Aug 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak on the sidelines during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Baltimore beat Dallas 37-30. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Bronco fans have a long love affair with Gary Kubiak. It is hard to explain, but he might be the most popular back-up quarterback ever to play the game. During his time in the NFL, he was always John Elway’s back-up. There was never any doubt that Elway was the guy, and “Kubs,” as my father used to call him, would always be the guy holding the clipboard.
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When I was growing up a Bronco fan in Greeley, Colorado, my friends and I used to play a game where we would chase my little brother around and throw things at him. We usually had to convince him to play. One of the ways we would do that was to tell him he could be any player he wanted from the Broncos. Sure enough, he always chose to be Gary Kubiak.
There are very few people in the world willing to let Elway know if they think he is making a mistake. Gary Kubiak is one of the few.
“Really? You don’t want to be Elway?” I never really understood it. Neither did my friends, but he let us beat the heck out of him, so whatever he wanted. The point is, we loved Gary Kubiak. We knew he was never going to replace John Elway. We knew that it was John’s team. Kubiak was special for some strange reason.
When he went to Texas A&M, we rooted for him. We wanted him to get a Super Bowl so badly that we cheered on the 1994 San Francisco 49ers. When he came back to Denver with Mike Shanahan in 1995 we knew things were going to be great. With Kubiak as the offensive coordinator, the Broncos won back to back titles in 1997 and 1998. There was something perfect about Elway and Kubiak getting it done together, even if one of them wasn’t wearing pads anymore.
Bronco fans should be happy about this hire. It feels right. I heard a talking head say that he thought it was a bad hire because Elway and Kubiak would agree too much. I don’t remember who he was, but he was dead wrong. There are very few people in the world willing to let Elway know if they think he is making a mistake. Gary Kubiak is one of the few. That is why hiring Kubiak was such an important move for the franchise. It is a perfect match.
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Obviously, the speculation about Peyton Manning fitting in with Kubiak’s system was bound to happen. Anyone who thinks Gary Kubiak can not coach a great quarterback forgets that he has been dealing with greatness his whole career. If Manning wants to get the horrible taste of the last three post seasons out of his mouth, this is the way to do it. If not, I have faith in Elway and Kubiak to find the right guy to get it done. Maybe I am looking through at the world through Bronco tinted glasses. Maybe the world looks better that way.