Kubiak, Dennison bringing Houston connection to Ravens offense

January 27, 2014 | WNST Staff

The Baltimore Ravens have hired Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator, head coach John Harbaugh announced Monday afternoon.

“We are excited to announce Gary Kubiak as the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator,” Harbaugh stated. “After studying many different candidates, we believe our research and our evaluation process have been as thorough as we could make them.

“The Ravens’ offense will work to be a physical, down-hill, attacking unit that is precise and aggressive. We will be rugged, balanced and hard-nosed. We will play Ravens football, and Gary will help us achieve the offense we aspire to be.

“We left no stone unturned in this search. We are excited about the result and cannot wait to get to work.”

Coach Harbaugh also announced that former Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison will join the Ravens as their quarterbacks coach.

Kubiak, 52, is a 21-year NFL coaching veteran who spent the past eight seasons (2006-13) as head coach of the Houston Texans. Under his guidance, Houston earned back-to-back AFC South crowns from 2011-12 – the franchise’s first division titles – and two playoff berths. Kubiak owns a Texans’ franchise-record 63 total wins, posting a 63-66 overall mark (61-64 regular season, 2-2 postseason).

Under Kubiak, the Texans earned their Top 6 all-time offensive outputs in scoring, total offense and passing yards from 2007-12. During this time, the Texans also boasted the franchise’s Top 3 rushing outputs, including the NFL’s No. 2 ground attack in 2011 when they posted a franchise-record 153.0 yards per game. From 2008-12, Kubiak’s offense was one of only two teams (Denver) to have its total offense, passing offense and rushing offense each rank in the Top 5 at least once during that span.

After finishing a franchise-best 12-4 in 2012, Houston earned its second-straight AFC South title and reached the Divisional Playoffs for the second-consecutive season. The Texans were one of two teams (Denver) to finish in the Top 10 in both total offense and defense (seventh in both that season), while the offensive unit set a team record averaging 26.0 points per game. WR Andre Johnson led the AFC with 1,598 receiving yards, while DE J.J. Watt registered an NFL-best 20.5 sacks, becoming the first player in franchise history to be named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. Three starting offensive linemen – LT Duane Brown, LG Wade Smith and C Chris Meyers – earned Pro Bowl honors, while a conference-best nine total Texans were voted to the NFL’s All-Star game.

In 2011, Kubiak was named the KC 101 AFC Coach of the Year after leading the Texans to a 10-6 regular season finish and the franchise’s first division title, playoff berth and postseason victory. Despite losing QB Matt Schaub and QB Matt Leinart to season-ending injuries, Houston produced a franchise-record seven-game winning streak and ranked second in the league in rushing (153.0 ypg). Behind rookie QB T.J. Yates, the Texans earned their first-ever postseason win in the Wild Card round over Cincinnati and advanced to the Divisional Playoff against Baltimore.

In 2010, Houston set a team record in total offense for the fourth-consecutive season and ranked third in the NFL by averaging 386.6 total net yards per game. Impressively, the Texans were the only AFC team to finish in the Top 10 in both rushing (127.6 ypg – third) and passing (259.0 ypg – fourth). RB Arian Foster set new team standards after finishing with a league-high 1,616 rushing yards, 2,220 scrimmage yards and 18 overall touchdowns, while Schaub became the NFL’s 12th-ever quarterback to eclipse 4,000 passing yards in back-to-back seasons.

During the 2009 campaign, Houston’s offense ranked fourth-overall in the NFL (383.1 ypg) and averaged an NFL-high 290.9 passing yards per contest. Schaub ranked first in the league with 4,770 passing yards, also tallying a career-high 98.6 passer rating.

Prior to his time with the Texans, Kubiak spent 11 seasons (1995-2005) as the Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator, also coaching the quarterbacks during his first seven seasons. Under his guidance, Denver’s offense reached new heights behind the likes of QB John Elway, TE Shannon Sharpe and RB Terrell Davis, with the team earning seven postseason trips and back-to-back Super Bowl titles (1997-98) during that span. As Denver’s offensive coordinator, the Broncos averaged NFL bests in yards per game (365.0) and points per game (25.2) from 1995-2005.

Kubiak’s NFL coaching career began in 1994 as quarterbacks coach of the San Francisco 49ers, where he helped guide Hall of Fame QB Steve Young to his best pro season. Young, who posted a career-high 70.3 completion percentage, 35 passing touchdowns, 3,969 passing yards and a then-NFL record 112.8 passer rating, earned NFL MVP honors for the second time in his career en route to a victory in Super Bowl XXIX.

Kubiak began his coaching career in 1992 as the running backs coach at his alma mater, Texas A&M, where under his guidance, RB Greg Hill was named a second-team All-American. Hill was a first-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1994.

As an NFL player, Kubiak spent nine seasons (1983-91) with the Broncos, serving primarily as the backup to the Hall of Famer Elway. Kubiak appeared in 119 career games, completing 173 of 298 passes for 1,920 yards and 14 touchdowns. While at Texas A&M, he earned All-Southwest Conference honors as a senior in 1982. Kubiak also set the SWC single-game passing touchdown record (six) against Rice his junior year. After earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education from A&M, Kubiak was selected by Denver in the eighth round (197th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft.

Born in Houston, Gary and his wife, Rhonda, have three sons and two daughters-in-law. Kubiak prepped at St. Pius (Houston) HS, where he was an All-State selection. He was inducted into the Texas High School Hall of Fame in 1999.

GARY KUBIAK COACHING BACKGROUND

Years                  College/Pro Team                 Position

1992-93             Texas A&M                             Running Backs

1994                   San Francisco 49ers              Quarterbacks

1995-2002        Denver Broncos                     Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

2003-05             Denver Broncos                     Offensive Coordinator

2006-13             Houston Texans                     Head Coach

2014                   Baltimore Ravens                  Offensive Coordinator

Dennison, 55, is a 20-year NFL coaching veteran who served the past four seasons (2010-13) on Gary Kubiak’s staff as the Texans’ offensive coordinator. Prior to joining Houston in 2010, Dennison spent his entire NFL career with the Denver Broncos – as a player from 1982-90 and as a coach from 1995-2009.

Dennison helped create a prolific offense with the Texans, which during his four-season tenure, ranked eighth in total net yards (369.5 ypg), sixth in rushing (130.6 ypg) and 13th in passing (239.0 ypg). Houston produced an NFL-best 29 individual 100-yard rushing performances, ranked fifth in the NFL with 64 rushing touchdowns and registered three of the best rushing seasons in franchise history during Dennison’s tenure.

In 2012, the Texans’ offense set a franchise record by scoring 26.0 points per game and ranked seventh in the NFL in total net yards (372.1 ypg). Seven offensive players earned Pro Bowl honors, including WR Andre Johnson, who led the AFC with 1,598 receiving yards. RB Arian Foster led the NFL in touchdowns (17) for the second time in three seasons and ranked second in the AFC with 1,424 rushing yards. For the third time in his career, and second under Dennison, QB Matt Schaub eclipsed the 4,000-yard passing mark.

In 2011, Dennison’s offense set franchise marks with 2,448 rushing yards (153.0 ypg), ranking second in the NFL. The Texans also led the NFL in time of possession (32:41) and set a franchise mark for fewest interceptions thrown in a season (nine). Late in the season, rookie QB T.J. Yates was called upon to lead the unit, which suffered season-ending losses to Schaub and QB Matt Leinart. Two different Texans rushed for more than 900 yards for the first time in club history (Foster – 1,224 and Ben Tate – 942).

In his first year with Houston in 2010, the Texans’ offense ranked third in total yards (386.6 ypg) and seventh in rushing (127.6), including a league-high 20 rushing touchdowns. Houston also had the NFL’s fourth-ranked passing attack (259.0 ypg). The total yards and rushing yards were franchise marks, as were points scored (390). Foster became the Texans’ first NFL rushing and scoring leader with a club record 1,616 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.

Dennison’s first stint as an NFL offensive coordinator came with the Denver Broncos (2006-08) after his predecessor, Kubiak, left for the head-coaching job with the Texans. His offenses averaged 350.5 net yards per game and rushed for 124.4 yards per contest and 4.6 yards per carry. In 2008, Denver was second in the NFL with 6,333 total yards and allowed a franchise-record-low 12 sacks.

Dennison coached the Broncos’ offensive line from 2001-05 and again in 2009. He led Denver’s special teams unit from 1997-2000 and helped the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997-98. Dennison began his NFL coaching career as an offensive assistant with the Broncos from 1995-96. He broke into coaching at the high school level, spending three seasons (1992-94) with Suffield (Conn.) Academy.

From 1982-90, Dennison played linebacker for the Broncos, appearing in 128 games (52 starts) and three Super Bowls (XXI in 1986, XXII in 1987 and XXIV in 1989). He received the Ed Block Courage Award in 1989.

Dennison joined the Broncos in 1982 as an undrafted free agent from Colorado State, where he earned three varsity letters and was a second-team Academic All-American as a senior. In 1979, he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, followed by a master’s degree in the same field in 1982 from CSU.

Born June 22, 1958 in Kalispell, Mont., Dennison attended Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins, CO) HS, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. His father, George, was president of the University of Montana before retiring in July 2010. Rick and his wife, Shannon, have five children: sons Joseph, Steven, and Trey, and twin daughters, Abrynn and Allie.

RICK DENNISON COACHING BACKGROUND

Years              College/Pro Team                 Position

1992-94         Suffield (Conn.) Academy     Assistant

1995-96         Denver Broncos                     Offensive Assistant

1997-2000     Denver Broncos                     Special Teams

2001-05         Denver Broncos                     Offensive Line

2006-08         Denver Broncos                     Offensive Coordinator

2009               Denver Broncos                     Offensive Line

2010-13         Houston Texans                     Offensive Coordinator

2014               Baltimore Ravens                  Quarterbacks

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