INDIANAPOLIS — Still basking in the glow of his Denver Broncos' victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, Gary Kubiak hasn't forgotten about the importance of the year he spent with the Ravens as John Harbaugh's offensive coordinator.
Kubiak credited the 2014 season in Baltimore with helping him make the necessary changes as a head coach after he was fired by the Houston Texans in December 2013.
"I handled my team different than maybe I did in the past in Houston," Kubiak said Wednesday morning on the first day of the NFL Scouting Combine. "I watched John do it, how he handled his football team. I watched how [Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome] went about things. I took a lot of things with me. I really felt like I learned a lot. I think any time as a coach, you're trying to grow – just handling some personalities, handling some people, trying to do a little bit better job with that maybe than you felt like you did in the past. I'm just very impressed with how John handles his team on a day-to-day basis."
Kubiak, who initially said that he'd stay with the Ravens for the 2015 season but bolted after the Broncos job became open, now has four Super Bowl rings; three as an assistant and one as a head coach. He understands how difficult it will be for the Broncos, who face numerous offseason questions including the free-agent status of Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Von Miller and Peyton Manning's potential retirement, to repeat.
"This league is just so good," Kubiak said. "There's such a fine line between winning and losing. You know that … following us the last five or six weeks of the season, the type of games that we were in, the close football games, how we found a way to get it done each and every week. That's what's so difficult because you go right back to work. Everybody is getting a little bit better, the schedule gets tougher, all those things."