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Ravens QB coach Rick Dennison is a contingency plan if Gary Kubiak leaves, sources say

Ravens QB coach Rick Dennison is a contingency plan if Gary Kubiak leaves, sources say
Ravens quarterbacks coach Rick Dennison would be a strong candidate to replace Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator if Kubiak becomes head coach of the Denver Broncos. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Ravens quarterbacks coach Rick Dennison is regarded as a strong contingency plan if offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak leaves the organization to coach the Denver Broncos, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The Broncos have requested permission to interview Kubiak and are awaiting his decision. The Ravens do not plan to stand in his way if he decides to interview with Broncos general manager John Elway, his old friend and former teammate.

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If Kubiak was to leave, he would undoubtedly want to take Dennison with him, along with tight ends coach Brian Pariani. Dennison was Kubiak's right-hand man this season and is a trusted confidant. The Broncos could also show interest in Dennison, a former Denver offensive coordinator.

The Ravens, though, would be interested in Dennison as a potential in-house replacement for Kubiak, according to sources.

Dennison built a good relationship this season with quarterback Joe Flacco, who took well to his upbeat coaching style.

Flacco led the Ravens to the AFC divisional round, where they lost to the New England Patriots. He set career highs during the regular season with 3,986 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. He completed 62.1 percent of his throws and had a 90.6 quarterback rating. In two playoff games, Flacco passed for 810 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions.

Flacco rebounded from a rough season in 2013, during which he threw a franchise-record 22 interceptions and had a career-low 73.1 quarterback rating as he threw just 19 touchdown passes for the NFL's 29th-ranked offense.

The Ravens finished 12th in total offense and eighth in scoring offense this season, setting franchise records with 5,838 yards and 409 points scored.

As a former Broncos linebacker, Dennison related well to the Ravens' players.

Dennison has a unique background as a former offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans and Broncos who's also coached the offensive line and special teams in two decades as an NFL coach.

When Dennison was hired, former Texans offensive tackle Eric Winston praised him heavily as a sharp coach and all-around troubleshooter for Kubiak.

"Dennison is a real smart guy," Winston told The Baltimore Sun. "Kubiak and him are close friends. "Dennison can coach running backs. He can coach the line. He can coach tight ends. He can help build the game plan. He's very valuable as a versatile coach."

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