Do not rule out Gary Kubiak remaining with the Vikings just yet
By Adam Patrick
There’s still a chance that Gary Kubiak could return to the Minnesota Vikings in 2021.
Following a win over the Detroit Lions in their final game of the 2020 season, it didn’t take very long for the Minnesota Vikings to make some major changes to their organization.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer recently announced the team’s decision to not renew the contract of special teams coach Marwan Maalouf and a report came out indicating that offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is close to retiring.
The move to not bring back Maalouf was expected, but the Kubiak news kind of came out of left field. Many were excited to see how Minnesota’s offense would perform in 2021 with the team having the same offensive coordinator for the second year in a row for the first time since 2016. But now that might not be happening.
Would Gary Kubiak be willing to take a lesser role with the Minnesota Vikings?
On a recent episode of The Viking Age Podcast, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press was asked about some of the possible candidates to replace Kubiak if he does actually decide to retire.
Tomasson mentioned some internal candidates including Klint Kubiak and Rick Dennison (starting at the 12:35 mark). But he also noted that the Vikings could still be in the process of trying to convince their current offensive coordinator to remain with the team in 2021 and maybe even switch him back to his old offensive advisor role that he had in 2019.
It definitely sounds like Kubiak’s first season back as an offensive play-caller since 2016 took a bigger toll on him than he anticipated. Minnesota’s current offensive coordinator has had to step down from coaching roles in the past due to health concerns and some of the reasoning for his possible retirement likely has to do with his health as well.
The fact that Minnesota hasn’t officially announced that Kubiak has retired yet does make it seem like they are attempting to keep him with the team for 2021 just as Tomasson mentioned.
Maybe the Vikings could reduce Kubiak’s role for next season by giving him his old offensive advisor position back and the team can promote his son, Klint, to be their offensive coordinator and play-caller? This would allow for Minnesota to move forward in 2021 with an offensive scheme that would essentially be the same as it was during the 2020 season.
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