5 moves that got the Minnesota Vikings to 8-3 at the bye

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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(Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Kevin Stefanski and Gary Kubiak
(Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Kevin Stefanski and Gary Kubiak /

Bringing in Gary Kubiak

It was a bit of a surprise when the Vikings brought in Gary Kubiak to be an offensive consultant and the assistant head coach this season. When the move was announced, many thought if things didn’t go well, a power struggle could ensue and the whole team could fall apart because of it.

To get an idea of how it’s gone for the Vikings, Mike Zimmer said in a press conference prior to their matchup against the Broncos that having Kubiak on the staff is the best thing that’s happened to him since he’s been in Minnesota. That’s extremely high praise coming from the tough and grizzled Zimmer, but clearly he’s ecstatic about the move and the results speak for themselves.

Kubiak is a big proponent of the zone-blocking scheme and he loves running the football. That was a huge weakness for the Vikings a season ago and it has completely turned around in 2019.

Minnesota is one of the best rushing teams in the league this year and lead back Dalvin Cook has already gained over 1,000 yards on the ground. Kubiak’s scheme is a huge reason why Cook has been so successful.

The Vikings have signed and drafted linemen that fit the blocking scheme and the team’s biggest weakness from 2018 has grown into arguably its biggest strength this year.

Not only has Kubiak done wonders for the running game, but he’s also had some advice on personnel. He not only was a strong proponent of drafting Garrett Bradbury, but he was familiar with Bisi Johnson from his days in Denver and he encouraged the Vikings scouts to look into him and eventually draft him. That has turned out to be a great move and a huge steal for the team.

It’s hard to say if Minnesota would currently be 8-3 without Kubiak, as he’s been a major reason for why their running game has been so effective.