Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Reports: Gary Kubiak interviewed with Lions
By Michael Rothstein
Former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak formally interviewed with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, according to multiple media reports.
Kubiak, who was fired as the Texans head coach in December after almost eight seasons with the franchise, is the second candidate to officially interview with the club. He joins Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, who interviewed Friday.
ESPN Insider Ed Werder reported earlier Tuesday that the Lions will interview former Tennessee coach Mike Munchak this Friday. The Lions have also have reportedly asked for permission to talk with Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the job is Whisenhunt’s to lose.
All of these candidates fit a similar profile for the Lions. They have been head coaches at some level -- all except Gruden in the NFL -- and all come from an offensive background. Other than Munchak, all have worked extensively with quarterbacks at some point in their careers.
As for Kubiak, he coached Houston from 2006 until Week 14 of this season, when he was fired by the Texans. He compiled a 61-64 record over that span, including two AFC South titles and two playoff appearances.
He also developed quarterback Matt Schaub, who made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and 2012 and had three seasons of more than 4,000 yards passing. Schaub completed more than 61 percent of his passes in each of his seasons with Kubiak.
Kubiak’s team plummeted this season to a 2-11 record before he was fired. He collapsed at halftime of a Nov. 3 game against Indianapolis while having a “transient ischemic attack,” or mini-stroke, on the field.
Prior to his head coaching stint with Houston, Kubiak was the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos from 1995 to 2005, working with John Elway, Brian Griese and Jake Plummer, under former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan.
He also worked for San Francisco as its quarterbacks coach in 1994 with Steve Young.
Kubiak is an intriguing candidate in some ways. His offenses with Houston were in the top half of the NFL -- often in the Top 10 -- in all but his first and last seasons with the Texans. When he was with the Broncos, his offense was also routinely in the top half of the league.
He also turned Griese into a Pro Bowler in 2000 and Plummer into a Pro Bowler in 2005.
A message left with Kubiak seeking comment about his interview was not immediately returned. Kubiak's interview was first reported by Fox 2 in Detroit.