Gary Kubiak says he 'had a blast' with Ravens, praises new coordinator Marc Trestman

New Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he's going to keep things consistent.
New Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he's going to keep things consistent. (Jim Mone, Associated Press)

Energized and admittedly dealing with a slightly hectic situation as he works to assemble his Denver Broncos' coaching staff, Gary Kubiak said he thoroughly enjoyed his lone season as the Ravens' offensive coordinator.

During a telephone interview with The Baltimore Sun from his new office in Denver, Kubiak discussed everything from Joe Flacco to new Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman.


"It was a blast," Kubiak said. "It was as much fun as I've had in my career. We started from scratch. We put in a new system. That was difficult on everybody. We were searching for some help. We had some things going on with the Ray Rice situation early in the season. Our identity was probably in flux. Guys just responded. We played very well upfront. I was really proud of that.

"We ran the ball and protected the quarterback. [Offensive line coach] Juan [Castillo] did a hell of a job with those young guys. The running back situation, what Justin [Forsett] did was incredible when he took over that role. Steve [Smith] did great as a new face in the offense. With so many things going on, there might have been question marks, but the guys really answered them."

As much as Kubiak revitalized the Ravens' offense as they set franchise records for points scored and yards gained, the 53-year-old said he also felt a boost from his season working for Ravens coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome. Kubiak had initially considered taking the year off after suffering a mini-stroke and then being fired by the Houston Texans after coaching them for eight seasons.

"When you go through what I went through a year ago, I can really talk to other coaches that go through that," Kubiak said. "It's about getting back on the horse and believing in yourself and I was able to do that at a place with tremendous expectations and a great coaching staff. I couldn't have worked for a better guy than John Harbaugh. He was very positive with me and Rick [Dennison] and supported us. It's like anything else in life.

"You surround yourself with good people. I'm so glad I was able to a part of that. I've been talking a lot with my Ravens buddies and thanking them and letting them know how much I appreciate the opportunity from Ozzie and John."

Under Kubiak's tutelage, quarterback Joe Flacco set career-highs with 3,986 passing yards and 27 touchdowns as the Ravens reached the AFC divisional round.

"Joe was amazing," Kubiak said. "He's such a great player. He's been through a few coaches and a few systems. What we did fit him very well. He was so sharp in what we were doing. He handled a lot of things and became so comfortable. The sky's the limit for Joe. I know John is trying to hold the same thing together. Joe was exceptional."

Kubiak praised tight end Owen Daniels and Forsett, two of his former Texans players who contributed heavily to the Ravens' cause. Daniels caught 48 passes for 527 yards and four touchdowns as the replacement for injured right end Dennis Pitta. As the primary replacement for Rice, Forsett rushed for a a career-high 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns and is playing in the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

"I was really proud of Owen and Justin," Kubiak said. "Anytime you go some place and people ask you about guys and you stand on the table and say, 'This is what he stands for,' I knew those guys were Ravens type players. I'm so proud of them and how they fit in the group. I'm proud of the effort they made. We had a heck of a group."

Kubiak praised the hire of former Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman as his replacement with the Ravens as their new offensive coordinator.

"I know Marc very well, he followed me in San Francisco and we go way back," Kubiak said. "We became good friends, talked a lot of football. When you come up with the San Francisco 49ers, you're going to learn and run their system. Marc and I both went through that. Marc's a great fit for the Ravens.

"I think Marc will be a really good fit for Joe. Marc has a good personality. Joe is a mild-mannered guy, but he's a fiery competitor on the field. I think he and Marc will do very well together."



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