator for much of the year. In the wake of the team’s unexpected offensive struggles under head coach Nathaniel Hackett, however, Kubiak was given play-calling duties in November. That setup changed for the final two weeks of the season, when OC Justin Outten guided the offense following Hackett’s firing.

The latter two staffers have already landed new gigs, with Hackett and Outten being hired by the Jets and Titans, respectively. This 49ers posting comes after Kubiak also drew interest from a number of outside teams. He interviewed with the Jets and Buccaneers for their OC vacancies, but will take on a coveted role in the Bay Area. The 49ers have enjoyed plenty of success on offense under Kyle Shanahan, and Kubiak will now have a hand in the team’s performance on that side of the ball in 2023.

Kubiak was also in discussion with the Texans prior to joining the 49ers, reports Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 (on Twitter). By heading to San Francisco, the one-time Vikings OC will be able to work alongside his brother Klay; the latter son of Gary Kubiak currently works as the Niners’ assistant QBs coach. Klint will have a steep challenge in terms of replicating the team’s success on offense in 2022 despite needing to go four-deep on their quarterback depth chart at one point, but doing so could further boost his rising stock around the league.

Bucs Begin Round Of OC Interview Requests

4:36pm: The Bucs are also set to meet with Broncos quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The team attempted to secure a meeting with Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, but Hamilton declined the meeting.

The former Vikings OC, Kubiak became a key figure during Nathaniel Hackett‘s disastrous season. Hackett gave the second-generation coach the play-calling reins late in the season; this marked the second straight year Kubiak held that responsibility. Kubiak, 35, has less experience running an offense compared to Cooter and Hamilton, and more candidates will emerge soon. Hamilton returned to an OC role this season — after being the Chargers’ QBs coach in 2020 and Texans’ QBs instructor in 2021 — but Houston axing Lovie Smith will likely lead him elsewhere.

4:06pm: Jim Bob Cooter is back on the offensive coordinator radar. Being out of the play-calling mix for the past four seasons, the former Lions OC received an interview request Tuesday.

The Buccaneers want to meet with the Jaguars’ passing-game coordinator about their OC role, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Jags made tremendous strides this season, with Trevor Lawrence showing signs of becoming the star talent he was pegged to be when he went No. 1 overall last year.

The Lions had promoted Cooter to OC when he was just 31, bumping him to their play-calling post during the 2015 season. Matt Patricia kept Cooter on following Jim Caldwell‘s firing but moved on after his first Detroit season. Cooter, 38, has bounced from Jets to the Eagles to the Jags in the years since. Todd Bowles was out of New York by the time Cooter arrived in 2019, but the ex-Jets coach has made him the first known candidate for the Bucs’ OC position.

Bowles fired Byron Leftwich last week, moving on after inheriting the Bruce Arians hire in 2022. The Bucs’ offense, which was a top-seven unit under Leftwich from 2019-21, nosedived this season. Tampa Bay fell from second to 25th in points and second to 15th in yardage. Leftwich’s successor may well not have Tom Brady to coach in 2023, either. Although the 45-year-old legend regressed in 2022, he still provided considerable value to the Bucs over the past three seasons. If Brady plays in 2023, various reports have pointed to that 24th season coming elsewhere.

Cooter coaxed some quality Matthew Stafford seasons in Detroit; the longtime Lions QB finished eighth in QBR in each of Cooter’s first two years as OC. This past season marked Cooter’s first chance to work with a quarterback since his Detroit days, and Lawrence — after a rocky start — rebounded to lead the Jaguars to the playoffs. Jacksonville’s Lawrence-led wild-card comeback — the third-largest deficit overcome in the postseason — points their long-term arrow up after a disastrous Urban Meyer experiment in 2021. Doug Pederson calls the Jags’ plays, and Press Taylor is the team’s OC. That opens the door for Cooter, with other OC openings likely coming soon as teams make their HC choices.

Jets Interview Klint Kubiak For OC

The Jets will interview Klint Kubiak for their offensive coordinator position today, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter). This is the first time Kubiak has been connected to an OC vacancy in this year’s cycle.

Kubiak worked as the Broncos’ passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2022, and he took over play-calling duties from then-head coach Nathaniel Hackett in November. Hackett was fired before season’s end, thanks in large part to the difficulties he experienced with in-game management and the unexpected struggles of the Denver offense.

With Kubiak calling plays, the Broncos averaged 18 points per game, which was a marked improvement on the 12.1 PPG figure they managed with Hackett as the play-caller but which was still not an impressive output. On the other hand, the injuries and poor quarterback play that Denver dealt with in 2022 naturally limited the team’s ceiling, and Kubiak had a solid enough showing as the Vikings’ OC and offensive play-caller in 2021, when Minnesota finished 12th in the league in total offense and 14th in yards per game.

Interestingly, the Jets have also interviewed Hackett — along with a host of other candidates — for the OC gig. Whomever gets the job will be joining a club that has a playoff-caliber defense and an offense that, thanks to some young and intriguing skill position talent, could be just a quarterback upgrade away from being a worthy complement to that defense. Gang Green is widely expected to target veteran QB help this offseason and has been connected to the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Derek Carr.

Kubiak, 36 in February, is the son of longtime NFL offensive coordinator and head coach Gary Kubiak. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says that even if the Jets were to hire Klint, Gary would not be joining the team in any capacity (Twitter link).

In addition to Klint Kubiak, the Jets have officially requested an interview with Bills quarterbacks coach Joe Brady, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Brady does love his role in Buffalo, however, and he may not be interested in the Jets’ position.

Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett Cedes Play-Calling Duties To Klint Kubiak

About a month after he said he would continue to call offensive plays, Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett has had a change of heart. Per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, Hackett is ceding play-calling duties to quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak.

Denver’s 3-6 record qualifies as one of the league’s biggest disappointments in 2022, as the team made a blockbuster offseason trade to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson and entered the campaign with Super Bowl aspirations. Early-season missteps earned Hackett, a first-year head coach, plenty of criticism and compelled him to hire Jerry Rosburg out of retirement to assist with gameday management. But mounting injuries and persistent offensive struggles have conspired to keep the Broncos out of the playoff picture, and now Kubiak will have a larger role in the club’s efforts to make a second-half run.

Kubiak, 35, is the son of longtime NFL offensive coordinator and head coach Gary Kubiak. In 2021, the younger Kubiak served as the play-caller and OC for the Vikings, who finished 12th in the league in total offense and 14th in yards per game. Per Pelissero, that experience is what prompted Hackett to tab Klint Kubiak as Denver’s new play-caller, and both men, along with offensive coordinator Justin Outten, will be heavily involved in game-planning. Hackett and Outten will of course remain on the headset during games, though Kubiak will now be the primary voice in Wilson’s ear.

Pelissero adds that Wilson and Kubiak have formed a strong relationship despite the team’s struggles. However, they will have their work cut out for them, as the Broncos have 15 players on injured reserve, including key offensive contributors like left tackle Garett Bolles and running back Javonte Williams. Moreover, receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler will miss Sunday’s contest against the Raiders due to injury.

As of the time of this writing, Denver is last in the league in points per game, and Wilson has completed a career-worst 57.4% of his passes en route to a poor 81.4 QB rating. On the other hand, the Broncos are in the middle of the pack in terms of total offense, so there is some hope that a different play-calling approach will put more points on the board. And although the deadline trade of pass rusher Bradley Chubb will sting, the team is tops in the NFL in scoring defense, second in total defense, and its six losses have come by an average of five points. All of that provides further hope for a turnaround.

Hackett really had no choice but to make this move. Rumors are already swirling that he may be a one-and-done head coach, and the Rosburg hire, along with the pivot to Kubiak as play-caller, at least demonstrates that he is willing to put ego aside for the betterment of the team. Last year, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni ceded play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Shane Steichen in the middle of the season, and Philadelphia’s offense was much-improved after the switch. In 2022, the 8-1 Eagles continue to thrive, so there is recent precedent for Hackett and Broncos fans to dream on.

Denver Emerging As Premier QB Destination

We wrote a bit earlier today on the Broncos being among multiple AFC teams who “have trade compensation lined up with the Packers,” in relation to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Well, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver has emerged as a prime location for many of the league’s veteran quarterbacks looking for a potential change of scenery.

The Broncos recently hired former Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio, who failed to accomplish a winning season in three years with the Broncos. The former Green Bay staffer represents an obvious and strong connection for Rodgers. Should Rodgers decide to move on from the Packers, having a play-caller that he’s familiar with could add some allure to the Mile High City. Another intriguing aspect that could bring a star quarterback to Denver is the addition of former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak as passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota.

Hackett and company inherit an impressive roster posed to perform. The defense is comprised of veterans like outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, safety Justin Simmons, defensive end Shelby Harris, and cornerback Ronald Darby. There are a number of free agents that Denver would like to bring back like cornerbacks Bryce Callahan & Kyle Fuller, defensive back Kareem Jackson, inside linebacker Josey Jewell, and outside linebacker Malik Reed. Even if they fail to bring some of those names back, the Broncos saw impressive seasons last year for youngsters like cornerback Patrick Surtain II, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, and safety Caden Sterns. The list of defensive players above may not overwhelm you with stardom, but, together, the Broncos defense ranked third in the league in points allowed and eighth in the league in yards allowed.

In addition to a brand new offense and stacked defense, Denver boasts a nice array of young offensive weapons. An impressive receiving corps is led by veteran 26-year-old Courtland Sutton, young star Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick, who has broken out a bit over the past two seasons. The Broncos also have two talented, young receiving tight ends in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam. Any quarterback looking to join in on the fun would potentially have the benefit of a two-headed rushing attack that was 79 yards short of a combined 2,000-yard rushing season. Running back Javonte Williams enjoyed a healthy dose of carries in his rookie season, and there is mutual interest in bringing back Melvin Gordon.

Rodgers is obviously a name to keep an eye on as the decision on his future in Green Bay looms on the horizon. He has said that he will let the Packers know of his intentions before the franchise tag deadline so they can figure out how to deal with free agent wide receiver Davante Adams. In addition to Rodgers, though, keep an eye out for Denver to make moves on other quarterbacks searching for greener pastures. Russell Wilson has long been rumored to be interested in moving on from Seattle, and Deshaun Watson is still searching for a new home.

Whether Rodgers, Wilson, Watson, or some other under-the-radar name, look for the Broncos to make a move for a star quarterback. If they are able to find the right fit, the move could bring them into contention for what could easily turn into the toughest division in football.

AFC Coaching Notes: Broncos, Jets, Raiders, Titans

Nathaniel Hackett filled two major roles on his coaching staff today, adding Justin Outten as his offensive coordinator and Ejiro Evero as his defensive coordinator. Naturally, the team isn’t finished adding to the staff. The Broncos announced that they’ve hired Butch Barry as their offensive line coach and Klint Kubiak as their passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach.

Barry served as the 49ers’ assistant offensive line coach this past season. He previously worked with Hackett in Green Bay, with Barry serving as a senior analyst in 2020. The coach has also had stints with the Buccaneers and University of Miami.

Kubiak was the Vikings offensive coordinator in 2020. The song of Gary Kubiak, Klint Kubiak previously worked with the Broncos when he served as offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach between 2016 and 2018.

More coaching notes out of the AFC…

  • A pair of Jets coaches are stepping away from their roles. Senior offensive assistant Matt Cavanaugh won’t be returning to the team in 2022, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter). Cavanaugh joined the team in August to replace the late Greg Knapp, and he primarily played a role in the QB room. Cimini tweets that offensive assistant John Beck also won’t be back in 2022. Beck served as Zach Wilson‘s “personal coach” last season.
  • After serving as an offensive assistant with the Patriots, Bo Hardegree is joining Josh McDaniels‘ staff in Las Vegas. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter), Hardegree has been hired as the Raiders new quarterback coach. Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the Raiders will be retaining receivers coach Edgar Bennett. The former Packers OC was considered for jobs elsewhere.
  • The Titans have hired former Texans defensive line coach Bobby King to be their inside linebackers coach, reports Aaron Wilson. King previously worked with current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel when the two were in Houston, and King will also have another opportunity to coach long-time Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham.

Broncos Hire Justin Outten As OC

The Broncos are set to hire Packers tight ends coach Justin Outten as their new offensive coordinator (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). He’s now set to guide the offense for the new regime and take over where Pat Shurmur left off. 

[RELATED: Broncos Hire Nathaniel Hackett As Head Coach]

The Broncos were also said to be considering Klint Kubiak for the OC job, but he’s likely to wind up as the team’s quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota, so he figures to be a huge asset to new head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

Outten has been with the Packers since 2019. The Packers were the first team to employ him as a position coach, so this move to OC in Denver marks a huge step up. Before that, he was an intern under Kyle Shanahan with the Falcons and a high school assistant coach.

Interestingly, the Broncos’ first OC target was Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich, but the Packers installed him as their own OC. After that, they eyed Green Bay wide receivers coach Jason Vrable, but Packers head coach Matt LaFleur blocked the request. Chargers tight ends coach Kevin Koger was also in the running for Denver, but it sounds like Outten has edged him out.

Even with Outten on board, Hackett is expected to call the plays for his West Coast offense.